Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Nursery Rhyme- Lyrics, History, Video, Lesson Plans & More

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, is a classic children’s action rhyme. What makes it one of the most adorable songs is the mention of the teddy bear, which most people consider cute.

How did the song come about, though? Did it originate from someone loving their teddy bear and wishing it could do some things?

Teddy Bear Running In Field With Sun shining

Let’s find out.


Teddy Bear Teddy Bear is an Action song. The actions are fairly self-explanatory and children can follow along and do the actions as they are sung.

Lyrics for Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear as Sung Today

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Touch the ground.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Tie your shoes.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
That will do.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Go upstairs.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Say your prayers.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn out the light.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Say good night.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Shake your hips.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Blow a kiss.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Jump up high.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
See me smile.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Give a hug.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Lots of love.

As you can see above, the sign can include telling the bear to do almost any action you want. That makes it one of the best action songs for kids and adults.

Full Original Lyrics for Teddy Bear Teddy Bear

The Teddy Bear song has numerous versions, making it hard to trace the original lyrics. We know the song as it is sung today. It hasn’t grown and undergone several changes ever since it was first written.

 It seems like a song people woke up one day and found with us.


Who Came Up with the Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Nursery Rhyme?

Nobody knows who came up with the song Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. The song has been around for years, but little is known about it. There are even reports the song has roots in the 1920s.

However, all these are purely theories, and there’s no way we can prove them. The most likely source of rhyme could have been its inclusion in the Mother Goose Book. The book has nursery rhymes dating back to the 13th century.

Nobody knows who or what inspired the writing of the song. The song relates to another song of the same name by Don Earl and Nick Nixon.

It is a famous country music song but does not relate to children’s rhyme. So, we can’t say the country song influenced the making of the famous nursery rhyme.

But if the song is entertaining, should we care whether it has obscure origins? I bet not.


What Does the Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Song Mean?

The Teddy Bear song is an action song depicting different simple actions for children to engage in. Therefore, it is safe to say the song has no deeper meaning in the actions.

There’s little chance the song was written to convey a deeper meaning. It could have been someone who loved singing to their teddy bear. Teddy bears are rather cute, right?

So don’t sweat it trying to understand the words behind the famous rhyme. Sorry if you expect the song to have a dark interpretation, like some nursery rhymes.

Is the Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear a Nonsense Song?

Though Teddy Bear has some actions that would sound strange to ask a stuffed bear to perform, it doesn’t qualify as a nonsense rhyme.

A nonsense song or rhyme comprises words or phrases that make no sense. The perfect example of one such song is Hey Diddle which has several lines of words that don’t make any sense.

Lines in the Teddy Bear song make sense, even if asking them about a Teddy Bear seems strange. We don’t struggle much to explain the meaning of the words in the Teddy Bear song.

That’s what distinguishes the song from other nonsense rhymes. It is a song that blurs the line between nonsense rhymes and songs that make sense.

What is a Teddy Bear?

A teddy bear is a cute stuffed bear toy adored by many people.  So loveable are teddy bears; they’ve even enabled the rise of a phrase. To be a teddy bear is a phrase that means to be lovable or endearing.


Picture of child in deep thought

Do Teddy Bears Move Or Perform Actions?

Of course, having a teddy bear move, turn around, or touch its toes is impossible. It could have been cute to have a talking, moving teddy bear like the little bear in the Ted Movies, right?

Unfortunately, that’s impossible. And there aren’t any bears that can do all the actions from the song. That’s unless you need someone to wear a bear’s costume and have them perform the said actions.

Did the Universal Love for Teddy Bears Influence the Writing of this Song?

It could have. Children and most adults love teddy bears, especially if they’re squishy. Therefore, there’s a chance the love for cute and cuddly toys could have something to do with the writing of the Teddy Bear Song.

The lovable toy inspired many other songs. A striking example is the 1973 single written by Don Earl and Nick Nixon.

That’s not the only thing that has something to do with teddy bears. There are films, other songs, and even books about Teddy Bears. We are glad the creator of the Teddy Bear song did jump on the bandwagon; otherwise, we wouldn’t have such a fantastic song.

What Lessons Can the Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Song Teach?

The Teddy Bear Song has a multisensory approach to teaching children most other songs wouldn’t manage. That’s because it is an action rhyme that involves different actions, from fingerplay to actual movement.

Besides teaching body awareness, rhythmic proficiency, social skills, and coordination, it can also improve children’s motor skills. Plus, there’s the simple matter of the song being quite entertaining.

One of the most common ways to play the song with children is to have one of them act as the teddy bear in the song. They then mimic whatever actions sang in the song.

So, as you can see, it’s all benefits singing this song, do try it sometimes.

Is the Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Song in the Public Domain?

The Teddy Bear Song is in the public domain. No one has the copyright to the song, and if you want to use the song in your work, you can.

(Disclaimer: This is a general–not a legally confirmed fact, and you need to do more research into the laws in your jurisdiction/country to ensure you have the right to use this song)

Today, anything published or copyrighted before 1925 is considered public domain, and the Teddy Bear song has roots in the early 1920s. By that rule, you can use the song in your work without infringing on someone’s copyrights.

But this does not apply to other people’s versions of it – for example, if you made a CD of you singing the Teddy Bear Song, your version is not public domain, and I cannot resell it.

Can You Sing the Teddy Bear Song in Sign Language?

Yes, you can Sing the Teddy Bear Song in Sign Language. With the many actions in the song, it is easy to sign the song Teddy Bear song and entertain children.



What Time Signature is the Teddy Bear Song?

The Teddy Bear song has a time signature of 4/4 and is played at 92 beats per minute, depending on which tune you’re singing.


You can play the Teddy Bear Song on several instruments. Have a look at the below resources to see how to do that.


Samantha Bellerose has a Bachelor of Education as well as a Diploma in Performing Arts. She is a mom to four children and is passionate about education and learning. Samantha created Nursery Rhyme Central as the go to place for parents, teachers and carers about all things to do with Nursery Rhymes. She is also the Main Author and creator for websites Dance Parent 101 and Move Dance Learn, where she shares her knowledge and expertise for dance and learning through movement.

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