Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill 2 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546

Real Names

Jack and Jill, Jack and Gill, Jack Sprat Jr. and Jill Pumpkineater Sprat

First Appearance

“Jack and Jill” or “Jack and Gill” (nursery rhyme) (1700s)

Original Publisher

English Nursery Rhyme

Created by



Jack and Jill are an accident‐prone boy and girl (although some sources portray them as two boys) who, sometime before 1760, fall down while fetching a pailful of water, with accounts differing on the degree to which they are injured in the incident. For more than a century and a half thereafter, public‐domain literature has detailed numerous additional trips, scrapes and other mishaps, as well as ill‐advised stunts that sometimes involve animals or automobiles, that paint a picture of them as not only clumsy but even reckless. A number of works depict their eventually marrying one another.

The first and most common verse of the eponymous English nursery rhyme is:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Many verses have been added to the rhyme, including a version with a total of 15 stanzas in a chapbook of the 19th century. Although there are many variations of the original rhyme that go beyond the first stanza, they tend to fall into two principal categories: one in which Jack is well enough to ambulate (“Up Jack got and home did trot”) and one in which the two suffer much more serious injury (“Jack and Jill were dying”).

The second verse has become a standard part of the nursery rhyme. Early versions took the form:

Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper;
To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob
With vinegar and brown paper.

A third verse, sometimes added to the rhyme, was first recorded in a 19th-century chapbook and took the form:

Then Jill came in, and she did grin,
To see Jack's paper plaster;
Her mother whipt her, across her knee,
For laughing at Jack's disaster.

Twentieth-century versions of this verse include:

When Jill came in how she did grin
To see Jack's paper plaster;
Mother vexed did whip her next
For causing Jack's disaster.

In The Marriage of Jack and Jill, Jack is the son of Jack Sprat and his wife and the grandson of Mother Hubbard, and Jill is the daughter of Peter Pumpkineater and his surviving wife and the granddaughter of Mother Goose.

