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Little Jack Horner

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About the Rhyme: Little Jack Horner

"Little Jack Horner" is a well-known English nursery rhyme with the number 13027 in the Roud Folk Song Index. It was first referenced in the 18th century and was instantly linked to acts of opportunism, especially in politics.

Moralists reworked and expanded the poem to counteract the poem's praise of greed. In the 19th century, it was said that the rhyme was initially composed in satirical reference to Thomas Horner's dishonest actions during the Tudor period, and that the name of Jack Horner was applied to an entirely different and older traditional poem.

Let us sing the Rhyme together.

Little Jack Horner: The Rhyme

Singing a nursery rhyme with your child is a wonderful way to bond. Try your hand at following the song lyrics and watch the music video below:

Little Jack Horner

Sat in the corner,

Eating a Christmas pie;

He put in his thumb,

And pulled out a plum,

And said, "What a good boy I am!"

Original Lyrics

“Little Jack Horner” Original Lyrics is as follows:

“Now he sings of Jacky Horner

Sitting in the Chimney-corner

Eating of a Christmas pie,

Putting in his thumb, Oh Fie

Putting in, Oh Fie! his Thumb

Pulling out, Oh Strange! a Plum.”

The Earliest Version

The first version of the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" dates from the 18th century in England.

Jacky Horner is based on an old fairy story called "The Fryer and the Boy." A 1764 chapbook named One of the earliest versions of this poem was found in "The History of Jack Horner, Containing the Witty Pranks he performed, from his Youth to his Riper Years, Being Pleasant for Winter Evenings."

The Little Jack Horner, eating a Christmas pie

The Little Jack Horner, eating a Christmas pie

Little Jack Horner's lyrics were first mentioned in Henry Carey's ballad "Namby Pamby" from 1725, which criticized one of the time's writers, Ambrose Philips, for composing infantile poems for aristocrats' children. This poem, about Jacky Horner, became a symbol of cupidity and opportunism.


Jack Horner, a small child, sat in a corner, eating a Christmas pie. "What a good boy am I!" he said as he inserted his thumb and pulled out a plum. In the corner, little Jack Horner played a joyful holiday call. "Merry Christmas to all!" he sang as he swung his thumb back, eating the plum.

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FAQs on Little Jack Horner

1. Where was the Rhyme: Little Jack Horner documented?

The nursery rhyme collection Mother Goose's Song, or, Sonnets for the Cradle, which may date from 1765, but the earliest surviving English edition is from 1791, was the first to document it in full.

James William Elliott, a composer and nursery rhyme collector, originally documented the rhyme connected with the rhyme in his National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs (1870).

2. Give a short analysis of the rhyme?

'Little Jack Horner' has attracted far more curiosity than many other well-known nursery songs, and others have had their fair share as well. However, this simple children's rhyme about a guy eating a Christmas pie and pulling out a plum has generated more debate than 90% of nursery rhymes in the English language.