1982 : The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection

Various Artists

01 : Title Theme / Humpty Dumpty / Mary Mary Quite Contrary / Jack and Jill / Goosey Goosey Gander / Girls and Boys Come Out To Play / Ring A Ring O’ Roses
John Du Prez, Children of Britannia Row, Martin Carthy & Floella Benjamin

02 : Title Theme / This Is The Way The Ladies Ride / Ride a Cock Horse / Dance To Your Daddy / One, Two, Buckle My Shoe / 1,2,3,4,5
Isla St Clair, Martin Carthy, Rob Turnbull & Children of Britannia Row

03 : Title Theme / Simple Simon / Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be / Hot Cross Buns / Over The Hills and Far Away / Tom Tom the Piper’s Son
Mike Berry, Floella Benjamin, Children of Britannia Row, Martin Carthy & Isla St Clair

04 : Title Theme / The Grand Old Duke of York / Little Boy Blue / Hey Diddle Diddle / Aiken Drum
John Du Prez, Isla St Clair, Shirley Collins, Martin Carthy & Children of Britannia Row

05 : Title Theme / Lucy Locket / Wee Willie Winkie / Georgie Porgie / Little Bo Beep / Little Miss Muffet / Doctor Foster / Old King Cole
Floella Benjamin, Valentine Dyall, Children of Britannia Row, Mike Berry & Martin Carthy

06 : Title Theme / Yankee Doodle / Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush / Soldier Soldier / Pop Goes The Weasel
Mike Berry, Children of Britannia Row, Bev Sage & John Du Prez

07 : Title Theme / It’s Raining It’s Pouring / There Was A Crooked Man* / Ding Dong Bell / Old Macdonald
Children of Britannia Row, Valentine Dyall & John Du Prez

08 : Title Theme / The House That Jack Built / There Was A Farmer / Baa Baa Black Sheep / This Little Piggy / To Market To Market*
Valentine Dyall, Children of Britannia Row, Percy Edwards, Floella Benjamin, Martin Carthy & Shirley Collins

09 : Title Theme / Pat-A-Cake / Little Jack Horner / Pease Porridge Hot / Jack Spratt / Taffy Was A Welshman [not on CD/download versions] / Sing A Song of Sixpence / Little Tommy Tucker* / Polly Put The Kettle On / Hickory Dickory Dock / Three Blind Mice
Isla St Clair, Martin Carthy, Children of Britannia Row, Floella Benjamin, Mike Milburn-Foster & Shirley Collins

10 : Title Theme / A Was An Apple Pie* / Mary Had A Little Lamb* / See-Saw Margery Daw / I Love Little Pussy / Monday’s Child / There Was A Little Girl
Floella Benjamin, Valentine Dyall, Children of Britannia Row & Isla St Clair

11 : Title Theme / I Had A Little Nut Tree / Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat / Oranges and Lemons / London Bridge / London’s Burning
Shirley Collins, Bev Sage, Valentine Dyall, Martin Carthy, Isla St Clair & Children of Britannia Row

12 : Title Theme / The Twelve Days of Christmas
All Soloists & Children

13 : Title Theme / There Was An Old Woman / Come Let’s To Bed / Diddle Diddle Dumpling / Bye Baby Bunting / Old Mother Hubbard / Hush-A-Bye Baby / The North Wind Doth Blow / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Title Theme
Floella Benjamin, Children of Britannia Row, Mike Berry, Isla St Clair, Shirley Collins & Valentine Dyall

Digital Booklet (digital download version)


First issued on video in VHS PAL format under the title “Nursery Rhymes” 1982 by Longman SLL 5001 and by Carlton Visual Entertainment 30073 40203

Soundtrack released on vinyl LP in the UK under the title “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” 1983 by Super Tempo Records STMP 9031

Video re-issued on video in VHS NTSC format in the US and Canada circa September 1991 by Lions Gate Entertainment / Universal 012232403238

