Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Hostile baby rocking songs

DigiTrad:
ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES
BABY-ROCKING MEDLEY (Rosalie Sorrels)
BRAHMS' LULLABY
ROCKABYE BABY
ROCKABYE BABY (3)
ROCKABYE BABY(2)
WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY-O?


Related threads:
Favorite Lullabies (88)
Songs Your Mother Sang to You (125)
Lullaby Land (songs posted here) (65)
Scottish lullabies, please (40)
Need help: Russian Lullabies (16)
Favorite Lullabies and Children's Songs (28)
Help: Lullabies to Record (53)
Hello...and so much for lullabies (30)
looking for lullabies? (4)
Songs that work magic with little ones (75)
What lullabies do your children hear? (28)
Lullabies? Got any? (30)


GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 26 Jan 09 - 04:40 PM
Michael 26 Jan 09 - 04:18 PM
Jayto 26 Jan 09 - 03:06 PM
Richard Mellish 26 Jan 09 - 01:19 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jan 09 - 10:25 PM
Rowan 25 Jan 09 - 10:03 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 09 - 08:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Jan 09 - 06:29 PM
Amos 25 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 09 - 06:08 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 09 - 03:09 PM
CamiSu 25 Jan 09 - 02:54 PM
CamiSu 25 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM
CamiSu 25 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 25 Jan 09 - 06:19 AM
Megan L 25 Jan 09 - 03:29 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 09 - 03:24 AM
VirginiaTam 25 Jan 09 - 02:46 AM
katlaughing 25 Jan 09 - 12:44 AM
Nickhere 24 Jan 09 - 10:34 PM
Artful Codger 24 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM
Nickhere 24 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM
Nickhere 24 Jan 09 - 10:28 PM
Azizi 24 Jan 09 - 10:23 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Jan 09 - 10:23 PM
Azizi 24 Jan 09 - 10:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jan 09 - 10:05 PM
Azizi 24 Jan 09 - 09:59 PM
Joe_F 24 Jan 09 - 09:42 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 24 Jan 09 - 08:50 PM
Azizi 24 Jan 09 - 07:07 PM
Bainbo 24 Jan 09 - 04:53 PM
Jack Campin 24 Jan 09 - 01:48 PM
Amos 24 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM
meself 24 Jan 09 - 10:45 AM
skarpi 24 Jan 09 - 10:39 AM
Snuffy 24 Jan 09 - 10:28 AM
Bert 24 Jan 09 - 10:15 AM
gnomad 24 Jan 09 - 09:12 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 09 - 08:59 AM
peregrina 24 Jan 09 - 08:47 AM
Ron Davies 24 Jan 09 - 08:38 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Jan 09 - 08:34 AM
peregrina 24 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Jan 09 - 08:05 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Jan 09 - 08:04 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jan 09 - 08:02 AM
Midchuck 24 Jan 09 - 07:57 AM
Ron Davies 24 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM
Ron Davies 24 Jan 09 - 07:49 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 04:40 PM

I always wondered why she should fly home if it was on fire and her kids weren't there anyway said katlaughing.

That's because kat evidently didn't hear the full version - which continues (with variants, of course

All except one, and her name is Ann,
And she has crept under the warming pan.


So she's being told there may still be time to save one. Except, of course, there's no real fire - it's all just a fib to get her to get out of a dangerous environment where she could get squashed, and go off home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Michael
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 04:18 PM

I don't think anybody's mentioned "All My Trials"

'Hush little baby don't you cry
You know your Mamma was born to die"

It seems to work (as a lullaby that is) with my children and grand children.


Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Jayto
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 03:06 PM

My girlfriend scolded me last night for singing the Sex Pistols and the Vandals to our newborn daughter as I rocked her just last night. I guess we all have different ideas of baby songs lol. I did make a sweet nursery type melody for Anarchy Burger and God Save the Queen though. I thought it was sweet :)
cya
JT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 01:19 PM

I'm not sure whether this one counts as hostile or not: a mother who seems to be uncertain whether the baby that she is singing to, and that is being so troublesome, is really her child or a changeling. The song is Changeling's Lullaby on the CD "Changeling" (Wildgoose Studios WGS315CD). The sleeve notes say
"This song started as a fairly bleak and random thought of Gavin's on whether some of the mythology of the Changeling had a link to women's experience of Post Natal Depression (on which he says he's no expert!) and he managed to get a song out of it. Jess wrote the tine and sings it here."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 10:25 PM

That one's in the DT and at least one of the past discussions I mentioned. I gather that Bert Lloyd was responsible for changing the original location to 'Kiandra'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Rowan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 10:03 PM

Malcolm (and Amos and CamiSu), there's a similar song in Oz (and thus much later than the ones Malcolm gave) called "The young man from Kiandra". Kiandra was a gold town in the Australian Alps and is known as the location of the world's oldest ski club.

It's sung to a slow 3/4 rhythm and has been used as a lullaby but seems to have no hostile intent towards the baby, nor any reference to chattels; more a reflective (and self-pitying) lament on the theme of "marry in haste and repent at leisure.

The first verse is as follows; I'll try and dig up the rest (another three verses and same chorus) later.

I am a young man from the town of Kiandra,
I married a young woman to comfort my home.
She goes out and she leaves me and cruelly deceives me
and leaves me with a baby that's none of my own.

Ch.
Oh dear, rue the day ever I married,
How I do wish I were single again.
She goes out and she leaves me and cruelly deceives me
and leaves me with a baby that's none of my own.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: HUSH LITTLE BABY (violent parody)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 08:26 PM

I've posted this song that my mother composed before on this forum. Some reacted in abject horror but they just don't understand how hostile baby rocking songs relieve tension:

Words by Dahlov Ipcar, Circa 1970
Parody of "Hush Little Baby"

Hush, Little Baby-2

Hush, little baby, don't you cry;
Mama's gonna pock you in the eye;
If that pock in the eye don't hurt,
Mama's gonna rub your face in the dirt;

If that dirt don't make you sore,
Mama's gonna wallop you some more;
If that walloping don't make you sick,
Mama's gonna whack you with a stick.

If that whacking don't break some bones,
Mama's gonna hit you with some stones;
If those stones don't hurt you none,
Mama's gonna shoot you with a gun.

If that gun don't kill you dead,
Mama's gonna bash you in the head;
If that bashin' seems like fun,
You're sure a tough little son-of-a-gun!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:29 PM

Roud 357, and evidently of C19 Irish origin in that form ( broadsides: Rocking the Cradle ); though the basic pattern is found in English broadside songs back as far as Lawrence Price's 'Rocke the cradle John' of c.1635:

Rocke the Cradle, rocke the Cradle, rocke the cradle John,
Ther's many a man rockes the cradle, when the childs none of his owne.

Of course, it isn't a lullaby, but a song about a man singing one. Any reference to slavery is likely to be a modern gloss. See past discussions here for more detail.

'Go From My Window' (Roud 966) is interesting, too. See thread Lyr Req: A parody of 'go from my window' for some of its early history. A L Lloyd (Folk Song in England, 186-190) goes into further detail, including the point that the accompanying story was also known in England (Baring-Gould heard it from a Dartmoor blacksmith) though, as Jim has said, the song seems more usually to have been sung without additional apparatus, which probably evolved in order to explain what had originally been obvious in the song itself.

Again, a song about a lullaby rather than a lullaby as such, though Lloyd quoted from several Spanish analogues which were actually used as lullabys in their own right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM

Cami:

It may have migrated that way to Amrikay, but the Irish original had this as the next verse:

"I'm sorry, my neighbours, I married this young one!
She favours the neighbors and none of her own!
She goes out all night, out to balls and to parties,
And leaves me here rocking the cradle alone!!


Which seems to indicate it a marital problem rather than a chattel arrangement. Although, I suppose, the two might sometimes be similar....


:D


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:08 PM

Bonnie, thanks for posting that information and those directions.

I appreciate it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 03:09 PM

"And rocking the cradle of a child not my own"
Common in Ireland - not too many hose slaves there - unless you follow 'The Female Eunuch'!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: CamiSu
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:54 PM

Rats--the first post didna show up til I did the second. Danged steam driven computer!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: CamiSu
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM

Amos--

I was told so long ago I can't remember who told me that your second verse

Aieee, aiooo, my laddy, lie easy
Sure my misfortunes are none of your own.
But it's weary I am with rocking and mourning
And rocking the cradle of a child not my own

referred to the house slave rocking her master's child while her own was God-knows-where.

