Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Song Lyrics

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Song Lyrics

Earlier songs, rhymes, poems, and lullabies were used to be a great source to teach the kids some mathematical rules. You may find several rhymes that were used as a base for learning some tricks. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Song is one of such nursery rhymes that are still used as a gaming song to teach counts. The song was traditionally played in England to count the numbers of buttons, cherry stones, and petals. The song was also played as a foretelling song in England.

The rhymes propose the best way to synchronize the order of the professions and the personality type that one should have in the future or be like the one.

In this foretelling song, one sings out the question asking for the profession of another companion is like to be in the future. Then the answer is given in a series of actions like:


“How shall I get to church?

Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.”


Origin of the Tinker Tailor Song


The rhymes of the song were first collected by James Orchard Halliwell in 1840. The lines of that version follow to be different from what we have learned as in the modern version. One of the song’s versions was printed in Games and Songs of American Children in 1883. Since historical times, the American version follows to be the only one that was printed by William Wells Newell.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Song Lyrics

(Complete Version of the Song- a version by Cherry Stones)


Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,

Or what about a cowboy, policeman, jailer, engine driver, or a pirate chief?

Or what about a ploughman or a keeper at the zoo,

Or what about a circus man who lets the people through?

Or the man who takes the pennies on the roundabouts and swings,

Or the man who plays the organ or the other man who sings?

Or what about the rabbit man with rabbits in his pockets

And what about a rocket man who’s always making rockets?

Oh it’s such a lot of things there are and such a lot to be

That there’s always lots of cherries on my little cherry tree.

Modern Version of the Song

Tinker, Tailor,

Soldier, Sailor,

Rich Man, Poor Man,

Beggar Man, Thief.

American Version of the Song

Rich Man, Poor Man,

Beggar Man, Thief,

Doctor, Lawyer, (or “Merchant”)

Indian Chief.


Here a version of Tinker tailor is also provided which is often sung by young girls who predict their future, full of beautiful dreams.

When shall I marry?

This year, next year, sometime, never.

What will my husband be?

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich-man, poor-man, beggar-man, thief.

What will I be?

Lady, baby, gypsy, queen.

What shall I wear?

Silk, satin, cotton, rags (or silk, satin, velvet, lace) (or silk, satin, muslin, rags) [4]

How shall I get it?

Given, borrowed, bought, stolen.

How shall I get to church?

Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.

Where shall I live?

Big house, little house, pig-sty, barn.



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