“What's Little Babies Made Of?”


"What's old women made of?... Reels and jeels and old spinning wheels, And that's what old women are made of." "What's little boys made of?... Piggins and pails and puppy dogs' tails." "What's little babies made of?... Sugar and..."


The notes to _The Annotated Mother Goose_ say that this has been attributed to Robert Southey, but also say that no supporting evidence has been offered. It does note that the first published version, Halliwell's, describes only what little boys and girls are made of. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SharpAp 227, "What are Little Boys made of?" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. Sharp/Karpeles-80E 79, "What's Little Babies Made Of?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BrownIII 143, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" (1 text)
  4. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 303-304, "What Folks Are Made Of" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Opie-Oxford2 76, "What are little boys made of?" (2 texts)
  6. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #320, pp. 175-176, "(What are little boysmade of?)"
  7. Roud #821
  8. BI, SKE79


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1844 (Halliwell, according to Opie-Oxford2)
Keywords: nonballad children
Found in: US(Ap,SE)