Soundtrack re-issued on CD and digital download under the title “The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection” by Ocean Music, 26 October 2010, Cat. No. 20103

Video version re-issued on DVD and digital download by Ocean Music, circa September 2011, Cat. No. 20104

Sleeve notes:

The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection began life as the Longmans Nursery Rhymes Video (1982) and the music for this CD is derived from its soundtrack. It was a remarkable project. The performers, musicians and creators were all exceptional in their fields. The aim was to present the traditional nursery rhymes and songs in an entertaining and imaginative way but true to their historic roots and without the cheap commercialization often present in children’s music. Each delightful piece was approached on its own terms. Some are unaccompanied, others have a simple piano setting. Old King Cole (which references the court music of Charles II) has a Baroque arrangement, The Grand Old Duke of York a military band, Little Boy Blue dreamy French horns and so forth. The vocal performances are all clear and authentic and the choice of instruments often surprising. We now know that the old traditional rhymes and songs are very important in helping children to develop their language skills and also to make sense of the world. We hope that this collection will play its part in keeping this rich tradition alive for many years to come.
John Du Prez (October 2010)


Featuring the voices of Isla St. Clair, Floella Benjamin, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Valentine Dyall, Bev Sage, John Du Prez & the Children of Britannia Row

Animal impressions by Percy Edwards
Philip Pickett: Recorders, Crumhorns, Raketts & Pipes
Leon Rosselson: Guitar & Banjo
Sandra Kerr: Concertina
John Du Prez: Piano, Harpsichord, Organ & Brass
Principals of the Philharmonia Orchestra


Original Title Theme by John Du Prez
All other tracks Traditional arranged by John Du Prez
Except * words: Traditional / music: John Du Prez
Published by Ocean Music Ltd © 1982

Recorded at Britannia Row Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Nick Griffiths Mastered by Larry Mah Produced by John Du Prez
Soundtrack derived from The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection DVD

Director : Mike Milburn-Foster
Music Director : John Du Prez
Producer : Dan Maddicott

Originally produced  by AB+C for Longman Group Ltd. 1982. Released by arrangement with Granada Ventures Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Additional note:

I previously listed the original release date as 1979 as this is the date given by a number of sources but I’ve yet to locate any firm evidence that either the original video or LP releases date from this year so I’ve amended and the date to 1982 in line with the  best available evidence.

The vinyl copy of the LP in my collection shows a release date of 1983, has the title “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” and is on the Super Tempo label with the catalogue number STMP 9031. The sleeve and label both bear the legend “based on the NURSERY RHYMES videocassette”, suggesting that the video version came first.

The Carthy Chronicles booklet gives the release date as 1979, the title as “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” and the catalogue number as Tempo 9031. Other than quoting the LP catalogue number it doesn’t mention an LP release at all  and only reproduces a video sleeve (shown in black & white above) which shows the title as “Nursery Rhymes”.

Shirley Collin’s authorised website gives the release date as 1979, the title as “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” and the catalogue number as Tempo STMP 9031. It doesn’t mention a video release and doesn’t reproduce any sleeve image.

Reinhard Zierke’s website lists multiple versions and gives the original LP release date as 1979, the title as “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” and the catalogue number as Tempo STMP 9031. The video release date is given as 1982 and the video sleeve reproduced has the title “Nursery Rhymes”. Later releases are shown under the current title “The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection”.

The final frame of the video shows the credit “© Longman Group Ltd 1982″ (see link to the YouTube playlist below) and the 2010 CD and digital download versions include the following note reproduced from John Du Prez:

The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection began life as the Longmans Nursery Rhymes Video (1982) and the music for this CD is derived from its soundtrack

… which clearly suggests that the 1982 Longman video release was the first version and there is no mention of a vinyl version or a 1979 release date.

The entire video is now available on YouTube:

23 Responses to 1982 : The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection

  1. Gary says:

    I’d love to get a DVD copy of 70 Golden Nursery Rhymes—Pickwick Videos—It is so superbly crafted. Do you know how I could get a copy? Thanks!

