Little Robin Redbreast is an old traditional rhyme that first appeared in the first ever anthology of nursery rhyme named “Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book” published around 1744.
Another different version of Little Robin Redbreast appeared in the 1833 version of “The Only True Mother Goose Melodies”.
The first published version was shorter:
Little Robin Red breast,
Sitting on a pole,
Nidde, Noddle, Went his head.
And poop went his Hole.
Today a slightly different version of the original song is used as a fingerplay.
“Little Robin Redbreast “Fingerplay
The rhyme has been used as a fingerplay for a very long time, the first instructions were published in a book from 1920 called “Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building:
Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail,
(Right hand extended in shape of a bird is poised on extended forefinger of left hand.)
Niddle noddle went his head,
And waggle went his tail.
(Little finger of right hand waggles from side to side.)
“Little Robin Redbreast “Lyrics
Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
Up went pussycat and down went he,
Down came pussycat, away Robin ran,
Says little Robin Redbreast, “Catch me if you can.”
Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a wall,
Pussycat jumped after him, and almost had a fall.
Little Robin chirped and sang and what did pussy say?
Pussycat said “Meow”, and Robin flew away.