Three Men in a Tub / Tres Hombres en una Bañera

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
And all of them gone to sea.


DO YOU SUPPOSE who ever wrote the preceding rhyme in the 14th century (this version is the one I grew up with) knew how long it would survive, how many versions there would eventually be, and how homoerotic it would become?

The following version from 1825, closer to the original, is from Boston, Massachusetts:

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think were there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
And all of them going to the fair.

Apparently the original version was about THREE MAIDS in a tub. The butcher, baker, and candlestick maker were simply enjoying the view.

And none of this has anything to do with today’s blog post really.
Except what the candlestick-maker made.

. . . . .

Tres hombres en una bañera,
¿Y quién crees que son?
El carnicero, el panadero, el fabricante de candeleros,
Y todos se fueron al mar.


¿SUPONES QUE QUIEN escribió la rima anterior en Inglaterra en el siglo XIV (esta versión — con mi propia traducción — es de mi infancia) sabía cuánto tiempo sobreviviría, cuántas versiones habría eventualmente, y cuán homoerótica se volvería?

La siguiente versión de 1825, más cercana a la original, es de Boston, Massachusetts:

Tres hombres en una bañera,
Y quiénes crees que estaba alli?
El carnicero, el panadero, el fabricante de candeleros,
Y todos yendo a la feria.

Aparentemente, la versión original era sobre TRES MUJERES en una bañera. El carnicero, el panadero, y el fabricante de candeleros simplemente estaban disfrutando de la vista.

Y nada de esto tiene nada que ver con la entrada de hoy.
Excepto lo que hizo el fabricante de candeleros.

Dolphin candlesticks purchased in 1993 at a shop called Tchotchkes in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, California. Maybe 1930s; maybe 1990s. Approximately 19 cm (7.5 inches) tall.
Candelabros de delfines comprados en 1993 en una tienda llamada Tchotchkes en el barrio Hillcrest de San Diego, California. Quizas 1930; quizas 1990. Aproximadamente 19 cm de alto.

“Petticoat” candlesticks. Warsaw, Poland, around 1890. When my maternal grandfather’s synagogue in Brooklyn closed in the 1960s, he gave these to my mother. She gave them to us around 2005. They measure approximately 29 cm (11.5 inches).

Candelabros “Enagua”. Varsovia, Polonia, alrededor de 1890. Cuando la sinagoga de mi abuelo materno en Brooklyn cerró en la década de 1960, se las dio a mi madre. Nos las dio alrededor de 2005. Aproximadamente 29 cm.

Mid-19th-century Russian. My Aunt Sylvie was cleaning out a “junk drawer” and gave these to us. Around 20 cm (8 inches) tall.

Mediados del siglo XIX ruso. Mi tía Sylvie estaba limpiando un “cajón de basura” y nos los dio. Alrededor 20 cm de alto.

Another pair from Aunt Sylvie’s junk drawer. Missing the wax catchers (bobeches). I just pulled them out of MY junk drawer and need to polish them. 15 cm (5.75 inches) tall.

Otro par del cajón de basura de tía Sylvie. Faltan los atrapadores de cera (bobeches). Los saqué de MI cajón de basura y necesito pulirlos. 15 cm de alto.

I found the colored glass wax catchers (bobeches) at IKEA around 2005. I bought green, orange, red, and purple, and went back for more a month later. They no longer stocked them.
Encontré los colectores de cera de vidrio coloreados (boboches) en IKEA alrededor de 2005. Compré verde, naranja, rojo, y morado, y volví por más un mes después. Ya no los abastecían.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

18 thoughts on “Three Men in a Tub / Tres Hombres en una Bañera”

  1. Nice sticks! One thing I have learned at IKEA, if you see and like it, buy it today, there is no guarantee if they will have it tomorrow. Oh what I went through to finish the cabinet lighting in the dining room.

    1. David:
      Yeah, I learned that IKEA rule early on. That’s why I bought 2 dozen of these. I assumed that would be more than enough. Then I wanted more!

  2. Very nice.I love the design of them all, but the simplest one, from Russia, I really like.
    Great stories, though, about them all.

    1. Bob:
      I’ve grown to like those simple, rustic-looking ones. When they were given to me I thought, “Oh great. More stuff from the junk drawer! Why couldn’t she give us her original Tiffany dragonfly lamp?!?”

  3. Well that answers my question. Thanks for this.
    I LOVE candlesticks and so do a lot of other people……I couldn’t keep them in the shop……brass and glass were the most popular.
    These are lovely with a great story as well.

    1. Jim:
      We had many others. When we moved I whittled down to the ones I liked and/or had special meaning. Although I miss some of the things we left behind, I don’t miss the candlesticks I chose to give away.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      I always wanted the candlesticks from my grandfather. The running joke when we’d visit my mother and she asked if there was anything we wanted: The candlesticks and THAT specific framed embroidery (I’ll have to share that some time). It took years of wheedling… and sitting by her bedside for weeks at a time… before she caved. Maybe if you start wheedling now…

    1. Adam:
      Yes, it does. Well, on second thought, I don’t know what would be questionable about it.

    1. Kirk:
      Even when I was young, I wondered about those three men in the tub. I had a friend a long time ago who was a new ER nurse. She told me a story about a large, glass candlestick.

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