Cami


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: CamiSu
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM

Amos--

I was told so long ago I cannot remember by whom that the second of your verses

Aieee, aiooo, my laddy, lie easy
Sure my misfortunes are none of your own.
But it's weary I am with rocking and mourning
And rocking the cradle of a child not my own

was the house slave rocking her master's child while her own was God-knows-where

Cami


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:19 AM

Hi Azizi –

If you click on the blue banjo-&-catfish logo at the top of the screen, then scroll about halfway down the page, you'll see four links which lead to different Amazon outlets (USA, Britain, France & Canada). Whenever you're visiting Amazon, if you access it through those links Mudcat will get a cut of the profits from anything you buy. I also think the traffic-volume from just using them could be beneficial too, so perhaps even merely clicking those links may help in some way, whether a purchase is made or not. (I'm not sure about that last point: can anyone enlighten me?)

Anyway, you want to check out both the Amazon.com site and also the British one, Amazon.co.uk (the first two on that page, amazon.mudcat and amazonUK.mudcat). because the Warner book was originally published in England. (Marina Warner is – or at least was – a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.)

You'll probably also want to take a look at another book of hers, From The Beast To The Blonde: On Fairy Tales And Their Tellers which is just as good. The "Briggs" award is the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, which I know little about, but I expect it's google-able. (If you want to look at only British web pages, you should be able to do this by going to www.google.co.uk and then asking it to narrow the search to the UK; ditto Ireland if you type www.google.ie – but I'm not sure if one can do that from there – worth a try, though.)

When you get to each of the two Amazon sites, narrow the search to Books and then do two separate ones: "Warner Bogeyman" and "Warner Beast Blonde" (if you leave the Blonde out, you'll get Warner Bros films!) which takes you to these titles. Try this with the UK one too, using the same search terms. Or, you can just search "Marina Warner" if you want to look at her other work too. She did a wonderful book on the imagery and lore concerning the Virgin Mary ("Alone Of All Her Sex") which is superb too.

Whew! No, I'm not getting an agent's commission . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Megan L
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 03:29 AM

Ok I had a bad night and i'm tired but the mental picture of hostile babies rockin did make me giggle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 03:24 AM

This is part of a tale we recorded from small farmer Francie Kennelly, here in West Clare (Ireland) some years ago.
The story tells of a peat-cutter's wife having an affair with a young neighbour.
She arranges for the lover to visit when her husband goes to make a long delivery very early on morning, but the husband returns before the lover arrives because of the bad weather :

.......But they (husband and wife) was no length in the bed anyway, when the knock came to the window (knocks table). Of course, the wife was in terrible hot water, she was expecting this man.
Well, someone belonging to her must be a poet anyway, but she had nothing to do and she had to think and think quick. The knock came to the window again anyway, (knocks table) like that, and she took up her child out of the cradle, that was about ten or eleven months, and you know yourself, when you take up a child, they cry. And she had to start... she started singing for the child. She had to make up this quick now; as I said before, someone belonging to her must be a poet:

(Sung:)
"The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again,
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man."

'Course, the whole time the husband thought 'twas for the child she was singing. But the knock came to the window again (knocks table) and she sung it again:

(Sung:)
"The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man."

And the child crying the whole time. But that way himself, the man outside didn't ... he didn't catch on, he didn't catch on. He was knocking again (knocks table) and she had to put a few more lines to it; quick she had to do it and do it quick.

(Sung:)
"The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man.
For you are a thundering fool, go round and see your mule,
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man,"

He went around and he saw the mule and he knew well there was something wrong, that the man had turned. He went home anyway. But the following night was a grand fine night and he had no trouble at all when he came up.

The tale seems to have survived as an English song - minus the body of the story - entitled 'Go From My Window'
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:46 AM

Traditional Native (American) Potery from this link

www.brandonu.ca/Library/CJNS/5.1/grant.pdf


"Many lullabies are recorded which were the special domain of the women
They range from the Creek "Cradle Song," which has many similarities to
poetry from Western cultures, to some rather startling Blackfoot lullabies which
are guaranteed to subdue even the rowdiest youngster.

