Cold and Raw the North Winds Blow

Cold and raw the north winds blow
Bleak in the morning early,
All the hills are covered with snow,
And winter's now come fairly.

Cold and Raw the North Winds Blow


In the foggy mists of time, somewhere in the tapestry of England or Scotland's rich history, in the throes of the 18th century, the birth of this quaint nursery rhyme is surmised to have taken place. This charming rhyme, known as 'Cold and Raw the North Winds Blow', has been interwoven in numerous compilations of nursery rhymes, celebrated in the likes of Mother Goose and The Real Mother Goose.


This humble rhyme, in its deceptive simplicity, paints a vivid picture of the biting and unforgiving north winds, famous for their icy and raw gusts. It often serves as a lyrical vehicle to acquaint young minds with the changing rhythm of seasons and the might of Mother Nature. Yet, some scholars delve deeper, suggesting hidden meanings ensconced within its lines. They speculate a commentary on the grim economic conditions prevalent during its inception, or an allegorical representation of the toils of the labouring class amid the throes of the Industrial Revolution.

Children's Activities

Children may delight in learning this rhyme, enacting it in a melodrama of gestures and movements. Their imaginative play may burst forth, crafting projects that pay homage to the rhyme, such as a mobile that captures the north wind's bluster and other facets of the natural world.

This modest nursery rhyme has kindled the creative flame in many a writer, poet, and musician. Among them, the revered T.S. Eliot, who found inspiration within its lines for his illustrious poem, "The Waste Land". The rhyme's appeal transcends borders, finding a home in many cultures across the globe, its charm undiminished in several translated languages.