Lullabies A-B

A bonny boat

A bushel and a peck

A sleepy song

A summer lullaby

All the little ones are sleeping

All the pretty little horses

All through the night

Ally bally bee

At the gate of heaven / La puerta del cielo

Baby beds

Baby bye, here’s a fly

Baby mine

Baby’s bed’s a silver moon

Baloo baleerie

Barn sull / Child’s lullaby

Barnyard lullaby

Bed is too small

Bedtime

Black sheep, black sheep

Bossy-cow, bossy-cow

Brahms’ lullaby

Bye, baby bunting

Bye, bye, baby, baby bye

Last updated: 10/2/2018 2:46 PM

The songs below are compiled, illustrated and sometimes adapted by Dany Rosevear

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

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Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.


 

 

A bonny boat 🔊

 

 


The moon as a boat is a common theme around the world.

A poem by Margaret Johnson from ‘A child’s own book of verse’ book 1, published 1917. Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Raise a finger for each number. Cup hands and move gently from side to side. Move hands like waves past each other. 2. Raise a finger for each number. Point to head then self. Continue rocking hands and then shape the sun and move hands as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One, two, three!

A bonny boat I see;

A silver boat, and all afloat

Upon a rosy sea.

 

One, two, three!

The riddle tell to me.

The moon afloat is the bonny boat,

The sunset is the sea.


 

 

A bushel and a peck 🔊

 

 


Words and music by Frank Loesser from the musical ‘Guys and Dolls’.

A bit lively for a lullaby but a song to sing to a baby at anytime!

My mother had LPs of all the 1950s musicals and this was one of our favourites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I love you a bushel and peck,

A bushel and peck and a hug around the neck,

A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap,

A barrel and a heap, and I'm talking in my sleep,

About you, about you,

‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck,

You bet your pretty neck, I do.

Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle,

A-doodle, oodle, oodle ooo.

 

I love you a bushel and peck,

A bushel and peck though you make my heart a wreck,

Make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess,

Make my life a mess, yes, a mess of happiness,

About you, about you,

‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck,

You bet your pretty neck, I do.

Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle,

A-doodle, oodle, oodle ooo.

 

I love you a bushel and peck,

A bushel and peck and it beats me all to heck,

Beats me all to heck, how I'll never tend the farm,

Never tend the farm when I wanna keep my arm,

About you, about you,

‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck,

You bet your pretty neck, I do.

Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle,

A-doodle, oodle, oodle ooo.


 

 

A sleepy song 🔊

 

 


This tune from a Czech folk song will make you feel very sleepy. These English words are written by Herbert Wiseman for ‘A third sixty songs forlittle children’ published 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I love the grandfather clock:

Hark to its sleepy “tick-tock”,

Drowsy and still in my warm bed I lie,

And I watch the bright stars in the sky.

 

Now the moon’s over the hill,

Even the crickets are still;

But in the corner the grandfather clock

Never ceases its drowsy “tick-tock”.

 


 

 

 

A summer lullaby 🔊

 

 


Written by in 1930 by Eudora S. Bumstead these lovely verses can be found in ‘A book of a thousand poems’. It can also be found in ‘Primary music and worship’ published by Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, Philadelphia, Penn., 1930.

The words and title have been changed by others considerably since then to include bees and other ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The sun has gone from the shining skies;

Bye, baby, bye,

The dandelions have closed their eyes;

Bye, baby, bye.

The stars are lighting their lamps to see

If babies and squirrels and birds, all three,

Are sound asleep as they ought to be.

Bye, baby, bye.

 

The squirrel keeps warm in a coat of grey;

Bye, baby, bye.

He wears it by night as well as by day;

Bye, baby, bye.

The robin sleeps in his feathers and down,

With a warm red breast and wings of brown;

But baby wears a little white gown.

Bye, baby, bye.

