A mother's words to a typical boy child in this poem Diddle Diddle Dumpling!
No origins in history can be found for Diddle Diddle Dumpling - it is merely a nonsense rhyme probably made popular and handed down from generation to generation owing to the popularity of the name John (Diddle Diddle Dumpling my son John). It is an interesting fact that this is the only old rhyme that uses the name John - all of the older poems use the colloquialism for John i.e. Jack.
John of Gaunt
Picture of a famous 'John' from English history. A Plantagenet prince, the rich and powerful John of Gaunt (1340 - 1399). His liaison with a commoner called Katherine Swynford produced four illegitimate children who were given the name Beaufort (He married Katherine in 1396 and their children, by this time adults, were legitimised). Their son John was the Great-Great Grandfather of King Henry VIII of England.
Diddle Diddle Dumpling Poem
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John!
Diddle Diddle Dumpling poem