The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47914   Message #717054
Posted By: Stewie
24-May-02 - 08:05 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?'
Subject: RE: Lyric Query: ships sail in the forest
See also #318 in Iona and Peter Opie 'Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes' Oxford Uni Press:

A man in the wilderness asked me
How many strawberries grow in the sea?
I answered him as I thought good
As many as red herrings grow in the wood

The accompanying note refers to 'How many ships sail in the forest' as being an extension of a Shetland version of 'The Week Before Easter' which 'is preserved on a broadsheet of the reign of James II'. [p284, Fourth Impression 1995].