“Higgledy Piggledy, My Black Hen”


"Higgledy piggledy, my black hen, She lays eggs for gentlemen, Gentlemen come every day To see what my black hen doth lay, Sometimes nine and sometimes ten, Higgledy piggledy, my black hen."


The spelling of the first couple of words of this piece vary greatly ("Hickety, pickety," "Hickerty, pickerty," "Higgledy Piggledy"). I doubt any particular form is authoritative, so I spelled it the way I learned it way back when. I don't recall a tune, but there are enough references that it may be a traditional song. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #299, p. 171, "(Hickety, pickety, my black hen)"
  2. Opie-Oxford2 209, "Hickety, pickety, my black hen" (1 text)
  3. Roud #13043
  4. BI, BGMG299


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1853 (according to Opie-Oxford2)
Keywords: Bird chickens food