 

The squirrel’s nest is an old oak tree,

Bye, baby, bye,

And there he sleeps as snug as can be,

Bye, baby, bye;

The robin's nest is high overhead,

Where the leafy boughs of maple spread,

But my baby's nest is a little white bed.

Bye, baby, bye.


 

 

 

All the little ones are sleeping O

 

 


A beautiful song written by Jean Ritchie from her album ‘Marching through the Green Grass’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chorus:

All through the night, all through the night,

All the little ones are sleeping.

All through the night, all through the night,

All the little ones are sleeping.

 

In a hole down underground,

Little bunnies can be found.

Chorus

 

Sparrow sleeps up in a tree,

My warm bed is best for me.

Chorus

 

Bless the babes and beasts and birds,

All small things that have no words.

Chorus


 

 

 

All the pretty little horses O

 

 


There are so many recordings of this song, some quite beautiful:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clqj1j9PrgQ but having sung it often to myself in the 1960s I needed an excuse to play it yet again!

Find out more about this song at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_Pretty_Little_Horses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,

Go to sleep my little baby.

When you wake, you shall have,

All the pretty little horses.

 

Dapples and greys, pintos and bays,

Coach and six-a little horses.

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,

Go to sleep my little baby.

 

Way down yonder, in the meadow,

There’s a poor little lambie;

Birds and butterflies flutter round his eyes,

Poor little thing is cryin' "Mamie".

 

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,

Go to sleep my little baby.

When you wake, you shall have,

All the pretty little horses.


 

 

All through the night 🔊

 

 


This tune was first recorded in 1784, the Welsh lyrics were written later. Find out more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ar_Hyd_y_Nos  The English lyrics below were beautifully written in Victorian times (1884) by Sir Harold Boulton; they have been very slightly adapted here for a more secular audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sleep, my love and peace attend thee,

All through the night.

Guardian angels dusk will send thee,

All through the night;

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,

Hill and vale in slumber steeping,

I, my loving vigil keeping,

All through the night.

 

While the moon her watch is keeping,

All through the night.

While the weary world is sleeping,

All through the night;

As the stars go gently stealing,

Visions of delight revealing,

Breathes a pure and tender feeling,

All through the night.


 

 

Ally bally bee O

 

A lovely Scottish lullaby that I enjoyed singing in the late 1960s. ‘Greetin’ means crying and ‘bawbee’ a penny.

Find out more at: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/earlyyears/coulterscandy.asp .

Sing the chorus between each verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chorus

Ally bally, ally bally bee,

Sittin' on yer mammy's knee,

Greetin' for a wee bawbee,

Tae buy some Coulter's candy.

 

Poor wee soul you’re getting awful thin,

A bundle of bones covered up with skin,

Soon you’ll be gettin' a wee double chin,

From sucking Coulter's candy.

Chorus

 

Ally bally, ally bally bee,

When you grow up you'll go to sea,

Makin' pennies for your daddy and me,

To buy more Coulter's candy

Chorus

 

Off to bed my bonny wee man,

It’s seven o’clock and your playin’s done.

When you rise with the morning sun,

You’ll get some Coulter’s candy.

Chorus

 

 

 


 

 

At the gate of heaven / La puerta del cielo 🔊

 

 


This delightful lullaby from Mexico originally travelled from the Pyrenees region of Spain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


At the gate of heav’n little shoes they are selling

For the little bare-footed angels there dwelling.

Slumber my little one, slumber my little one,

Slumber my little one, arru, arru.

 

Blessed are the children so peacefully sleeping,

Blessed are the parents whose love they are keeping.

Slumber my little one, slumber my little one,

Slumber my little one, arru, arru.

 

A la puerta del cielo venden zapatos,

Para los angelitos que andan descalzos.

Duermete, niño, Duermete, niño,

Duermete, niño, arru, arru.

 

A los niños que duerman Dios benedice

A las madres que velan Dios las asiste.

Duermete, niño, Duermete, niño,

Duermete, niño, arru, arru.

