Monday, March 14, 2011

I Is For Itsy Bitsy Spider

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is I. I is for Itsy Bitsy Spider. The nursery rhyme Itsy Bitsy Spider was first published in 1910. The origin of this nursery rhyme isn't documented.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

Jim Carrey appeared in an animated short titled Itsy Bitsy Spider that was released in 1992. The Itsy Bitsy Spider was eventually made into an animated series, which aired on the USA Network.

The best rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider I have seen is this wacky 15 second version.

My second favorite version is the Carly Simon version from her Coming Around Again album.

It is not common knowledge that Itsy Bitsy Spider is actually an allegory of the struggle of the lower classes. To help you understand the true meaning of the song, here is an analysis of the characters involved.

The Spider - represents the proletariat and his ongoing struggle against the bourgeoisie

The Waterspout - represents the myth of equality and the American Dream. The spider continues to doggedly scale the waterspouts heights, only to be denied the fruits of his hard work

The Rain - represents the bourgeoisie, impeding the progress of the spider, and standing between him and his ultimate goal of true freedom and equality.

The Sun - represent the easing of difficult living and working conditions. It provides false hope for the spider, prolonging his struggle

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks installment of ABC Wednesday. See you next week!


  1. Cute videos and song; really deep character analysis! Proletariat? Bourgeoisie? Struggles of the lower classes? Sounds a bit Communist Manifesto-ish.

  2. hunh I never knew that I just enjoyed the little rhyme and thought it was fun for kids to pretend with it.

  3. ee dear me the sun as a symbol of false hope - not quite heard that angle before but certainly many nursery rhymes are political parodies.

  4. I enjoyed this post, Richie! Many, if not most, of the nursery rhymes we grew up with had political origins and hidden messages. For instance, "Ring around the Rosy" is said to be describing the bubonic plague that swept London after the Great Fire of 1666.

  5. I didn't know that about it being poitical. But it is a cute post.

  6. My, my, my.. I did not know all the history behind such a cute little song. Nice choice for I day.

  7. I like the sun coming out part!!
    Thank you for the explanation.
    Sang this so many times in play school, many decades ago!!

  8. This is fascinating! It's one of my favourite little ditties to sing to my grandchildren, but I never knew about the "true" meaning of the song. Makes sense! And that little girl - "squish it!" Made me laugh so hard! :D

    ABCW Team

  9. I had no idea the song was an allogory. Very interesting and certainly makes sense.
    I love Carly Simons rendition of the song. Very catchy.
    I remember singing this with my boys and with my granddaughters too.

  10. love it, what a fun take.

    love the song, beautiful images shared, smiles.

  11. I grew up in England where the rhyme was
    'Incy wincy spider, climbing up the drain'
    A few of the other words are also different.
    Jane x

  12. I sang this with my children with more complete set of motions that were never all illustrated here. I loved the Carly Simon version even without those missing hand and arm gestures. The whole post left me smiling - including the interpretation, which I can relate to.

  13. You bring back many memories of the days I used to sing this along with my small children, complete with actions, - they loved it. So many old nursery rhymes were politically inspired.

  14. Very funny, maybe the spider has a dream.

  15. I own a recording - live, I think of Carly singing that!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  16. Interesting!

    Please come and see my ABC Wednesday post, thanks!

  17. What an education....and I thought it was just a cute children's song all of my grandchildren and I have sung.

  18. It's certainly an allegory about struggle and persistence, isn't it? I knew a slightly different version; in England it was taught to very young children as a hand game in a simpler form.

    Itsy Bitsy spider climbing up the spout
    Down came the rain and washed the spider out
    Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
    Itsy Bitsy spider climbing up the spout again!

  19. HOW WONDERFULLLLLL! I just loved this visit. I will come again soon. Thank you, thank you!