Tweedledum and Tweedledee
DESCRIPTION: "Tweedledum and Tweedledee Agreed to have a battle, For Tweedledum said Tweedledee Had spoiled his nice new rattle. Just then flew by a monstrous crow, As (big/black) as a tar-barrel, Which frightened both the heroes so, They quite forgot their quarrell."
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1805 (Harris, Original Ditties for the Nursery, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: battle bird
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 521, "Tweedledum and Tweedledee" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #167, p. 125, "(Tweedledum and Tweedledee)"
Jack, p. 222, "Tweedledum and Tweedledee" (1 text)
NOTES: Opie-Oxford2 reports that John Byrom (or Swift, or Pope, or SOMEONE) coined the names "Tweedledum" and "Tweedledee" to describe the composers Bononcini and Handel in a quarrel where outsiders couldn't tell which side was which. But this does not explain how the two became characters in this poem. It does not seem to have been particularly well-known -- until, of course, Lewis Carroll got his hands on it. - RBW
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