 


 

 

 

Baby beds O

 

 


A traditional bedtime rhyme.

It is an ideal song for adding extra verses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little lambs, little lambs,

Where do you sleep?

‘In the green meadow,

With mother sheep.’

Little lambs, little lambs,

Where do you sleep?

‘In the green meadow,

With mother sheep.’

That's where the little lambs sleep.

 

Little birds, little birds,

Where do you rest?

‘Close to our mother

In a warm nest.’

Little birds, little birds,

Where do you rest?

‘Close to our mother

In a warm nest.’

That's where the little birds rest.

 

Baby dear, baby dear,

Where do you lie?

‘In my warm bed,

With Mother close by.’

Baby dear, baby dear,

Where do you lie?

‘In my warm bed,

With Mother close by.’

That's where the baby sleeps.


 

 

Baby bye, here's a fly 🔊

 

 


By Theo. Tilton and Geo. B. Loomis. Published in Songs for Little Folks’ published by Biglow & Main, New York, 1875. You can find the words of all eight verses at: http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/S4LF1875/page/131.

Music arranged by Dany Rosevear 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Baby bye, here's a fly;

Let us watch it, you and I,

How he crawls up the walls,

Yet he never falls!

I believe, with those six legs,

You and I could walk on eggs!

There he goes, on his toes,

Tickling baby's nose!

 

Spots of red dot his head;

Rainbows on his wings are spread!

That small speck is his neck;

See him nod and beck!

I can show you, if you choose,

Where to look to find his shoes:

Three small pairs made of hairs

These he always wears.

 

Black and brown is his gown;

He can wear it upside down!

It is laced round his waist;

I admire his taste!

Pretty as his clothes are made,

He will spoil them, I'm afraid,

If to-night he gets sight

Of the candle-light!

 

'Round and 'round on the ground,

On the ceiling he is found.

Catch him? No; let him go!

Never hurt him so!

Now you see his wings of silk

Drabbled in the baby's milk!

Fie! oh fie! foolish fly!

How will you get dry?

 

Flies can see more than we,

So how bright their eyes must be!

Little fly, mind your eye,

Spiders are near by;

For a secret I can tell,

Spiders will not treat you well!

Haste away, do not stay,

Little fly. good day!


 

 

Baby mine 🔊

 

 


Just love this song! It is by the engaging GRAMMY award winning Okee Dokee Brothers. Be sure to visit their site to find more of their delightful music.

Used with permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You're my little sweetheart, baby mine,

You're my little sweetheart, baby mine,

You're the sugar lump in my tea,

You're my homemade recipe,

You're my little sweetheart, baby mine.

 

I'll love you till forever, baby mine,

I'll love you till forever, baby mine,

Five, four, three, two , one,

Forever's just begun,

I'll love you till forever, baby mine.

 

Someday you'll be singing, baby mine,

Someday you'll be singing, baby mine,

That day's comin' soon,

When you'll sing your child this tune,

Someday you'll be singing, baby mine.

 

Still you'll, be my baby, baby mine,

Still you'll, be my baby, baby mine.

 

Goodnight little darlin’, baby mine,

Goodnight little darlin’, baby mine,

Tonight I hope you dream

Of seeing’ things I’ve never seen,

So, goodnight little darlin’, baby mine.


 

 

 

Baby’s bed’s a silver moon O

 

 


This song has been sung by many parents and grandparents since ‘The slumber boat’ was first written in 1898 by Alice C.D. Riley with music by Jessie L. Gaynor. The words of the version below has changed slightly over the years from -‘Baby’s boat’s a silver moon’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Baby's bed's a silver moon,

Sailing in the sky,

Sailing o'er the sea of sleep,

While the stars go by.

 

Sail, baby, sail,

Far across the sea.

Only don't forget to come,

Back home again to me.

 

Baby's fishing for a dream,

Fishing near and far,

Her line a silver moonbeam is,

Her bait a silver star.

