Humpty Dumpty – Music Sheet, Tabs and Chords

humpty dumpty nursery rhyme

Humpty Dumpty is very well-known nursery rhyme in the English-speaking world where the character is called Humpty Dumpty. He is often described and illustrated as an anthropomorphic egg but not explicitly described as such in the rhyme because it may have been originally posed as a riddle of an anthropomorphic egg. In this free lesson we will learn about the origin and history of the song and how to play it on the guitar. There are different ways to play it and we will start first with fingerpicking version and then we will learn how to play it with chords! We also provide you some free PDF downloads like the sheet music for your practicing or lessons.

History and Origin of Humpty Dumpty

The origin of Humpty Dumpty as a term and as a nursery rhymes goes back a long time in history and there are several theories. Regarding the term Humpty Dumpty, one states that hat Humpty Dumpty characterized King Richard III of England, depicted as humpbacked in Tudor histories and particularly in Shakespeare’s play. Another interesting theory comes from the city of Colchester. They state that the origin of the rhyme is linked to a cannon used by the Royalist defenders in the siege of 1648. Back then, Colchester was a walled town and the story states that the large cannon was called Humpty Dumpty and was strategically placed on the water. However, a shot from a cannon of the enemy succeeded in damaging the wall beneath Humpty Dumpty, which caused the cannon to tumble to the ground. The Royalists (“all the King’s men”) attempted to raise Humpty Dumpty on to another part of the wall, but the cannon was so heavy that “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again”. There are also other theories, which can be further studied on Wikipedia.

The earliest version of the song has been published in 1797 with different lyrics. In the 19th century Humpty Dumpty has become a very popular nursery rhyme character The American actor George L. Fox (1825–77) integrated the character in stage productions of pantomime versions, music, and rhyme. Later, Humpty Dumpty also appears as a character in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass in 1871 as par of Alice in Wonderland. 

The lyrics we use today for the nursery rhyme exists at least since 1954. Today, the Humpty Dumpty is also a common literary allusion, especially to refer to a person in an insecure position, something that would be difficult to reconstruct once broken, or a short and fat person.

Tabs for Humpty Dumpty

guitar playing several strings

You can play the song either by fingerpicking or strumming. What do you prefer? We think both versions are worth exploring and both version match together. This means, that if you are two guitar players, one of you can fingerpick the melody and the other one can strum the chords. Here are the tabs for Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpy - Guitar Tabs

Below is a recording of how it should sound. You can play along and if it’s too fast, just slow it down.

Chords and Lyrics for Humpty Dumpty

If you want to sing and play simultaneously the song then playing it with chords is a must. There are different ways to play this song by chords but we want to start with an easy version, which is also easy to sing for most of us. That’s why we like to play in the key of A.

The chords that you need for the Humpty Dumpy are the basic chords A, D and E.

Here are the chord diagrams for the required chords:

A Chord Guitar
D Chord Guitar
E Chord Guitar

If you already master these chords and you can easily change between them then you are good to go for playing the song by chords. Otherwise, practice first the chords and try to play the sequence A-D-E with simple down strums until you can play without any big difficulties

Remember, as a beginner we should start slowly. So, we just do a down strum on every chord strum. This gives us enough time for changing between chords without worrying too much about strumming. Also, singing is much easier in the beginning if you just do one down strum on every chord change. Once you master it, you can apply a simple strumming pattern.

AHumpty DDumpty Esat on a Awall,
Humpty DDumpty Ahad a great fEall.
AAll the king‘s Dhorses
and Eall the king‘s Amen
couldn’t put DHumpty
toEgether aAgain.
Make your Lessons more Fun!
Easy Chord Sheets designed for Kids
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coloring pages guitar chords
Make your Lessons more Fun!
Easy Chord Sheets designed for Kids
coloring pages guitar chords

Music Sheet and Tabs for Humpty Dumpty

If you know how to read sheet music, then you this is the right things for you. It tells you everything about a piece of music, such as pitches and rhythms. If you don’t know how to read sheet music, Humpty Dumpty might be a good song to start with because it’s a pretty easy song.

Humpty Dumpty - Guitar Sheet Music

Printables for Humpty Dumpty

If you prefer practicing or learning with a printed out copy of the chords version, tabs or sheet music, feel free to download them as PDF!

Humpty Dumpy - Guitar Free PDF Download

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