Little Tommy Tucker
|"Little Tommy Tucker"|
1901 illustration by William Wallace Denslow
Common modern versions include:
- Little Tommy Tucker
- Sings for his supper.
- What shall we give him?
- Brown bread and butter.
- How shall he cut it
- Without a knife?
- How will he be married
- Without a wife?
The earliest recorded version of this rhyme is from Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (c. 1744), which has only four lines. The full version was produced in Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1765). There are references to various parts of the rhyme in earlier works. To 'sing for one's supper' was a proverbial phrase by the seventeenth century. An excellent new Medley (c. 1620) included the line 'Tom would eat meat but wants a knife'.
Various Thomas Tuckers have been identified, including a Bachelor of Arts who was appointed 'Prince or Lorde of the Revells' at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1607, and a 'Tom Tuck' who appears in one of John Herrick's epigrams in Witt's Recreations (1640).
- "Roud Folksong Index S377998 Little Tom Tucker sings for his supper". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 416–7.