ABSTRACT

It is intriguing to fi nd in All the Year Round , a British weekly literary magazine “conducted” by Charles Dickens between 1859 and 1895, reference to a teenage Japanese offi cer who was thrilled by “Pop Goes the Weasel.” It was in Washington, D.C., in 1860, several years aft er this well-known and favored nursery rhyme crossed the Atlantic. Th e anonymous writer with musical literacy remarks:

Th is air was regarded as the peculiar property of the youngest offi cer of the body, the third interpreter of the embassy, a lad seventeen years old, whose handsome and dignifi ed appearance, winning manners, and aff ectionate disposition, made him an object of far greater interest than even the loft y envoys themselves. “Poppy goes the weasel” he always would have it, and seemed to think the extra syllable a capital invention of his own.