Following on from the blog ‘Sing’ a couple of weeks ago, we (as a family) are attempting to add a few more nursery rhymes and songs to our repertoire. We have been religiously singing and tapping along to our ‘top 40 nursery rhymes of all time’ CD which is currently on a loop in the car CD player!!!! As we sang our way through action rhymes and animal songs this afternoon, we then came to the bedtime section and we found ourselves singing along to a little rhyme called ‘Wee Willie Winkie’. It suddenly struck me that I had absolutely no clue who this ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ was, and by huge coincidence my daughter piped up from the back, ‘Who is ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ mummy?’
Well, that was it, I had to find out more. Here’s where I’ve got to so far………………….
Wee Willie Winkie is a Scottish nursery rhyme, written by William Miller and first published in 1841 in Whistle-binkie: Stories for the Fireside.
The figure has become popular the world over as a personification of sleep. He is known in different countries as the Sandman, Old Lukeje in Scandinavia, Klaas Vaak in the Netherkands, and Dormette of France.
Supposedly, ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ is meant to be the children’s version of the Town Crier!
The original text was written in Scots
Here’s how it goes:
- Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
- Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
- Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
- Are the children in their bed, for it’s past ten o’clock?
- Full version at:
- We shall continue our journey to learn more nursery rhymes tomorrow, happy in the knowledge that we know a little (just a little) more about Willie tonight!!! Night night!