Three Little Kittens
DESCRIPTION: Mother cat says the kittens can't have pie because they have lost their mittens. When they find the mittens they put them on to eat pie and soil them. They wash the mittens and hang them out to dry. They smell a rat close by.
EARLIEST DATE: 1853 (New Nursery Songs, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: food animal humorous clothes
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 289, "Three little kittens they lost their mittens" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #815, pp. 303-304, "(Three little kittens they lost their mittens)"
NOTES: Opie-Oxford2: "The tune is a variant of "The Seven Joys of Mary." - BS
The Opies and the Baring-Goulds note that these lines are sometimes attributed to Eliza Follen, author of New Nursery Songs for All Good Children, but her notes call the piece traditional. The book (which the Opies date c. 1843) does however seem to be the earliest printing.
Some of the popularity of this piece may be artificial; it was found in at least one Sunday School songbook in the nineteenth century: Marguerite Cook, editor, Primary Songs No. 2 ("For the Primary Class in he Sabbath School And for use in the Home, the Kindergarten, And Day School"), copyright 1894. Of course, this is so dreadful a book that, had I been a child confronted with it, I would have forgotten everything in it as quickly as possibly. - RBW
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