27. Pat-a-cake

Ladybird, Ladybird

Lyrics: Pat-a-cake

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Baker’s man!
So I do, master,
As fast as I can.

Pat it, and prick it,
And mark it with T,
Put it in the oven
For Tommy and me.

Song

This nursery rhyme is one of the oldest. It comes from a time when households, with an oven, brought their cakes from a local baker or bake house at a small fee. Marking the pastry would have been a way to ensure the return of the proper item.

This nursery rhyme is also a clapping game between two people. 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.