“There Was a Crooked Man”


"There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile, He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together in a little crooked house."


The Baring-Goulds suggest that the crooked man of this song was the Covenanter Alexander Leslie, and the crooked sixpence Charles I (who was willing to use the Covenanters if it would preserve his throne but had no real use for them). This is another of those "possible but hardly demonstrable" cases. - RBW


  1. Opie-Oxford2 324, "There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile" (1 text)
  2. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #224, p. 148, "(There was a crooked man)"
  3. Roud #4826
  4. BI, BGMG224


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1842 (Halliwell, according to Opie-Oxford2)
Keywords: home animal