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1001 Stories Collection

Incey Wincey Spider

Added on 11th June 2020

Nursery Rhyme Origins unknown
First published 1910

A nursery rhyme with actions about a spider who climbs up a water spout but is washed back down by the rain.

Story

Incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
So Incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again.

Why we chose it

Incy Wincy Spider is a popular nursery rhyme that is often sung with accompanying hand gestures to mimic the spider climbing up the water spout and then being washed away down the drain. Versions of the song are found in many different countries around the world.

Where it came from

The origins of the rhyme are not known but a version of the song for adults about 'Blooming, bloody spider' was published in the 1910 Camp and Camino in Lower California. In this version the spider was climbing its own web rather than a water spout. Other versions of the rhyme have 'Itsy bitsy spider' and sometimes the spider is climbing the spout of a teapot.

Where it went next

The rhyme is still well known today and used in homes, nurseries and schools helping young children practice their gross motor skills as they do the accompanying actions.

Some people have suggested that the rhyme is an allegory and that the spider can be read as symbolising the oppression of the poor repeatedly being suppressed by the rich.

Associated stories

The popularity of Incy Wincy spider can be seen in the number of references made to the rhyme in other media including The Simpsons, Dora the Explorer and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Find the spider on the mural in Small Worlds.

Added on 11th June 2020

Nursery Rhyme Origins unknown
First published 1910