 

Sail, baby, sail,

Far across the sea.

Only don't forget to come,

Back home again to me.


 

 

Baloo baleerie 🔊

 

 


This lullaby from Scotland also called ‘The Bressay lullaby’ and is from the Shetlands; my friend who comes from Glasgow was not familiar with this song.

Find out more about the words of this song at:  http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=21937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chorus:

Baloo baleerie, baloo baleerie,

Baloo baleerie, baloo balee.

 

Gang awa' peerie faeries,

Gang awa' peerie faeries,

Gang awa' peerie faeries,

Frae oor ben noo.

 

Doon come the bonny angels,

Doon come the bonny angels,

Doon come the bonny angels,

Tae oor ben noo.

 

Sleep saft my baby,

Sleep saft my baby,

Sleep saft my baby,

In oor ben noo.


 

 

Barn sull / A child’s lullaby 🔊

 

 


This Scandinavian lullaby was probably adapted from a Slavic song – the minor key tune sounds a very familiar one but as yet I have been unable to identify it, any help would be appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now my child is sleeping,

All is quiet here.

Happy birds are singing

A lullaby so dear.

Dream of woodland animals

And birds upon the wing,

Dream of summer and fairy tales,

And I will softly sing.


 

 

Barnyard lullaby O

 

 


Sleep time on the farm, This one comes from ‘Merrily, merrily’ a lovely collection of nursery songs and rhymes by the Nursing Mother’s Association of Australia.

It is a traditional German lullaby translated by Beatrice P. Krone. It would be great to have the text in German!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Moo, little cow, moo,

Turtle dove, coo-coo-roo-coo,

Puppy dog, puppy dog, bow, wow, wow,

Kitty cat, kitty cat,meow, meow, meow,

Rooster cock-a-doodle-doo,

Sleep till night is through.


 

 

Bed is too small 🔊

 

 


A plea for sleeping in the open air and the rustling of leaves; this lullaby has been popular with the scouting movement since the 1960s, it can be found in ‘Songs for Canadian Girl Guides’, Girl Guides of Canada, 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bed is too small for my tiredness;

Give me a hillside with trees.

Tuck a cloud up under my chin.

Lord, blow the moon out, please!

 

Rock me to sleep in a cradle of dreams;

Sing me a lullaby of leaves.

Tuck a cloud up under my chin.

Lord, blow the moon out, please!


 

 

Bedtime O

 

 


This poem by Thomas Hood has been slightly adapted for singing and for a picture book. You can find the original version in ‘The Book of 1000 Poems’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The evening is coming, the sun sinks to rest;

The birds are all flying straight home to the nest.

"Caw!" says the crow as he flies overhead,

“It's time little people were going to bed!”

 

The flowers are closing, the daisy's asleep;

The primrose is buried in slumber so deep.

Shut up for the night is the pimpernel red;

“It's time little people were going to bed!”

 

The butterfly, drowsy, has folded its wing;

The bees are returning, no more the birds sing.

Their labour is over, their nestlings are fed;

“It's time little people were going to bed!”

 

Here comes the pony, his work is all done;

Down through the meadow, he takes a good run;

Up go his heels and down goes his head;

“It's time little people were going to bed!”

 

Good night, little people, good night and good night;

Sweet dreams to your eyelids till dawning of light;

The evening has come, there's no more to be said,

It's time little people were going to bed!

 

 

Black sheep, black sheep 🔊

 

 


An Appalachian lullaby. The refrain in this song is also found in ‘All the little horses’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Black sheep, black sheep where'd you leave your lamb?

Way over in the valley.

The bees and the butterflies are buzzing 'round his eyes

And the poor little thing's crying "Mammy".

My mother told me before she went away

To take good care of the baby

But I went to play and the baby ran away

And the poor little thing's crying "Mammy".

Black sheep, black sheep where'd you leave your lamb?

