The Info List - Pat-a-cake

"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man", "Pat-a-cake", "patty-cake" or "pattycake" is one of the oldest and most widely known surviving English nursery rhymes. It has a Roud Folk Song Index
Roud Folk Song Index
number of 6486.[1]


1 Verse 2 Origins 3 Tune 4 Game 5 Tennis 6 Notes


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with a "B" And put it in the oven for baby and me!

Origins[edit] The earliest recorded version of the rhyme appears in Thomas D'Urfey's play The Campaigners from 1698, where a nurse says to her charges: ...and pat a cake Bakers man, so I will master as I can, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and throw't into the Oven. The next appearance is in Mother Goose's Melody, (c. 1765), in the form:

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker's Man; That I will Master, As fast as I can; Pat it and prick it, And mark it with a T, And there will be enough for Tommy and me.[2]

Marking pastry or baked goods with an identifiable mark may stem from a time when households that did not own an oven of their own could have brought their items to a local baker or bake house, paying to have their items finished for a small fee. Marking the pastry would have been a way to ensure the return of the proper item. [3] Tune[edit] The earliest version set to music appears in 'A Christmas Box' by James Hook, published in 1796. [4] Game[edit]

A common style of playing pat-a-cake.

The rhyme is often accompanied by hand-clapping between two people, a clapping game. It alternates between a normal individual clap with two-handed claps with the other person. The hands may be crossed as well. This allows for a possibly complex sequence of clapping that must be coordinated between the two. If told by a parent to a child, the "B" and "baby" in the last two lines are sometimes replaced by the child's first initial and first name.[2] Tennis[edit] A pat-a-cake serve is a serve in which the racket is not swung behind the head (as in a proper serve). It is often used by beginning players, or players who never had formal training. The term is considered pejorative. Notes[edit]

^ "Roud Folksong Index S218300 Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016.  ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 341–2. ISBN 9780198600886. ^ Horrible Histories:Gorgeous Georgians ^ Christmas Box by Mr Hook [1](page 13)

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Nursery rhymes (list)

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" "Aiken Drum" "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" "Did You Ever See a Lassie?" "Hey Diddle Diddle" "Hickory Dickory Dock" "Hot Cross Buns" "Humpty Dumpty" "I'm a Little Teapot" "It's Raining, It's Pouring" "Jack and Jill" "Little Bo-Peep" "Little Boy Blue" "Little Jack Horner" "Little Miss Muffet" "Mary Had a Little Lamb" "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" "Old King Cole" "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" "Old Mother Hubbard" "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" "Peter Piper" "Polly Put the Kettle On" "Poor Mary" "Pop Goes the Weasel" "Pussy Cat Pussy Cat" "Rain Rain Go Away" "Roses Are Red" "Rub-a-dub-dub" "Simple Simon" "Sticks and Stones" "The Grand Old Duke of York" "The Queen of Hearts" "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"


"A Sailor Went to Sea" "Down Down Baby" "Mary Mack" "Miss Susie"

"Miss Lucy"

"Pat-a-cake" "Pretty Little Dutch Girl" "Pease Porridge Hot"


"Duck, duck, goose" "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" "One, Two, Three, Four, Five" "This Old Man" "Tinker, Tailor"

Finger- plays

"Five Little Monkeys" "Five Little Ducks" "Five Little Speckled Frogs" "Itsy Bitsy Spider" "Little Robin Redbreast" "Round and Round the Garden" "This Little Piggy" "Two Little Dickie Birds"


"London Bridge" "The Muffin Man" "Mulberry Bush" "Oranges and Lemons" "Ring a Ring o' Roses" "The Farmer in the Dell"


"As I was going to St Ives"


"Hush, Little Baby" "Rock-a-bye Baby"


"Ding Dong Bell" "Frère Jacques" "Kookaburra" "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" "Scotland's Burning" "Three