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Why The Popular The Muffin Man Song Originated With Tawdry Night Clubs And Not A Serial Killer

A well known children’s song ha dark beginnings, but not quite as bad as many believe

Andrew Martin
3 min readFeb 18, 2024

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Surprisingly, many traditional and popular nursery rhymes and children’s songs come from rather shocking origins. Over time they have been repurposed into something much more innocent and acceptable. The Muffin Man is a song that has long been associated as being about a vicious serial killer, However, as it turns out, there is no proof of that actually holding any truth, and instead the ditty is much more likely from debaucherous night clubs and dance venues from hundreds of years ago.

The Muffin Man was first seen in print in 1820 in England with lyrics that have remained very similar to what has persisted to the present time:

Do you know the muffin man?
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man
Who lives in Drury Lane?

For some reason there has long been a widespread belief suggesting a dark past for the innocent child’s song. It has been said that the titular subject that so many children have sang about was a 16th-century serial killer named Frederic Thomas Lynwood, also known as the Drury Lane Dicer. Lynwood was reputed to entice victims…

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Andrew Martin

Dabbler in history, investing & writing. Master’s degree in baseball history. Passionate about history, diversity, culture, sports, investing and crypto.