  2. lisa chung says:

    hi do you know of anywhere that would sell a copy of this video or copys of it on dvd as the nursery rhyme video,my brother had it when he was little 1987 i think and compared to all kids nursry dvds this one is the best by far my kids would love this ,hope you can help.lisa

  3. Emese says:

    Oh, THANK YOU for this, I have been trying to find the video for ages. I had my first child recentéy and during my entire pregnancy I have bene trying to gather the books, videos and stuff that I loved as a kid to share with her. This video is one of the determining memories of my childhood. The youtube version is not perfect but is better than nothing, i wish there was a re-relaease on DVD. I’d spend quite a lot on it.

  4. Yi-Peng Li says:

    I’m very pleased that John DuPrez has reissued this superb nursery rhyme record for future generations of children. However I do notice that the CD cuts out the rhyme Taffy was a Welshman, recited just before Sing a Song of Sixpence. Could Mr. DuPrez reinstate the cut rhyme, and hopefully include it on the video?

  5. Steve says:

    It took me a while to find this but I’m so glad I did. I grew up loving the video (on VHS) and now that I’m a dad I wanted it for my daughter. It would be nice if I could purchase this on DVD but I’m not sure if it’s available. If anyone has any idea about this, would you please post the info here. Thanks.

  6. Kevin Boyd says:

    For Steve and everyone else who asked, this is now available on DVD from Ocean Music: http://www.oceanmusic.co.uk/catalogue/classic-nursery-rhymes-collection/

  7. Rachel says:

    This sweet little video was a big part of my childhood… Thankyou! Just found the video and wondered if they were making dvd versions i was happy to find they did 🙂 http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Classic-Nursery-Rhymes-Collection/dp/B005LPMMSC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335687262&sr=8-1

  8. Lisa Wong says:


  9. stompgal87 says:

    I remember this video very fondly. Just watched it on LoveFilm Instant and the memories came flooding back. I’m happy that the collection has been re-issued on DVD.

  10. Timothy says:

    Thank you for the info; I’ve been looking for this everywhere!

  11. Sheelagh says:

    Thank you for releasing this on dvd; my children loved this when they were little and so did I. We all used to sing along to it. Now I have a granddaughter she can enjoy this too! Much better quality of music and visuals than any of the nursery rhyme dvds around now.

  12. Jacqueline West says:

    Hi…. I was in the video myself… I was 9 years old… I’m now 44…
    I was the red head in ” I love little pussy”..
    And also in the part with the lamb…
    Memories !!!!
    Jackie x

    • Molly M says:

      Jackie! You were cute as a button. My 19-month old son is just entranced by this video. Must have been such fun to be a part of

      • Jacqueline west says:

        Hi mollie
        Ohhhh i had an amazing time, I do wonder what all the children are doing now, all grown up. .
        I have the original video still… from way back then. …great memories… My children grew up watching the video and love it … jackie x

    • Terry says:

      Interesting, I was always a cat lover myself too growing up, still am. Yes, I think this video is what first introduced me to numerous nursery rhymes, some of which I see in a lot of places, some I don’t see anywhere, or they’re worded differently. Some of them a bit dark, a bit eerie. Some I still don’t even understand. Overall though, the video is a very interesting illustration of these age old rhymes conceived centuries ago.

  13. Barry Speed says:

    Dear all, I too grew up with this video and now want to pass it on to my grandson. But does anyone know how to find the original book, the one that was videoed with the pages being turned? Thank you to anyone who can help. Barry

  14. Tom Fletcher says:

    to the website members i remembered that video when i was a baby back in 1991 but now i’m 28 years old thanks ever so much

  15. Rachel Zitzow says:

    The DVD has actually been available in the USA since March 2012 and is still easily available on Amazon:

    The CD has never been available in the US but can be easily found on the UK site:

    Both the DVD & CD are available internationally as digital downloads on various streaming & download sites including Amazon.

  16. Yakub dawud says:

    I love it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: