A-Tisket, A-Tasket

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A-Tisket, A-Tasket Image

"A Tisket A Tasket" is a nursery rhyme first recorded in America in the late nineteenth century. It was used as the basis for a very successful and highly regarded 1938 recording by Ella Fitzgerald. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13188.

The song was a major hit of the "pre-chart" era, reaching number one in Billboard's sheet music and Record Buying Guide (jukebox) charts, also number 1 on "Your Hit Parade".

Stevie Ray Vaughan referenced the rhyme in his rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", from the album Texas Flood.


"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" Lyrics

An early noted version had the lyrics:

A-tisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my love
And on the way I dropped it,
I dropped it, I dropped it,
And on the way I dropped it.
A little boy he picked it up
And put it in his pocket.

In some variants, the second line is "I lost my yellow basket". In other variants, the last line is "A little girl picked it up and put it in her pocket".

In nineteenth-century England, the rhyme used in the same game had somewhat different but evidently related words:

I lost my supper, last night,
And the night before,
And if I do this night,
I never will no more.
I sent a letter to my love,
I carried water in my glove,
And by the way I dropped it, I did so, I did so:
I had a little dog that said bow-wow!
I had a little cat that said meow-meow!
Shan't bite you, shan't bite you,
Shall bite you.
I dropt it, I dropt it,
And by the way I lost it.

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" Chords

A-tisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my love
              D7    G
And on the way I lost it.

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" Origins

The rhyme was first noted in the United States in 1879 as a children's rhyming game. It was sung while children danced in a circle. One of the number ran on the outside of the circle and dropped a handkerchief. The nearest child would then pick it up and chase the dropper. If caught the dropper either was kissed, joined the circle, or had to tell the name of their sweetheart.

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More Nursery Rhymes:

A Sailor Went to Sea

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“A Sailor Went to Sea” is a children’s nursery rhyme, clapping game and jump-rope rhyme. It was initially called “My Father Went to Sea”, before becoming more widely known as “A Sailor Went to Sea”.