Who Killed Cock Robi

Who Killed Cock Robin is an old English nursery rhyme and poem dating back to the 18th century. It was first recorded in “Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book” in 1744.

The meaning of this poem are shrouded in mystery. There are more theories advanced about the origin of the story and who the “Robin” was.

The most obvious theory about the identity of “Robin” is that it refers to the bird. This theory is substantiated by the fact that in Glouchestershire there is a stained glass depicting a robin killed by an arrow dating back to the 15th century.

Another theory is that Robin is in fact Robert Walpole whose government was toppled two years prior to the first publication of the rhyme in 1742.

One unsubstantiated theory is that “Robin” refers to Robin Hood. It is a popular theory in modern culture but there is nothing to back it up.

“Who Killed Cock Robi” Lyrics

Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.

Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.

Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.

Who’ll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I’ll make the shroud.

Who’ll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl,
with my little trowel,
I’ll dig his grave.

Who’ll be the parson?
I, said the Rook,
with my little book,
I’ll be the parson.

Who’ll be the clerk?
I, said the Lark,
if it’s not in the dark,
I’ll be the clerk.

Who’ll carry the link?
I, said the Linnet,
I’ll fetch it in a minute,
I’ll carry the link.

Who’ll be chief mourner?
I, said the Dove,
I mourn for my love,
I’ll be chief mourner.

Who’ll carry the coffin?
I, said the Kite,
if it’s not through the night,
I’ll carry the coffin.

Who’ll bear the pall?
We, said the Wren,
both the cock and the hen,
We’ll bear the pall.

Who’ll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
as she sat on a bush,
I’ll sing a psalm.

Who’ll toll the bell?
I, said the Bull,
because I can pull,
I’ll toll the bell.

All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin.

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