Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill is an old nursery rhyme from England. There are several possible origins for this popular nursery rhyme.

One is that it is very ancient and has roots in the mythology of Scandinavia. In his 1947 book ‘Myth & Ritual,’ Lewis Spence suggests that there may be an ancient ritual associated with the rhyme because as he says, ‘no one in a folklore sense climbs to the top of a hill for water unless that water has special significance.’

This may be so, and is certainly a puzzle but it has been pointed out by the editors of the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes that ‘after’ rhymes with ‘water’ which suggests that it may have originated in the 17th century.

In the 1765 edition of ‘Mother Goose’s Melody’ a woodcut illustration shows two boys, not a boy and a girl as you would expect. This has given rise to yet another explanation which is that the two in question could be Cardinal Wolsey and Bishop Tarbes, who together went to France to arrange the marriage of Mary Tudor to the French monarch.

Jack and Jill Lyrics

Jack and Jill went up the hill
The fetch a pail of water;
Jack feel down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up got Jack and home did he trot,
As fast as he could caper;
Went to bed and bound his head,
With vinegar and brown paper.
When Jill came in how she did grin
To see Jack’s paper plaster;
Mother vexed, did whip her next;
For causing Jack’s disaster.

Jack and Jill Music Sheet