Jack and Jill (sometimes “Jack and Gill“, particularly in earlier versions) is a traditional English nursery rhyme.
The original rhyme dates back to the 18th century and different numbers of verses were later added, each with variations in the wording. Throughout the 19th century new versions of the story were written featuring different incidents. A number of theories continue to be advanced to explain the rhyme’s historical origin.
The phrase “Jack and Jill” existed earlier in England to indicate a boy and girl as a generic pair. It is so used, for example, in the proverb “Every Jack (shall/must) have his Jill”, to which there are references in two plays by William Shakespeare dating from the 1590s. The compress of vinegar and brown paper to which Jack resorted after his fall was a common home cure used to heal bruises.
A musical arrangement of the rhyme Charles Burney was published in 1777. But the melody commonly associated with the rhyme was first recorded with the three stanza version by the composer and nursery lore collector James William Elliott in his National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs in 1870.
Jack And Jill is a great song for children to feel and perform the beat in 6/8 time.
This song has a range of over an octave, using the tones d r m f s l d’ r’ m’.
Younger children love to act out the song. One group can sing the song whilst another group/pair does the acting of the lyrics.
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