What A Bright Sight!



Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone,
All except one, and her name is Ann,
And she hid under the baking pan.


The rhyme comes from Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, published in London in 1744. Just like the ladybird, spotted this week inside a whorl of freshly sprouting oregano, the book is very tiny. Here are some images from the British Museum which owns one of two surviving copies. You can see more images and find out more about the little book of rhymes that some us once knew (well perhaps not all of them) HERE.



Bright Square #17

46 thoughts on “What A Bright Sight!

  1. Adorable nursery rhyme. I remember my grandmother reading or quoting nursery rhymes. To think they were over 200 years old when she quoted them shows the enormous power of print. The ladybug in her oregano diner is a perfect brightsquare, Tish. But for me the tiny book is as delectable as fresh-baked Boston cream cake. Perfect post.

      1. I’m so glad you photographed your fingers. It is so amazing. I’m sure both paper and ink were very expensive and rare. It is not surprising.

      2. LOL Mine either! They look bad even when I don’t garden. They’ve gotten so wrinkled and splotchy I don’t know who they belong to any more. 🙂

      3. I’ve noticed that about several writers. Have you ever read my Story Chat Series. I don’t write them, but I publish a short story then we chat about it. It’s a lot of fun. Many of them are a bit dark. Here’s a link to my page with the listing of all that we’ve done so far. https://tchistorygal.net/story-chat-2/

  2. hee hee the minute I saw your square I started saying the rhyme out loud 😀 I though have never heard about Anne and her baking pan before!

      1. I think I read there was a far darker version that preceded that ending. Something about them all being burned! One explanation of the rhyme was said to be about discouraging anyone from killing a ladybird. Very wise.

  3. Some of these nursery rhymes are very dark indeed. The ‘piss a bed’ is very cruel!
    Your bright squares are teaching me a lot this month Tish,

    1. UK species are said to be under attack from invader ones, which is worrying. They seem to do the most bio-control in their larval state when they are v. hard to spot, or indeed to recognise as a ladybird. Hopefully yours are lurking somewhere.

  4. Americans find it fascinating that people in other countries call ladybugs ‘ladybirds’. Oh, how nursery rhymes and fairy tales were dark and scary back then.

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