Three Blind Mice
Nursery Rhyme from Mother Goose

Cropped cover image from The Complete Version of Ye Three Blind Mice, by John. W. Ivimey, illustrated by Walton Corbould.

Three Blind Mice nursery rhyme

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First appearance in print: 1609

Interesting: Some would suggest that this is the world's most popular round (a musical form. See sheet music and lyrics below.)

Humor: It's an absurd little poem that illustrators struggle to make visual sense of. Note that in this famous illustration, at least one of the mice still has a tail!

Cultural: Our blind mice have been appearing throughout media for years and years. Check out our review of the modern children's book, Seven Blind Mice.

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice! See how they run!
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As three blind mice?

The "Complete" Version

Some time around 1900, Frederick Warne published John W. Ivimey's "The Complete Version of Ye Three Blind Mice," with delightful illustrations by Walton Corbould."

The gentleman tell a much more complete story, detailing all the events leading up not just to the carving knife incident but the blinding itself...and beyond. The mice actually go on to adapt to their disability and become productive, happy members of society.

I kid you not! They go from being

  • Small mice, to
  • Bold mice, to
  • Cold mice, to
  • Hungry mice, to
  • Starved mice, to
  • Glad mice, to
  • Poor mice, to
  • Scared mice, to
  • Sad mice, to
  • Blind mice, to
  • Sick mice, to
  • Wise mice, to
  • Proud mice.

You can read the full version here.

The Three Blind Mice nursery rhyme appears in Blanche Fisher Wright's classic The Real Mother Goose collection.

More Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

Three Blind Mice sheet music

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