Pop Goes the Weasel: Sing-Along Song Video for Kids

Sing this funny song outdoors so your kids can act it out by running around.

Sing this funny song outdoors so your kids can act it out by running around.

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Pop! Goes the Weasel!

"Pop Goes the Weasel" is a common children's rhyming song on both sides of the Atlantic, although the opening line differs depending on whether you are in the U.S. or the U.K. The original lyrics to the entire song are lengthy and location specific; this is the generally accepted U.K. version:

Round and round the cobbler's bench,
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A half a pound of tupenny rice,
A half a pound of treacle.
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Up and down the London road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

I've no time to plead and pine,
I've no time to wheedle,
Kiss me quick and then I'm gone
Pop! Goes the weasel.

According to British historians, "the Eagle" refers to a well-known tavern in London, where "that's the way the money goes."

The monkey chasing the weasel has been said to represent having to pawn one's coat ("weasel and stoat" was cockney slang for coat) with the monkey representing the financial trouble. Many people would pawn their coats on Monday, and redeem it by Sunday to wear to church, pretending all was well -- thus, "Pop! Goes the weasel."

Some American versions have the opening lines as:

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey stopped to pick up his hat
Pop! Goes the weasel!

These lyrics make the song more like a story of an actual monkey being outwitted and surprised by the weasel. A children's game is also played in which the "weasels" standing on one safe spot must run to a new spot when the infamous line is reached. Of course, there's always one less spot than there are weasels, not unlike in the game of musical chairs.

Some historians claim that the song is all about tailors, and that the original lyrics began "Round and round the tailor's bench," with the weasel being a spindle that wound the bobbin of thread and "popped" when the spool was full. In fact, there's no solid basis for any specific theory except that the Eagle did exist as a real place. Most people now agree that even when the song was extremely popular, no one really could claim to know where or why it originated.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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