Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young’ of 1890.
“Sing a Song of Sixpence” is a favourite nursery rhyme; but every child who knows it probably thinks it is a rhyme and nothing more. It has a meaning, however, of a very beautiful kind. and I am sure you will be delighted with it.The twenty-four blackbirds are said to represent the twenty-four hours of the day.The bottom of the pie is supposed to be the world, and the top crust the sky. When the pie is opened day breaks, and the birds begin to sing; and then such a sight becomes a “dainty dish to set before the king.” The King counting money in his chamber is the sun, and the golden coins he so lovingly handles are golden sunbeams. The Queen in her parlour is the moon; and, of course, the honey represents moonlight. The busy maid in the garden is the peep of the day, the clothes which she hangs out are clouds, and the blackbirds that takes such a liberty with her nose is the sunset. And thus in the homily and prosaic figure of a pie we have a representation of a whole day.’