Favourite Scottish Nursery Rhyme

Bookbug Week Celebrates Popular Songs & Rhymes in Scotland


Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, today reveals that Katie Bairdie is the most popular traditional Scottish nursery rhyme. Katie Bairdie has been listened to over 16,400 times on the Bookbug app, closely followed by another Scots nursery rhyme, Ally Bally, which has been listened to over 15,700 times.

The Bookbug app, which is free to download, hosts songs and rhymes that can be shared with families and carers. Over 400,000 songs and rhymes have been listened to in the app since launch at the end of January. These are also accessible through Scottish Book Trust’s website.


As part of Bookbug Week, the annual celebration of Scotland’s national book-gifting programme and song and rhyme sessions, Scottish Book Trust can reveal the top five traditional nursery rhymes in Scotland are:

  1. Pop A Little Pancake

  2. Katie Bairdie

  3. Ally Bally

  4. Wheels on the Bus

  5. Five Little Monkeys

Modern nursery rhymes are also popular: Sprog Rock’s Nursery Rap is the second most listened to song on the Bookbug App, with over 17,800 plays.


For Bookbug Week, 40 new songs have been added to the Bookbug App, including The Jeely Piece Song, If You’re Happy and You Know It and Tiny Tim the Turtle. New Gaelic content has also been added, including Halò a h-uile duine, Ciamar a tha thu? and Sùilean, Cluasan, Sròn is Beul. As well as music, the app provides lyrics so families can sing along with the songs and rhymes, and some also have videos demonstrating actions.


Sharing stories, songs and rhymes with children has many wonderful benefits, including developing their language skills, allowing time to cuddle and bond, and encourages relaxation. Scottish Book Trust offers free song & rhyme Bookbug Sessions across Scotland, which take place all year round. You can find your local session on the Bookbug app or on Scottish Book Trust’s website.


The Bookbug app has recently been shortlisted for the Demonstrating Digital category in the Scottish Charity Awards, and has also been recognised as a finalist for the Digital Leaders 100 Digital Charity of the Year.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“We’re delighted that the Bookbug app has been so popular with parents and carers, as demonstrated by over 12,000 downloads since January. Integrating songs and rhymes into your daily routine is a fantastic way to bond with your child, and also helps develop language skills. We hope parents and carers across Scotland with enjoy the new content on the Bookbug app, whether in English, Scots or Gaelic.”


Funded by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, Bookbug is Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years Programme. The Bookbug programme encourages mums, dads and carers to sing and share stories with their children from birth. It gives every child in Scotland four free bags of books in their first 5 years, gifting 800,000 books every year. Bookbug also runs regular free story, song and rhyme events in libraries, shopping centres and other community venues which attracted audiences of over 660,000 parents and children in 2017-18



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