I’m a Little Teapot

I’m a Little Teapot is a nursery rhyme which is perennially popular, thanks in part to the exaggerated but simple movements that accompany the words. It is a favorite of younger children who enjoy acting out the rhythms with their arms pretending to be the little teapot, bending one for the handle and outstretching the other for the spout. 

The song was originally created in 1939 by Clarence Kelley and George Harry Sanders. Clarence Kelley and his wife ran a children’s dance school, but many of their younger students were struggling to learn the Waltz Clog, a popular tap dance. I’m a Little Teapot was created to help their young charges learn the steps to the tap dance more easily. 

The popularity far outstripped Mr. Kelley’s dance school and recorded as a novelty single, it swept through the country in the following years, moving to Canada and the UK shortly after.

I’m a Little Teapot Lyrics

I’m a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
(one hand on hip)
Here is my spout
(other arm out straight)

When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
“Tip me over
and pour me out!”
(lean over toward spout)

I’m a clever teapot,
Yes it’s true
Here let me show you
What I can do
I can change my handle
And my spout
(switch arm positions)
Just tip me over and pour me out!
(lean over toward spout)

I’m a Little Teapot