The Cat and the Fiddle
The Cat and the Fiddle: A Nursery Rhyme Undone and its Scandalous Secret Unlocked is a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien expanding upon the nursery rhyme The Cat and the Fiddle and published in October/November 1923 within Yorkshire Poetry Vol. 2 No. 19. It was reprinted in The Return of the Shadow.
George MacDonald had composed The True History of the Cat and the Fiddle (published in At the Back of the North Wind) in which he combined the nursery rhymes Hey Diddle Diddle and The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon. George Burke Johnston suggested that Tolkien was inspired by that poem.
Steven M. Deyo says the poem is based on the "Harley manuscript poem 2253".
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: VIII. Arrival at Bree, Note on the Songs at the Prancing Pony: (ii) The Cat and the Fiddle" (pp. 145-7)
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Preface"
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Commentary"
- Steven M. Deyo (1986), "Niggle's Leaves: The Red Book of Westmarch and Related Minor Poetry of J.R.R. Tolkien", Mythlore 12 (3), Article 8
- Tom Shippey (1982), The Road to Middle-Earth (Third ed.), HarperCollins, pp. 41–42.