Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Originally a children's poem called Dutch Lullaby, the story of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod written in 1889 by Chicago writer Eugene Field is a favorite with children and adults alike.

Its lyric verses tell a fanciful tale of three fishermen who sail the skies in a little wooden shoe among the stars. Like all good children's bedtime stories, the adventures come to a close with the heroes safely tucked in bed and on the verge of peaceful slumber.

Due to its enduring popularity, in 1938 Walt Disney made a short 8 minute cartoon featuring pajama wearing children as the heroes of the poem and set to music as one of its Silly Symphonies.

Sculptor Mabel Landrum Torrey made a marble statue of the three fishermen of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod that sits in Denver's Washington Park.

Here is the text of Eugene Field's classic, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod:

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea---
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
And Nod.


The Dutchman said...

I grew up about four blocks away from the Eugene Field memorial shown in the Disney clip. It has since been moved from the location shown in the clip (now a softball field) to a niche next to the primate house in the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is a combination statue and bench, and I often sit there with my kids when we eat our sack lunches on a zoo visit.

Nod said...

Thanks, Dutch. You can tell it's one of my favorites.


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