Cradle Song
(Creek)

Down the stream
You hear the noise of her going
That is what they say
Up the stream
Running unseen
Running unseen
Up the stream
You hear the noise of her going
That is what they say
to the top of the bald peak
Running unseen
Running unseen.         (Sanders and Peek, 1973:57)

Lullabies
(Blackfoot)

I

Come wolf, bite this baby:
He won't sleep

II

Come, old woman, with your meatpounder
And smash this baby's head;
He won't sleep.         (Colombo, 1983 I:60)

-snip-

I read in another link

(google Blackfoot Lullabies and Language Revitalization)

that the Blackfoot lullabies are considered by adults to be funny not threatening and are demonstrated as such. In the other link the "Wolf" was translated as "coyote."

Don't know why but since I loaded Google Chrome browser I can't get blue clicky maker to follow PDF links.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 12:44 AM

We grew up with about the same as kytrad/Jean notes above about lady bugs. Just a slight difference:

Lady bug, lady bug
Fly away home
Your house is on fire
Your children all gone

I always wondered why she should fly home if it was on fire and her kids weren't there anyway.:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Nickhere
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:34 PM

Sorry, typo 'whose' above should read "who's"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM

Conan O'Brien sometimes sings a rather hostile lullaby on his show.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Nickhere
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM

On the other hand, here's a very nice lullaby from Italy (just one verse)

"Batti le manini
Aspetta il papa
Chi porta biscottini
E (nome del bambino) gli mangera"

(Clap your little hands
Wait for dad
Whose bringing biscuits
And (name of child) will eat them)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Nickhere
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:28 PM

I s'pose your all already familiar with this one...


There was an oul woman who lived in a hut,
a weel-a-weel-a-waal-yeah
There was an oul woman who lived in a hut,
Down by the river Sawl-yeah

This oul woman she had a babe
A-weel-a-weel-a-waal-yeah
This oul woman she had a babe
Down by the river Sawl-yeah

She took a penknife long and sharp
A weel..
She took a penknife long and sharp
Down...

She stuck the penknife in the babby's head (!)
A weel..
She stuck..
Down...

Three strong men came knockin' on her door
A weel...
Three strong...
Down by...

Are you the woman who killed the child?
A weel..
Are you...?
Down by...

Yes, I'm the woman who killed the child
A weel..
Yes I'm...
Down by...

They hung that woman from a rope / tree
A weel..
They hung...
Down...

So don't go stickin' knives in babbies' heads
A weel..
Don't go...
Down by...


There are different versions of this song, but the lyrics above are fairly typical. If I'm not mistaken it started life hundreds of years ago as a women's working song, i.e the kind of repetitive call n' refrain song women used to sing while working together, spinning wool for example. It might come from Scotland, I'm not sure.

They're the Celtic equivalent of US railroad songs ("Moses stood on that red sea shore / smotin' them waters with a two by four/ oh boys, can't you line 'em / oh boys, can't ya line 'em / Yeah, Eloise go linin' track")

The 'lullaby' above sounds not at all unlike a song that has risen to prominence of late thanks to beer ads ("Well I lost my heart to a Galway girl") Every time I hear that ad and the singer goes "a-way-a-way-I-ah" I can't help thinking he's going to break into a few verses of "A-weel-a-weel-a-waal-yeah"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:23 PM

Thanks Malcolm for that online link to Eckenstein's Comparative Studies in Nursery Rhymes book.

I like reading books and articles about comparative folklore and rhymes. And with regard to some of Eckenstein's conclusions, l still believe. So call me credulous :o)

Also, I think that Lina Eckenstein was one heck of a woman for her day and time.

I haven't read this book yet, but here's a link to the book that seems to be most often cited that Eckenstein wrote:

Woman under monasticism: chapters on saint-lore and convent life between A.D. 50


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MAMA SINGS (Samuel Hoffenstein)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:23 PM

MAMA SINGS
(Samuel Hoffenstein)

Go to sleep, my little oaf
Mama's darling sugarloaf.
Go to sleep and stay that way
For, perhaps, a night and day.

