“The Muffin Man” is a traditional nursery rhyme and singing game dating back to early nineteenth-century, England.

The rhyme, first recorded in 1820, recalls a muffy man of Dury Lane, an overpopulated area of London where poverty, brothels and gambling, and also criminality and were part of the scene.

A muffin man used to be the person who was delivering fresh muffins from home to home, for the low class people living in the English cities of the 19th century.

“The Muffin Man” as a game

Although the lyrics of the song remained the same over time, the game has at least three versions, one being described by Henry Mackarness in 1888, in “The Young Lady’s Book”. It goes like this:

How to play:

All the children are staying in a circle, one of them will begin the game by returning to the one sitting next to him/her and asking:

“Do you know the muffin man? The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man who lives on Drury Lane”

He/She will reply by singing the next verse:

“Yes, I know the muffin man. The muffin man, the muffin man.
Oh, yes, I know the muffin man, who lives on Drury Lane.”

Then both of them will sing together:

“Then two of us know the muffin man, the muffin man
Yes, two of us know the muffin man, who lives on Drury Lane”

Then the second children will address the third children by singing

“Do you know the muffin man? The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man who lives on Drury Lane”

And the answer will be sung together by the first, the second and the third player:

“Then three of us know the muffin man, the muffin man”….The game continue until the last children has been asked and all the players will end the game by singing: “We all know the Muffin Man”…

“The Muffin Man” Lyrics

Do [or “Oh, do”] you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane?

Yes [or “Oh, yes”], I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane.

“The Muffin Man” Original Version

Do [or “Oh, do”] you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane?

Yes [or “Oh, yes”], I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane.

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