Rhymes trivia quiz
nursery rhyme lyrics & origins
rhymes trivia quiz

Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

Two little dicky birds
(Fly away Peter, fly away Paul)

Just a Child's Nursery Rhyme


This nursery rhyme or poem is unusual as although the poem only has four lines there are two titles for it - the obvious 'Two little dicky birds' and the more obscure 'Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul'! An explanation for this could be the actions which accompany the words of Two little dicky birds! The imitation of a bird flying away is a very pronounced action and would there stay in the mind of a child - this action accompanies the words "Fly away Peter, fly away Paul". The origin for the term 'dicky bird' cannot be traced but term is passed down from generation via 'baby talk'!

*Our thanks go to Steph Tarling, from Southampton, England, for the visual trick instructions detailed at the bottom of the page.

two little dicky birds

Two Little Dicky Birds poem
AKA Fly away Peter fly away Paul

Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul!

Two Little Dicky Birds Visual Trick
* This rhyme is always accompanied by a visual trick, usually carried out by an adult. I have played this trick on many different children, including those outside the UK and the effect has always been the same: total disbelief and amazement. One child climbed on my back, to see where I had hidden the mysterious birds.
1) The adult places both palms down flat.
2) Each index finger has a small strip of paper wrapped around the end, stuck there by spit.
3) Two little dicky birds - the index fingers dance up and down
4) One named Peter - the left is raised
5) One named Paul - the right is raised
6) Fly away Peter - the left hand is waved around the back of the head and the index finger quickly bent into the palm to hide it, and the hand brought back to the front like so to its starting position. The child never notices.
7) Fly away Paul - the same manipulation with the right hand.
8) Come back Peter - the hand is whisked around the head again and the index finger unbent, brought back to the front revealing the dicky bird.
9) Come back Paul - the same with the right hand.
Result: Astonishment. Never fails.

Thank you Steph!

Two Little Dicky Birds poem
AKA Fly away Peter fly away Paul


Note: A Rhymes lyrics and the perceived origins of some Nursery Rhymes vary according to location


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Written By Linda Alchin