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The Muffin Man facts for kids

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"The Muffin Man" is a traditional nursery rhyme, children's song, or children's game of English origin. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7922.

Lyrics

The most widely known lyrics are as follows:

Do [or "Oh, do"] you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives on Drury Lane?

Yes [or "Oh, yes"], I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives on Drury Lane.

Game

Iona and Peter Opie observed that, although the rhyme had remained fairly consistent, the game associated with it has changed at least three times including: as a forfeit game, a guessing game, and a dancing ring.

Paul Sandby - London Cries- A Muffin Man - Google Art Project
London Cries: A Muffin Man by Paul Sandby (c. 1759)

In The Young Lady's Book (1888), Matilda Anne Mackarness described the game as:

The first player turns to the one next her [sic], and to some sing-song tune exclaims:

"Do you know the muffin man? The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man who lives in Drury Lane?"

The person addressed replies to the same tune:

"Yes, I know the muffin man. The muffin man, the muffin man.
Oh, yes, I know the muffin man, who lives in Drury Lane."

Upon this they both exclaim:

"Then two of us know the muffin man, the muffin man,".
No. 2 then turns to No. 3, repeating the same words, who replies in the same way, only saying, "Three of us know the muffin man,". No. 3 then turns to No. 4, and so on round the room, the same question and answer being repeated, the chorus only varied by the addition of one more number each time.

Verses beyond those described in the book have been sung. For example, the song may be concluded, "We all know the Muffin ManĀ ..."

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