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.


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.