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You are watching: Rub a dub dub thanks for the grub origin

London librarian chris Roberts fills Debbie Elliott in ~ above the three men in the tub as a series on the real meaning of nursery rhymes continues. Roberts is the author of hefty Words easy Thrown: The reason Behind the Rhyme.


DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

This is every THINGS thought about from lifwynnfoundation.org News. I"m Debbie Elliott.

"Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three men In a Tub" is on the docket today. In various other words, it"s time for one more Reason Behind the Rhyme.

(Soundbite of music)

ELLIOTT: London librarian kris Roberts joins me now from our London bureau. Kris is the writer of "Heavy Words easy Thrown," a collection of nursery rhyme histories. Let"s listen it, "Rub-a-Dub."

Mr. Kris ROBERTS ("Heavy Words easy Thrown"): Right. I"m going to perform the an ext popular version, the much better known version, first of all, i m sorry is: `Rub-a-dub-dub, three males in a tub. And also who execute you think to be there? The butcher, the baker, the shall maker, and also all jumped out of a rotten potater(ph). That was enough to do a guy stare." and also this is--I mean, once I began doing the research, i did wonder if this to be a gay rhyme, I need to say. I thought this might be to perform with--something to do with saunas, and, probably sadly, it"s not. But it"s an example of a happiness that"s been slightly balderized.

The original version goes: `Hey, rub-a-dub, ho, rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub. And also who perform you think were there? The butcher, the baker, the shall maker, and all of them going come the fair." currently this version goes ago to around the 14th century. And also in a sense, it"s bang increase to date at the same time. Brothers tabloids love stories around respectable tradesfolk doing--being recorded in places they shouldn"t be caught in. This particular day it would certainly be probably a lap-dancing venue. Lock love celebrities being caught out. In this case, it"s a fairground attraction v naked ladies, i beg your pardon the--can you to speak pooge on American radio? The upper-class, the respectable tradesfolk--the candlestick device and the butcher and the baker--are ogling, getting an eyeful of part naked young women in a tub. And also that"s "Rub-a-Dub-Dub," essentially.

ELLIOTT: currently I"m going come ask you about different execution of these. Due to the fact that in my son"s nursery luck books...

Mr. ROBERTS: Oh, what"s her son...

ELLIOTT: ...it"s: `Rub-a-dub-dub, three males in a tub. And also who perform you think castle be? The butcher, the baker the candlestick maker. Rotate them out, knaves every three."

Mr. ROBERTS: Oh, that"s fairly interesting. I haven"t come across this variation here. That"s interesting. Since there space versions the America and England share and some the they deviate off. And also in many cases the us version, together with certain words, room actually closer come the old English than the English version we have. Therefore the variation that you"ve heard does indicate that they"re gaining up come something no an excellent in the tub...

ELLIOTT: That"s what I"ve always wondered.

Mr. ROBERTS: ...going ago to my original thought. That"s an exciting American sport that ns shall look into. Ns shall certainly look into that.

(Soundbite the music)

ELLIOTT: kris Roberts is author of "Heavy Words easy Thrown: The factor Behind the Rhyme." and he is the librarian at Lambeth college in south London.

thanks again, Chris.

Mr. ROBERTS: say thanks to you.

(Soundbite the music)

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