“A Bundle of Truths”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1811 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 10(11))
Keywords: humorous nonballad nonsense


"Barney Bodkin broke his nose" is followed by truths, more or less: "without feet we can't have toes," "crazy folks are always mad," "a taylor's goose will never fly, ... And now, good folks, my song is done, Nobody knows what 'twas about"


The first verse of the Bodleian broadsides is quoted in Opie-Oxford2 34, "Barney Bodkin broke his nose."

The chorus and two truths of the Bodleian broadsides are quoted in Opie-Oxford2 235, "Hyder iddle diddle dell": "Right fol de riddle del, A yard of pudding's not an ell, Not forgetting didderum hi, A taylor's goose can never fly."

A "tailor's goose" is a flat iron with a twisted wrought iron grip that, I guess, reminds someone of a goose's neck. - BS

Cross references



  1. Opie-Oxford2 34, "Barney Bodkin broke his nose" (1 fragment)
  2. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #272, p. 163, "(Barney Bodkin broke his nose)"
  3. BI, OO2034