When Good King Arthur Ruled His Land

When good King Arthur ruled his land
He was a goodly king;
He stole three pecks of barley meal
To make a bag-pudding.
A bag-pudding the king did make,
And stuffed it well with plums,
And in it put great lumps of fat
As big as my two thumbs.
The king and queen did eat thereof,
And noblemen beside,
And what they could not eat that night
The queen next morning fried.

When Good King Arthur Ruled His Land


When Good King Arthur Ruled His Land is a well-known nursery rhyme that originated in England in the 1930's. The lyrics of this classic rhyme tell the story of a King who reigned in a powerful kingdom. The phrase “ When good King Arthur ruled his land” is thought to reference the legendary King Arthur from medieval British folklore. Many hold the conviction that King Arthur, a formidable and influential sovereign, valiantly championed the cause of justice, shaping the destiny of the realm he governed with unwavering resolve. This song has passed through generations and remains today as a favorite nursery rhyme among children.


Most people believe that the rhyme is simply a nursery rhyme and does not have much meaning beyond having a nice story. Yet, some think the rhyme has a deeper, hidden meaning beyond its simple appearance. This secret meaning is thought to refer to the declining power of the nobility in England, from the medieval period through to the early modern period. 

The rhyme speaks of various people in King Arthur's kingdom who held the power of some sort. There is a mention of the nobles, merchants, and jailers who likely had all kinds of roles in the kingdom, though the exact meaning of the roles they had is not clear. 

Children’s Activities 

In a land steeped in history and lore, the bewitching nursery rhyme "When Good King Arthur Ruled His Land" has captured the hearts of many young dreamers. Sharing this enchanting verse with your children can serve as a spark, igniting their imagination and creativity like the flicker of a candle.boy prince

Encourage your little ones to create their own magical tales, role-playing as knights, enchantresses, or even King Arthur himself, as they traverse the fabled kingdom. You might also transform the rhyme into a captivating game, where each line of the song becomes a cue for a unique action, guiding children as they bring the story to life.

Should your young charges be of a suitable age, gather round and perform a play together, reenacting the legendary tale of King Arthur's reign. For those who find delight in the realm of numbers, there is a charming method to weave the story of King Arthur's kingdom into a mathematical challenge. Invite children to practice arithmetic by tracking the varied inhabitants and the balance of power they wield within the kingdom.

As King Arthur's rule was renowned for its fairness and justice, engage your children in an inspiring activity: crafting their very own code of laws befitting the wise king's realm. Delve into discussions about the rights of the people, the responsibilities of nobles, jailers, and merchants, and together, conjure a fresh set of principles to govern the kingdom. This pursuit is certain to enthrall your children's minds, prompting them to think critically and devise imaginative solutions to the myriad challenges faced in King Arthur's land.