three blind mice lyrics

Three Blind Mice lyrics” is an English-language nursery rhyme and musical round. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3753.

three blind mice lyrics 2.1K

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

Origins and meaning

“Three Blinde Mice” (1609).

A version of this rhyme, together with music (in a minor key), was published in Deuteromelia or The Seconde part of Musicks Melodie (1609). The editor of the book and possible author of the rhyme was Thomas Ravenscroft. The original lyrics are:

Three Blinde Mice,
Three Blinde Mice,
Dame Iulian,
Dame Iulian,
the Miller and his merry olde Wife,
shee scrapte her tripe licke thou the knife.

Attempts to read historical significance into the words have led to the speculation that this musical round was written earlier and refers to Queen Mary I of England blinding and executing three Protestant bishops. However, the Oxford Martyrs, Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer, were burned at the stake, not blinded; although if the rhyme was made by crypto-Catholics, the mice’s “blindness” could refer to their Protestantism.

However, as can be seen above, the earliest lyrics don’t talk about harming the three blind mice, and the first known date of publication is 1609, well after Queen Mary died.

The rhyme only entered children’s literature in 1842 when it was published in a collection by James Orchard Halliwell.

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