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Classic Nursery Rhymes

A Collection of Classic English and American Nursery Rhymes

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Mother reading to daughter at bedtime
Comstock/ Stockbyte/ Getty Images Mother watching son stacking alphabet blocks spelling home
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Most people’s first experience of poems comes in the form of nursery rhymes—the lullabyes, counting games, riddles and rhymed fables that introduce us to the rhythmic, mnemonic, allegorical uses of language in songs sung to us by our mothers. We can trace the original authors of only a few of these poems—most of them have been handed down from mother to child for generations, and were only recorded in print in collections long after their first appearance in the language (the dates below indicate first known publication). Here are a few of the best-known English and American nursery rhymes:

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