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Jack be Nimble


Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
Jack jump over the candlestick.

A traditional skipping rhyme chanted while jumping the rope. Its roots are in 18th century England and the words are believed to refer to the English pirate, Captain John Rackham, better known as Calico Jack. He always managed to keep one step ahead of the authorities and thus avoid capture.

Over the centuries candle leaping gradually superseded the ancient rural practice of bonfire jumping, which was very popular at country markets and fairs. Good luck was thought to attend anyone who could clear the candle without extinguishing the flame.  Don’t even go there, I can read your minds, and please don’t try this at home (do it in someone else’s house!)

It is also linked with lace makers who used special candle lamps to magnify their work during the darkest months of the year. You’ll find our “Jack” rabbit leaping away up in the top right-hand corner of the chart.

Comes to you via email with a hop and a skip straight to your inbox as a perfect little pdf to download at your leisure.

  • Area in stitches: 320 x 313
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