A Short Analysis of the ‘Old King Cole’ Nursery Rhyme

By Dr Oliver Tearle

‘Old King Cole’ is familiar to us from the famous children’s rhyme, but just who was he? Although the song of ‘Old King Cole’ is well-known, the man named Old King Cole, with his fiddlers three, remains shrouded in mystery. Before we examine this issue a little more closely, here’s a reminder of the words to the song.

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Every fiddler, he had a fiddle,
And a very find fiddle had he;
Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers.

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