There Was a Little Man

DESCRIPTION: "There was a little man, And he had a little gun, And the ball was made of lead." The little man goes out to hunt ducks. He hits the duck in the head and brings her home to his wife to cook. (He goes out to shoot the drake, but it escapes)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1744 (Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book)
KEYWORDS: bird hunting food
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) US(MW)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, p. 220, "There Was a Little Man" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 131)
Grimes-StoriesFromTheAnneGrimesCollection, p. 100, "There Was a Little Man" (1 text)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 325, "There was a little man, and he had a little gun" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #25, p. 38, "(There was a little Man)"
ADDITIONAL: Joseph Ritson, Gammer Gurton's Garland (London, 1810 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 45, "The Duck and the Drake" (1 text)

Roud #1289
NOTES [74 words]: The unencompassable Katherine Elwes Thomas, The Real Personages of Mother Goose, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1930, p.106, claims that the Little man with the little gun was Philip II of Spain, who ordered up the Spanish Armada, and the "good fire" the little man told his wife to light was the fires that burned Protestants. As usual, the only evidence for this is whatever Thomas drug dream Thomas had when she thought about this rhyme. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.2
File: BGMG025

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