Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book Voll. II
Title: “Sing a Song of Sixpence”
Medium: nursery rhyme
Publication date: 1744Publisher: Mary Cooper
Roud Folk Song Index Number: 13191
1 characters in this story:
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|[precursor to four and twenty blackbirds]||Mary Cooper||1|
The earliest known printed version of the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence" appeared in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (1744). This version had only once verse and did NOT include the "four and twenty blackbirds" known in the rhyme today. Instead, it featured "four and twenty naught boys."
This version from 1744 reads as follows:
Sing a Song of Sixpence,
A bag full of Rye,
Four and twenty Naughty Boys,
Baked in a Pye.