Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Time with 3 Men in a Tub!


original Collage Art Doll by inkspired

Today we will be exploring Nursery Rhymes,

Rub-A-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub!

I haven't done a nursery rhyme in a while, and they are such fun!
from the book "Rub A Dub"
as told by Kin Eagler, illustrated by Rob Gilbert

The oldest versions that have been found (printed) have a different wording.
 See what you think!

nursery books.
Hey! rub-a-dub, ho! rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub,
And who do you think were there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
And all of them gone to the fair.

This version was printed in Massachusetts around 1825.

The origins of this earliest version seem to be from a sideshow attraction at local fairs.

The sideshow featured three maids in a tub who were presumably unclothed.

It's possible that this rhyme made fun of the men who enjoyed visiting them!

The Muppets' version!

The first recorded version is in a Christmas Box published in London in 1798.

By around 1830 the reference to maids

was being removed from the versions printed in

In 1842 James Orchard Halliwell collected this version:

Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.

by Graham McKean

Here is yet ANOTHER version, that is currently used today:

Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
'Twas enough to make a man stare.

This nursery rhyme has been used by many different ad agencies to advertise,
whether it is a product or a political theme or a change of view:

Christian version, by the Christian Mother Goose,

Can't you just imagine John Cleese as the Baker?


Who do you think the two other men should be?
Let me know!

Sometimes I think I am only writing to myself.

You can easily leave a message on the blogspot to let me know someone is out there.

embroidery design

Here's a fun version we might all enjoy learning:

Here is a lovely vintage embroidery piece from 1952 -

That one is so silly, as 3 grown and dressed men are in the same tub!
I do like the rubber ducky on the floor...
Here is another funny one:

Men in a tub

Of course, those men are actually in a teacup.
It's fun to imagine what the waves would do however!
Clever painting.

vintage illustration, c.1907

Are you familiar with William Wegman?

It all started with his dog, Fannie.
She seemed to like having her picture taken.
It has definitely snowballed since then!
His photos now decorate entire books - I have "Cinderdogfella"
that's not quite right, but if you look up 'William Wegman'
you will find lists of his wonderful and whimsical books.
Here is his version of 3 dogs men in a tub:

by William Wegman and his dogs

Here's a jolly tub of three:
I found this happy illustration at
I believe she is Indian?  Someone tell me!

These three fellows look like they better start bailing water,
and throwing overboard anything extra!

Those three look a little shifty, don't you agree?

a wonderful egg I found at

This next to last image is from the fantastic Scott Gustafson.
His work is just wonderful!
Please go to his website and see more of his paintings:

Well, I think it is time to leave these three men to their fate.
My last illustration is by Sundara Fawn:

It's been totally fun for me to do a nursery rhyme again!

No, I haven't forgotten the Meaning of Flowers,
and the Flowers of the Month for August.
I have been researching the Gladiolus, one of 2 flowers of the month for August.

See you tomorrow!
(I've been previewing pictures from Santa Fe - oooh I love my new camera!)

Gladiolus Garden



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