Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Wynken, Blynken and Nod (a Singable Book)

Posted on: March 14, 2010

“Wynken, Blynken and Nod” is a classic poem by Eugene Field, also known as “The Children’s Poet,” and Lucy Simon (sister of Carly and a terrific songwriter in her own right) set it to music.

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Poem by Eugene Field
Music by Various Artists (Including Carly and Lucy Simon)
Illustrated by David McPhail

The last page of Daivd McPhail’s illustration of this poem sports a tiny monograph about how Eugene Field came to write “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.”  I am grateful when books include these illuminations, enriching the experience of the readers, singers, and listeners.

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Poem by Eugene Field
Music by Various Artists (Including Carly and Lucy Simon)
Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Giselle Potter’s illustrations have a bold clarity to them.  The pictures are beautiful and make the poem easy to understand and follow.
The last page of this book has a note from the illustrator with thoughts about the poem, Eugene Field and how she came to create the pictures.  In this note, Giselle Potter mentions that the poem reminded her of the French silent movie “A Trip to the Moon.”

“A Trip to the Moon” (or “Le Voyage dans la lune”), a French silent film from 1902, on YouTube.com:

At the bottom of this YouTube post, you can read a fascinating note with historical information about the clip.

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Poem by Eugene Field
Music by Various Artists (Including Carly and Lucy Simon)
Illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Poem by Eugene Field
Music by Various Artists (Including Carly and Lucy Simon)
Illustrated by Susan Jeffers

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
Poem by Eugene Field
Music by Various Artists (Including Carly and Lucy Simon)
Illustrated by Johanna Westerman

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The Lobster Quadrille (and Other Poems for Children)
Edited by Lucy Simon
Illustrated by Susan Bennett
(“Wynken, Blynken and Nod” can be found on pages 10-13)

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This book compliments Lucy and Carly Simon’s Album,

http://www.amazon.com/Sing-Songs-Children-Carly-Simon/dp/B001I1SFRA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268410711&sr=1-1\
“Wynken, Blynken and Nod” is on Track 1.

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WYNKEN BLYNKEN AND NOD is featured in:

Poetry Speaks to Children

Edited by Elise Paschen
Illustrated by Judy Love, Wendy Rasmussen, Paula Zinngrabe Wendland
(Comes with a CD of artists and authors reading the poems)

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This video includes the audio from Simon Sisters on The World of Folk Music, a radio show of Oscar Brand’s, October 6, 1960.  They sing “Wynken Blynken and Nod” and a french translation of “Blowin’ in the Wind,”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xdi6h8v62E

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Here, the Simon Sisters sing this song on the Phil Donahue Show in 1991.  Lucy Simon shared that this is the first song she ever wrote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsAR0Kc2zZs

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A YouTube of Simon Sisters’ coffee house performance of “Wynken, Blynken and Nod”.
The audio is crackly, but the mood is set, and it is fun to journey back to 60’s New York:

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Ginger Sands has included Lucy Simon’s musical setting of “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” on her terrific collection of Singable Poems “The Gift of Make Believe”.

Sands’ wonderful collection of children’s poetry set to music includes vocal and instrumental tracks for each poem.
The vocals for “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” are on Track 9.  The instrumental sing-along is found on Track 19.

Hear musical clips or buy the tracks at many online music sellers, including Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-of-Make-Believe/dp/B0019VU8QU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1267562676&sr=8-4

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Disney’s “Silly Symphony” 1938 short film version of “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”

The operatic musical setting of Eugen Field’s poem in this video is not Lucy Simon’s.

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Wynken, Blynken and Nod (Detail)
Maxfield Parrish (1905)

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“Wynken, Blynken and Nod” sculpture in Wellsboro, PA

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Read an excellent biography of Eugene Field on the Poetry Foundation’s website:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=2175

You can also read many of Eugene Field’s poems on the Poetry Foundation’s website:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/search.html?q=eugene+field

A nice tribute to Eugene Field and his poetry is found on Mama Lisa’s website’s Eugene Field page:
http://www.mamalisa.com/field/index.html

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WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD
By Eugene Field
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe-
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we?”
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea-
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish-
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam-
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea-
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is the wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

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Eugene Field

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Eugene Field (1850-1895), a beloved American writer of children’s poetry (and humorous essays, articles and prose for adults), wrote “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” in 1889.  This poem is so lyrical and evocative of the dreaming adventures of three children that it has inspired many illustrated renditions, musical settings, sculpture and art.

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Related Posts

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MOON
The moon in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/the-moon-in-singable-picture-books/

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CARLY SIMON
The Singable Picture Books of Carly Simon
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-singable-picture-books-of-carly-simon/

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OSCAR BRAND
Singable Picture Books (and Other Musical Treasures) of Oscar Brand
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/singable-picture-books-and-other-musical-treasures-of-oscar-brand/

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BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/blowin-in-the-wind-a-singable-picture-book/

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POETRY SINGABLE POETRY IN COMPILATIONS

An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/singable-poetry-a-list-of-poems-that-can-be-sung-from-illustrated-compilations-of-poetry-and-singable-picture-books/

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POETRY, SINGABLE POETRY IN INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of individually illustrated poems that have been set to music and can be sung
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/poems-individually-illustrated-spb/

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FAVORITE SINGABLES ON PINTEREST
Of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of choices, this list onPinterest displays the top blockbuster favorite Singable Picture Books that we warble together at Sing Books visits:
http://pinterest.com/singbooksemily/

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I Found Other “Wynken Blynken and Nod” Performances by Simon Sisters on YouTube
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/i-found-other-wynken-blynken-and-nod-performances-by-simon-sisters-on-youtube/

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OSCAR BRAND
Singable Picture Books (and Other Musical Treasures) of Oscar Brand
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/singable-picture-books-and-other-musical-treasures-of-oscar-brand/

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GISELLE POTTER
The Singable Picture Books of Giselle Potter
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/giselle-potter-spbs/

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OCEANS AND SEAS
A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate the Oceans and Seas
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/songs-of-the-oceans-and-seas/

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LULLABIES IN SINGLE SONG SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/illustrated-lullabies-in-single-singable-picture-books/

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LULLABIES: ILLUSTRATED LULLABIES IN COMPILATIONS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/illustrated-lullabies-in-compilations/

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STARS
Stars, a List of Illustrated Songs that Celebrate Stars
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/stars-a-list-of-illustrated-songs-that-celebrate-stars/

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1 Response to "Wynken, Blynken and Nod (a Singable Book)"

What a great post! Thank you!

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