Appalachia Rhymes

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle twinkle little star

Who isn’t familiar with the little tune Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? The ditty is known world wide and who knows how many times it’s been sung while someone was looking up at the night sky.

The words were taken from the poem below:

The Star by Jane Taylor (England 1806)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveler in the dark,-
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

The tune for the song predates the poem by many years and was first published in France in 1761. In the 1770s a poem of love was set to the tune and the song was quite popular.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

The song we’re familiar with today was first published in 1838. No one really knows the exact point at which the tune and poem came together-but I think we’d all agree we’re glad the two united.

Chitter uses the tune Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to make sure her fiddle is in tune-how cool is that?


*Source: Mama Lisa’s World

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  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Jane Taylor lived in Lavenham in Suffolk, one of the most beautiful old towns in England. Interestingly the lords of the manor of Lavenham’s crest is a star and stars are depicted on many of the buildings, especially the church. One wonders if she was thinking of those stars when she wrote the poem.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I had no idea this poem had so many words.
    Thanks for sharing them all with us.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Jan C.
    April 4, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Our 19-month old grandson has started singing this song! (It took us a while to figure out it was what he was singing!) It is so sweet to listen to him-reminds me of his mom-this was the first song she sang!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    This is my Favorite Nursery Rhyme. I
    didn’t know it had other verses, but
    I’ve sung it to both my girls when they were just babies.
    I bet when Jane Taylor gazed into the
    dark skies in the early 1800’s, had no idea the stars were so far away.
    When I worked in Atlanta in the late
    60’s, at lunchtime we’d have lots of
    interesting discussions. America had
    just landed on the moon and our Boss
    was wondering how they got thru all
    them Stars. My brother-in-law (with
    his dry sense of humor) raised his
    head and said “that’s why they go up
    in the daytime, when the Stars ain’t
    out!” hee hee…Ken

  • Reply
    b Ruth
    April 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    The stars had very dark clouds under them here early this morning and soon a “thunderboomer” lite up the sky!
    It has poured buckets and now drizzling!….
    I suppose I should have made a wish last night on a twinkling star!
    However, we sure need April showers for May flowers!
    Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is one of the first sweet tunes that my boys learned to sing in kindergarden! “We learned a new song.” and he sang it, I said, “That’s not new, we have said it a lot here at home!” Yep, it’s new, we SANG it at school and didn’t SAY it!” Mom, of course goes duh! and he was right! Go figure, from the mouths of babes!
    Every little musical instrument booklet from xylophone to tiny piano has Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in its pages…I doubt that a child can get past first grade without knowing the words, however they might “booger” them up at times…
    Thanks Tipper, for this post…still stormy here, I’m off, you know how “skeered” I am of lightning! I always think of my Madison county, NC Granny saying, “You hadn’t seen nothing til you see “ball lighting” roll around and bounce on the hill!”

  • Reply
    Scott Durborow
    April 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

    You have a good kid and was taught right. Same tune I use to tune my mandolin. Of course both are tuned the same. When I do my music shows at the library for special need children that is the song I teach the to play on the dulcimer. Can be played on 1 string or 2 strings. A few years back 1 of the kids who suffers from ADDA played it for his mom and she just cried. She later told me that the school told her the her son was un-teachable HA proved them wrong. Do you know who wrote the music? without cheating via internet

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    April 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I love the song Twinkle Twinkle Little star.
    Songs open up our receptive soul and music makes it dance.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

    – – or is Chitter tuning to the ABC song . . . .?

  • Reply
    April 4, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Ah! It is so great when one learns something new about a childhood favorite. I never realized that there was more; I would have needed a paper script to sing all of it. Thanks for talking about a childhood favorite.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I did not realize there was more to the little song. I remember my mother singing it to me and I sang it to my children.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 4, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Tipper, I’ve heard that all my life but only the first verse. I didn’t know it was really had so many verses!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 4, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Thanks for posting the history of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” How we loved the rhyme (and song) and how we enjoyed teaching to our children and grandchildren!

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