The song "Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod" started out as a poem by Eugene Field (where it was titled with the spelling "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"). It was published on March 9, 1889. The poem is about three kids riding a wooden shoe through space and fishing among stars. It's a dream scenario, hence the title, which describes a child falling asleep.
Pianist/composer Ethelbert Woodridge Nevin was the first to set the poem to music, doing so in 1890. It was the Simon Sisters, however, who recorded the definitive version of the song.
The Simon Sisters were composed of Carly Simon (who went on to highly successful solo career in the '70s) and her older sister Lucy. Lucy wrote the setting for the song when she was 14 - it was the first song she ever wrote. The sisters developed their chops in the early '60s by hitchhiking to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to sing at a place called The Moors, where they opened for some big-time comedians, including Bill Cosby and Woody Allen.
"Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod" is the biggest hit the sisters ever recorded together. Lucy eventually gave up the gig to raise a family; Carly went on to stardom as a singer, songwriter and socialite, her most famous song being "You're So Vain
"Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod" is a kids' song, but it's irresistibly catchy and appeals to the nostalgic imaginations of adults as well. It's been covered by a wide range of performers. Donovan did it in 1971 on H.M.S. Donovan. Cass Elliot and the Big 3 did it in 1963. The song has also appeared on the 1995 Barney and Friends album Barney's Sleepytime Songs.