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1001 Stories Collection

Two Little Dicky Birds

1001 Two Little Dickie Birds
Added on 14th July 2020

Oral tradition English nursery rhyme
First recorded Around 1765

Small Worlds Animals
1001 , Audio

A nursery rhyme for small children with finger play and actions.

Story

Two Little Dickie Birds (also known as Two Little Blackbirds) is a short English nursery rhyme with finger play and actions about two little birds, Peter and Paul.

Why we chose it

Two Little Dickie Birds was one of the nursery rhymes to feature in the Nursery Rhyme room in our Time for Bed Exhibition. The birds appeared on the mural painted by Helen Cooper which can now be seen in Small Worlds.

Where it came from

It was first recorded in Mother Goose’s Melody, a collection of stories and songs, in London around 1765. At the time, the words were ‘Jack and Jill/ sitting on a hill’, but they were changed to ‘Peter and Paul/ sitting on a wall’ for two of the apostles to reflect the religious feelings of the time. At present, there is no recorded evidence of its origins, but it, like many other nursery rhymes, is attributed to the fictional Mother Goose.

Where it went next

The rhyme has been reprinted and re-recorded in countless ways. In its most basic form, it only has four lines, but different versions include different words and actions and it is endlessly adaptable. Petula Clark recorded a version in 1951.

Associated stories

Two Little Dickie Birds is included in many books of nursery rhymes and children’s songs. Various authors have published their own versions, including Megan Borgert-Spaniol and Dan Crisp (Two Little Blackbirds, 2015) and a touch-and-feel version by Marina Le Ray (2008).

Added on 14th July 2020

Oral tradition English nursery rhyme
First recorded Around 1765

Small Worlds Animals
1001 , Audio