Public domain literary appearances

Including of characters inspired by or likened to Jack and Jill

  • “Chryſts‐Kirk of the Grene” (“Christ’s Kirk on the Green”), stanzas 3–4, by James V of Scotland, 1500sMaitland Manuscripts and Bannatyne Manuscript. Reprinted in The Ever Green, Being a Selection of Scots Poems, Wrote by the Ingenious Before 1600, vol. 1, 1724. About the relationship between Jok and Gillie. (Internet Archive)
  • Jack and Jill (play), 1567.
  • Jack and Jill” or “Jack and Gill” (nursery rhyme), Roud Folk Song Index no. 10266.
    • Mother Goose’s Melody, compiled by John Newbery, ca. 1760. (Internet Archive)
    • Gammer Gurton’s Garland: or, The Nursery Parnassus; A Choice Collection of Pretty Songs and Verses, for the Amusement of All Little Good Children Who Can Neither Read nor Run, part 2, collected by Joseph Ritson, 1810. (Internet Archive)
    • The Nursery Rhymes of England, Collected Principally from Oral Tradition, collected by James Halliwell‐Phillipps, 1842. (Internet Archive)
    • Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs, music by James William Elliott, [187‒?]. (Internet Archive)
    • “Jack and Jill: A Responsive Chorus,” music either by Philip Bliss or H. L. H., in The Joy: A Collection of New and Carefully Selected Music for Classes, Choirs, and Conventions, 1873. (HathiTrust)
    • Ancient Illuminated Rhymes: Jack and Jill, The Little Man and His Little Gun, music attributed to William Philip Nimmo, 1878. (Internet Archive)
    • Parodies, Book 2: Nursery Rhymes Re‐set for Voice and Piano, music by Herbert Hughes, 1921. (Internet Archive)
  • Jack and Jill (chapbook), ca. 1806. The further misadventures of these extremely accident‐prone characters.
    • Jack and Jill and Old Dame Gill: Read It Who Will, They’ll Laugh Their Fill, 1806. (Internet Archive)
    • Jack and Jill, and Old Dame Gill, 1810. (Internet Archive)
    • Jack & Jill, and Old Dame Gill: Read It Who Will They’ll Laugh Their Fill, 1840. (Internet Archive)
    • The History of Jack and Jill, and Old Dame Gill, 1860. (Internet Archive)
  • “Little Jane’s Talk,” by Lydia Maria Child, The Juvenile Miscellany, vol. 4, no. 2, May 1828. (HathiTrust)
    • Reprinted as “Little Jane,” in Flowers for Children, part 2, 1844. (Internet Archive)
  • The Adventures of Jack & Jill and Old Dame Jill, [184‒?]. (Internet Archive)
  • Jack and Jill: For Old and Young, by L. A. Gobright, 1873. (Internet Archive)
  • Little Bo‐Peep; or, Harlequin Jack and Jill, by J. and H. Paneton, songs by W. M. Akhurst, 1875. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Jill,” sec. of “Goose à la Mode: Modern Versification on Ancient Themes,” by Elisabeth Cavazza, Portland Daily Press23 Nov. 1875. Reprinted in Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature, 1886. (Internet Archive)
  • Jack and Jill: A Village Story, by Louisa May Alcott, 1880. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Marriage of Santa Claus,” in The Reading Club and Handy Speaker: Being Serious, Humorous, Pathetic, Patriotic, and Dramatic Selections in Prose and Poetry, for Readings and Recitations, no. 9, ed. George Melville Baker, 1881. (Internet Archive)
  • “A New Jack & Jill,” by Margaret Johnson, St. Nicholas, vol. 11, no. 3, Jan. 1884. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Gill: Lengthened,” attributed to J. H. Hammond, in Sparkles for Bright Eyes, ed. Thomas W. Handford, 1887. (U. Florida)
  • “Jack and Jill,” by Charles Battell Loomis, The Independent, vol. 41, no. 2124, 15 Aug. 1889. (HathiTrust)
  • Jack and Jill: A Love Story, by W. E. Brown, 1891. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Jill,” by Bernard Capes, MacMillan’s Magazine, vol. 76, no. 452, June 1897. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Jack and Jill of the Sierras: A Story of the California Mines,” by Bret Harte, McClure’s Magazine, vol. 15, no. 3, July 1900. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Admirable Assertiveness of Jilted Jack,” in Mother Goose for Grown‐Ups, by Guy Wetmore Carryl, 1900. (Internet Archive)
  • Runaway Robinson, by Charles M. Snyder, 1901. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Children in the Moon,” in The Book of Nature Myths, by Florence Holbrook, 1902. (Internet Archive)
  • In Happy Far‐Away Land, by Ruth Kimball Gardiner from tales told by Frances Palmer Kimball, 1902. (Internet Archive)
  • “A Message to Mother Goose,” by Ellen Manly, St. Nicholas, vol. 32, no. 2, Dec. 1904. (Internet Archive)
  • Some Adventures of Jack & Jill, by Barbara Yechton, 1905. (Internet Archive)
  • Boy Blue and His Friends, by Etta Austin Blaisdell and Mary Frances Blaisdell, 1906. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Gill went up the hill,/In a coal‐oil buggy” (rhyme), in Mrs. Goose: Her Book, by Maurice Switzer, 1906. (HathiTrust)
  • “A Dream of Mother Goose,” by J. C. Marchant and S. J. Mayhew, “Scenes from Mother Goose,” by Harriette Wilbur, and “A Mother Goose Party,” by G. B. Bartlett, in A Dream of Mother Goose and Other Entertainments1908. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Gingerbread Boy,” in The Progressive Road to Reading, bk. 1, by Georgine Burchill, William L. Ettinger and Edgar Dubs Shimer, 1909. (HathiTrust) (Google Books)
  • “Jack and Jill” and “Little Bo‐Peep and Her Sheep,” in Rimes and Stories, by Lura Mary Eyestone, 1910. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Christmas Conspiracy: A Christmas Play for Boys and Girls,” by Elizabeth Woodbridge, St. Nicholas, vol. 39, no. 2, Dec. 1911, 163. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Jill/Sped up the hill” (rhyme), in The Bull Moose Mother Goose, by Sallie Macrum Cubbage, 1912. (HathiTrust)
  • Jack & Jill: A Fairy Story, by Greville MacDonald, 1913. (Internet Archive)
  • The Marriage of Jack and Jill: A Mother Goose Entertainment in Two Scenes, by Lilian Clisby Bridgham, 1913. (Internet Archive)
  • “Jack and Jill Go Fishing,” in Told by the Camp Fire, by F. H. Cheley, 1914. (HathiTrust)
  • “An Afternoon Call: A Rote Song,” in Second Year Music, by Hollis Dann, Hollis Dann Music Course, 1915. (HathiTrust)
  • Miss Muffet Lost and Found: A Mother Goose Play, by Katharine C. Baker, 1915. (HathiTrust)
  • The New Woman in Mother Goose Land: A Play for Children, by Edyth M. Wormwood, 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • The Modern Mother Goose: A Play in Three Acts, by Helen Hamilton, 1916. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Cost of Dying,” by J. Don. Tracy, The Union Postal Employe: Official Organ of the National Federation of Postal Employes, vol. 13, no. 11, Nov. 1917. (HathiTrust)
  • The Children Who Followed the Piper, by Padraic Colum, 1922. Appears to have been first published in the US. (Internet Archive)
  • The Strike Mother Goose Settled, by Evelyn Hoxie, 1922. (Internet Archive)
  • The Real Personages of Mother Goose, by Katherine Elwes Thomas, 1930. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. (HathiTrust)
  • “Jack and Jill went up the hill to see their men in action” (rhyme), testimony of Harvey Matusow before the Committee on Un‐American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty‐second Congress, second session, 7 Feb. 1952. (HathiTrust)
  • Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols, by Gertrude Jobes, 1962. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. Entries for Hyuki and Bil (p. 814), Jack and Jill (856), and Mashu and Mashtu (1072). (HathiTrust)
  • “Jack and Jill Cookies” (recipe), in Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book1963. In the public domain from failure to renew copyright. (HathiTrust)

Public domain movie appearance

Jack and Jill, by Gardner Hunting and Margaret Turnbull, dir. William Desmond Taylor, cin. Homer Scott, Paramount Pictures, 1917.


See Also

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.