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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Rhyme

Posted November 14, 2011 to photo album "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Rhyme"

The nursery rhyme that is used in the title of the spy thriller TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY has its own backstory and mystery.

The Mystery of “Tinker, Tailor…”
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Pawn
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Singer
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Wife
AA Milne Picks up the Rhyme
Modern Tinkers and Tailors
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Singer

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Singer

When these job titles reappeared in a ballad sung in William Congreve’s 1695 comedy “Love for Love,” the list had moved from morality and chess to less high-minded suggestions. Performed with music by composer John Eccles, the song became a popular ditty. Here the professions, rather than being solid trade guilds, each had a taint of impropriety. Indeed the tinker, who was in essence a roving merchant, had become stock popular figure, not unlike our modern traveling salesman.

A soldier and a sailor,
A tinker and a tailor,
Had once a doubtful strife, sir,
To make a maid a wife, sir,
Whose name was buxom Joan