Boys and Girls Come out to Play

Original Text: 
Mother Goose's Melody: A facsimile reproduction of the earliest known edition, ed. W. F. Prideaux (London: A. H. Bullein, 1904): 66-67. DeLury Collection F, Fisher Rare Book Library. The original is Mother Goose's Melody: or, Sonnets for the Cradle (London: Francis Power, 1791).
2The moon does shine as bright as day;
3Come with a hoop, and come with a call,
4Come with a good will or not at all.
5Loose your supper, and loose your sleep,
6Come to your playfellows in the street;
7Up the ladder and down the wall.
8A halfpenny loaf will serve us all.
9But when the loaf is gone, what will you do?


1] Cf. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, ed. Iona and Peter Opie (1951; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), no. 75, pp. 99-100. Back to Line
10] The last two words and the dash are missing and supplied from the edition of Isaiah Thomas (Worcester, Mass., ca. 1785). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.