This rhyme was first published in 1805 with the first line of, ‘Little Jenny Flinders.’ Over time this has become the ‘Polly’ we’re familiar with today.
Corporal punishment was a normal part of early 19th century England as illustrated in this lovely nursery rhyme with a beautiful tune but with macabre lyrics.
Little Polly Flinders Lyrics
Little Polly Flinders,
Sat among the cinders,
Warming her pretty little toes.
Her mother came and caught her,
And whipped her little daughter
For spoiling her nice new clothes.