Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Rock a bye baby

'Rock-a-bye Baby' is a nursery rhyme and lullaby. The melody is a variant of the English satirical ballad Lilliburlero. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 2768.


The first printed version from Mother Goose's Melody (London, c. 1765), has the following lyrics:

Hush-a-by baby
On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
Down tumbles baby,
Cradle and all.

The version from Songs for the Nursery (London, 1805), contains the wording:

Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green,
Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen...

Alternate Lyrics as shown in The Real Mother Goose published in 1916:

Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green;
Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen;
And Betty's a lady, and wears a gold ring;
And Johnny's a drummer, and drums for the king.[1]

The most common version used today is:

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
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