The first recorded version of “Little Miss Muffet” nursery rhyme dates back to the early 19th century England.
It was first printed in the “Songs for the Nursery” collection published in 1805.
The origin of “Little Miss Muffet” is most commonly attributed to Dr. Thomas Muffet, a notorious physician and entomologist from the 16th century, the author of a scientific illustrated guide about insects. “Little Miss Muffet” is about a girl named Patience, who was Dr Muffet’s stepdaughter. The lyrics probably tell the story of an incident when Patience ran away from her breakfast, being frightened by a spider from Dr. Muffet’s collection. However this speculation was never proved.
The song had various known versions over the years. Some of the most used titles includes: “Little Mary Ester, Sat upon a tester” (1812), “Little Miss Mopsey, Sat in the shopsey” (1842) or “Little Miss Man” (1868) by Peter Doyle (Walt Whitman’s secret partner)
The “Little Miss Muffet” version was interpreted by Dudley Moore during British comedy stage revue from 1960, Beyond the Fringe.
“Little Miss Muffet” Lyrics
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away
Little Miss Muffet,
Sat on a Tuffet,
Eating her Bread and Jam,
Along came a Spider,
While she was Drinking her Cider,
And she ran away and her shoes fell off!