tweedledum and tweedledee

tweedledum and tweedledee 900

Common versions of the nursery rhyme include:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
    Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
    As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
    They quite forgot their quarrel

turkey in the straw lyrics

The words “Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee” make their first appearance in print as names applied to the composers George Frideric Handel and Giovanni Bononcini in “one of the most celebrated and most frequently quoted (and sometimes misquoted) epigrams”, satirizing disagreements between Handel and Bononcini, written by John Byrom (1692–1763): in his satire, from 1725.

Some say, compar’d to Bononcini
That Mynheer Handel’s but a Ninny
Others aver, that he to Handel
Is scarcely fit to hold a Candle
Strange all this Difference should be
‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!

Although Byrom is clearly the author of the epigram, the last two lines have also been attributed to Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. While the familiar form of the rhyme was not printed until around 1805, when it appeared in Original Ditties for the Nursery, it is possible that Byrom was drawing on an existing rhyme

 

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Questions
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