This Old Man: Sing-Along Song Video for Kids

This song will teach your kid both counting and rhyming skills.
This Old Man
This Old Man

With origins that go back to 1870s Wales, "This Old Man" is a fairly established nursery rhyme. What is believed to be the original version wasn't published until 1937, though, and the version that is familiar to most of us was published in 1906. The most common version runs:

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my thumb;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee...etc.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door...etc.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive...etc.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks...etc.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in Heaven...etc.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate...etc.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine...etc.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again...etc.

Most modern versions substitute "patty whack" for "Paddywhack," a more politically correct term given that Paddy can be construed as a derogatory term often translated as "brawny Irishman."

Some historians have also suggested that the more modern version was prompted by a known pervert who would offer to play "paddywhack" with young passersby in a certain colonial town. The song was circulated as a way for the townsfolk to let the old man know they were onto him, and to warn children away from him.

An even earlier version was recounted and published by Anne Gilchrist, who said she learned it from her Welsh nanny. With its quaint language, the lyrics clearly predate the "old man" version, and is fittingly innocent as a children's song.

My name is Jack Jintle, the eldest but one,
And I can play nick-nack upon my own thumb.
With my nick-nack and pad-lock and sing a fine song,
And all the fine ladies come dancing along.

My name is Jack Jintle, the eldest but two,
And I can play nick-nack upon my own shoe.
With my nick-nack, ...etc.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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