Way over in the valley.

 


 

 

 

Bossy-cow, bossy-cow O

 

 


This lovely American lullaby was published in 1912 in ‘The Little Mother Goose’ by the ‘Good housekeeping magazine’ see: http://www.centurybabies.com/story/story14.html

Dany Rosevear wrote the melody below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bossy-cow, bossy-cow, where do you lie?

In the green meadow under the sky.

Billy-horse, billy-horse, where do you lie?

Out in the stable with nobody nigh.

 

Birdies bright, birdies sweet, where do you lie?

Up in the tree-tops,-oh, ever so high!

Baby dear, baby love, where do you lie?

In my warm crib, with Mamma close by.


 

 

Brahms’ lullaby /  Lullaby, and good night 🔊

 

 


This song and in particular the soporific melody is probably the most well known lullaby in the western world.Guten Abend, gute Nacht’ was dedicated to a friend of Brahms on the birth of her second son and published in 1868; you can find out moreabout the story at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahms%27_Lullaby .

 

There have been many translations / interpretations of this lullaby into English over the years some conforming more strictly to the religious intent of the time it was written; I have just tweaked one of the more secular traditional ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lullaby, and good night,

With roses and starlight,

And lilies softly spread

Round my baby's sweet head.

Lay thee down now, and rest,

May thy slumber be blessed.

Lay thee down now, and rest,

May thy slumber be blessed.

 

Lullaby, and good night,

Thy mother's delight,

Little angels at your side,

My darling abide.

Soft and warm is your bed,

Close your eyes and rest your head.

Soft and warm is your bed,

Close your eyes and rest your head.


 

Bye, baby bunting O

 

 


A classic lullaby to explain to a young child why father was away from home.

There are so many slight differences in the wording of this song. I think the one below is how I remembered it as a child – oh, for a perfect memory!

Another version goes:

Bye, baby bunting,

Father's gone a-hunting,

Mother's gone a-milking,

Sister's gone a-silking,

Brother's gone to buy a skin

To wrap the baby bunting in.

It is suggested that ‘bunting’ is associated with the plumpness of a baby:  http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/04/1697.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bye, baby bunting,

Daddy's gone a hunting,

He’s gone to fetch a rabbit skin,

To wrap the baby bunting in.

Bye, baby bunting.


 

 

Bye, bye, baby, baby bye 🔊

 

 


A lullaby from the Southern Appalachians. Verses two and three are by Anne Mendoza from Sociable songs 1 published 1970 OUP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bye, bye, baby, baby bye:

My little baby, baby bye.

 

Hush, my baby, baby bye:

Hush, little baby, baby bye.

 

Sleep, my baby, baby bye:

Sleep, little baby, baby bye.

 

Bye, bonny baby, baby bye:

My little baby, baby bye.

 


 

 

 

Castle of Dromore 🔊

 

 


Sometimes called ‘October winds’, this ‘Irish folk song’ was written by Sir Harold Boulton to a traditional tune. It was later popularised by the Clancy Brothers in the 1960s, which is when I first came across this haunting song.

Find out more at: http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=77129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


October winds lament around the castle of Dromore,

Yet peace is in her lofty halls, my loving treasure store,

Though autumn leaves may droop and die, a bud of spring are you.

Sing hushabye loo la loo la lan,

Sing hushabye loo la lo.

 

Bring no ill winds to hinder us, my helpless babe and me,

Dread spirits of the blackwater, Clan Owen's wild banshee,

And Holy Mary pitying us, in Heaven for grace doth sue.

Sing hushabye loo la loo la lan,

Sing hushabye loo la lo.

 

Take time to thrive my ray of hope, in the garden of Dromore.

Take heed young eaglet till thy wings are feathered fit to soar.

A little rest and then the world is full of work to do.

A little rest and then the world is full of work to do.

Sing hushabye loo la loo la lan,

Sing hushabye loo la lo.

 


 

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