Three Blind Mice

Three Blind Mice

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Three Blind Mice

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Three Blind Mice is an English nursery rhyme and musical round.I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 306. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3753.


The modern words are:<Blockquote>
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?W. S. Baring-Gould and C. Baring-Gould, The Annotated Mother Goose: Nursery Rhymes Old and New (Bramhall House, 1962), p. 156.

Origins and meaning

A version of this rhyme 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, who in 1609 was still a teenager. 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,Espoused by Albert...
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