Kids will love this interactive song that involves hiding and wiggling fingers.


Where is Thumbkin?

Where is Thumbkin?

Here I am.

Here I am.

How are you today, sir?

Very well, I thank you.

Run away.

Run away.

"Where is Thumbkin?" is possibly one of the most popular children's nursery rhymes that use finger play. There are several variations of the lyrics, but the tune is invariably the same as that of "Fr?re Jacques" ("Are You Sleeping... Brother John?"), which may well be one of the best known tunes in the world. No one knows who wrote the words to "Where is Thumbkin?" Versions of the song date back to England in the 1700s, and in 1831 the following was published in The Girl's Own Book:

Dance, Thumbkin, dance, (hold up thumb, wiggle)Dance, ye merrymen, every one (hold up all fingers, wiggle)For Thumbkin, he can dance alone, (hold up thumb, wiggle)Thumbkin, he can dance alone.

Repeat for other fingers in order:

Dance, Foreman, dance,

Dance, Middleman, dance,

Dance, Ringman, dance,

Dance, Longman, dance,

The fact that the pinky finger is referred to as the "Longman" is kind of a joke, as the pinky is the shortest finger on the hand.

The most common version of "Where is Thumbkin?" as sung today starts with the hands behind the back. It goes:

Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin?

Here I am (hold up left thumb)Here I am (hold up right thumb)How are you today, sir? (crook left thumb so it bows to the other)Very well, I thank you. (crook right thumb so it bows to the other)Run away. (hide left hand behind back)Run away. (hide right hand behind back)

(Repeat for the following fingers, holding each one up in turn)

Where is pointer?

Where is tall man?

Where is ring man?

Where is pinky?

Final Verse:

Where are all the men?

Where are all the men?

Here we are. (hold up left hand, fingers wiggling)Here we are. (hold up right hand, fingers wiggling)How are you today, sirs? (fingers on right hand bow)Very well, we thank you. (fingers on left hand bow)Run awa.y (hide left hand behind back)Run away. (hide right hand behind back)

Some variations use the line "How are you this morning?" instead of "How are you today, sir?" or "Happy day!" instead of "Run away." A Scottish version from 1842 varies slightly, saying:

Dance my wee man, ringman, midman, foreman,

Dance, dance, for thoomiken canna weel dance his lane.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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