Tinker, Tailor

“Tinker, Tailor” is a traditional nursery rhyme and a fortune-telling dating back to late 15th century, England

The rhyme is also a counting song for children. In the USA it is popular to sing it in a game of tag to determine the person who will be “it”.

The oldest form of the song can be tracked to 1475 in a line of a rhyme called The Game and Playe of the Chesse by William Caxton and only later on in 1695 it appeared in a more compact form. It was first published in a nursery rhymes collection in the 19th century as a counting song.

“Tinker, Tailor” Lyrics

An English modern version:

Tinker, Tailor,
Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man,
Beggar Man, Thief.

An American modern version:

Rich Man, Poor Man,
Beggar Man, Thief,
Doctor, Lawyer, (or “Merchant”)
Indian Chief.