Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
DESCRIPTION: "Twinkle, twinkle little star." The singer wonders what the star is. It shows its light while the sun is down. It "lights the traveller in the dark" so he can see which way to go.
AUTHOR: Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
EARLIEST DATE: 1806 (Rhymes for the Nursery, according to Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes)
KEYWORDS: lyric nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 674, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (1 tune; the text was not recorded)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 489, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #168, pp. 125-126, "(Twinkle, twinkle, little star)"
Jack-PopGoesTheWeasel, p. 226, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" (2 texts)
Dolby-OrangesAndLemons, p. 150, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" (1 text)
Henry-SongsSungInTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 243, (no title) (1 fragment)
Fuld-BookOfWorldFamousMusic, pp. 593-594, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star -- (ABCDEFG; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Schnitzelbank)"
ADDITIONAL: Florence Milner, "Poems in Alice in Wonderland" (1903), now reprinted in Robert Phillips, editor, _Aspects of Alice_, 1971 (references are to the 1977 Vintage paperback), p. 249, "The Star" (1 text, with "Alice"-related context)
cf. "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (tune)
Lordy Edgcumbe Good and Great (File: Tawn044)
Now Our Blue Bird Meeting Ends (cf. Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 258)
NOTES [142 words]: According to Fuld, the tune of this first appeared in 1761 as "Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman." The tune had sundry English lyrics before being united with the Taylor words apparently in 1838.
The Opies report that Jane Taylor titled her poem "The Star."
The popularity of the piece shows in the various parodies, notably Lewis Carroll's "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat."
Alice Liddell Hargreaves (as she came to be) referred to singing this song. In an account repeated in Jo Elwyn Jones & J. Francis Gladstone, The Red King's Dream or Lewis Carroll in Wonderland, 1995 (I use the 1996 Pimlico edition), p. 102, she mentions how she and her sisters sang "Star of the evening, beautiful star," "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," and "Will you walk into my parlour?" on their expeditions with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and the Rev. Robinson Duckworth. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.