Pop Goes the Weasel

Dating back to the 1850s, Pop Goes the Weasel is one of the most popular nursery rhymes of all time, with different versions in both the UK and the US. 

As this rhyme is so old, there are disagreements about its origins and what it actually means. The song is not about a small furry animal exploding, despite what it may sound like! 

Some sources believe that the rhyme is rhyming slang about pawning your coat. To “pop” was slang for pawning goods, while “weasel and stoat” was rhyming slang for a coat. In rhyming slang, it’s common to drop the last word.

But not everyone agrees with this history. Others believe that it’s a song about weavers, who would have used a spinning machine called a “weasel” which was known for making a popping sound. 

The tune to Pop Goes the Weasel is particularly familiar as it’s typically used in jack-in-the-box toys.

Pop Goes the Weasel Lyrics

The British version of the song:

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

Pop Goes the Weasel Music Sheet