I'm no angel up above
Don't abuse my motherlove.
I can stand so much. And then
Mama seeks maturer men.

And papa's friend is waiting now
To plant a horn on papa's brow.
So sleep, my darling. Sleep, my own
For if you bawl, you bawl alone.

Sings well to Aura Lee (Love Me Tender, to the Philistines) RG
@sex @baby @infidelity
filename[ MAMASNG
RG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:07 PM

Bonnie, thanks for alerting me and others Marina Warner's book No Go The Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock.

I wasn't aware of that book before you mentioned it. Also, truth be told, I don't know about the Briggs Folklore Award. But, since they say that confession is good for the "soul", I feel much better now. :o

Bonnie, which Amazon page and which Mudcat link were you referring to in your 24 Jan 09 - 06:14 AM comment?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:05 PM

Eckenstein's Comparative Studies in Nursery Rhymes can now be seen at the Internet Archive in various formats:  http://www.archive.org/details/comparativestudi00eckerich.

I wouldn't place much trust in her commentaries, though they are fun to read. She belonged to the then-fashionable school of folklorists that we might call 'Romantic Frazerian', full of excited speculation on ancient origins and hidden meanings, Sacred Kings and Sun Heroes, euhemerised pagan deities and all manner of arcane fantasies that serious scholars have long ago dismissed as groundless, but which are still firmly believed by the credulous because they have read simplified re-hashes of those ideas in the Reader's Digest or the like. Don't fall into that trap!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 09:59 PM

Correction.

The pages I quoted in Lina Eckenstein's book Compartive Study of Nursery Rhymes {London, Duckworth & Co.} were portions of pages 91-95.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 09:42 PM

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4185


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:50 PM

Well, here's my childhood remembrance. First, if you see a ladybug flying by, stick out your hand and for some reason she(we always assumed it was a she) will very likely light on your hand. She looks just like the one gnomad showed us, a few posts back. Hold her very close to your face, and tell her, softly:

Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home
Your house is afire, and your children alone!

She will sit still and listen, until you say this about three times- then she first flutters her wings, then flies- first outward, then upward, then disappears towards the sun. Dad told us she disappears because the sun gets in your eyes, looking after her.

Mom told us it was very good luck to have a ladybug land on your hand, and that we should never harm her.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:07 PM

The "ladybird, ladybird fly away home" rhyme probably didn't mean what we now think it means.

Lina Eckenstein's 1906 book Compartive Study of Nursery Rhymes {London, Duckworth & Co.} has a pretty extensive section on the meaning of the "Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home" rhyme.
{pages 91-106}. Because this book is difficult to find, I'll post extensively from that section:

"The ladybird is the representative amoung ourselves of a large class of insects which were associated with the movement of the sun from the earliest times. The association goes back to the kheper or chafer of ancient Egypt, which has the habit of rolling along the ball that contains its eggs. This ball is identified as the orb of the sun, and the kheper was esteemed as the beneficient pwere that helped to keep it moving.   

A like imprtance attached to the chafers that had the power of flying, especially to the ladybird {Coccinella septem punctata}. In India the insect was called Indragopas that is "protected by Indra". The story is told how this insect flew too near the sun, singed its wings, and fell to earth. [citation given].

In Greece the same idea was embodied in the myth of Ikaros, the son of Daedalus, who flew too near the sun with the wings he had made for himself, and falling into the sea, was drowned. Already the Greeks were puzzled by this myth, which found its reasonable explanation in describing Ikaros as the inventor of sails. He was the first to attach sails to a boat, and sailing westward, he was borne out to sea and perished.

Among ourselves the ladybird is always addressed in connection with its power of flight. It is mostly told to return to its house or home, which is in danger of being destroyed by fire, and warned of the ruin threatening its children if it fails to fly. But some rhymes address it on matters of divination, and one urges it to bring down blessings from heaven.

The rhyme addressed to the ladybird first appears in the nursery collection of 1744, where it stands as follows:
1. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home.
   Your house is on fire, your children will burn.   

Many variations of the rhyme are current in different parts of the country, which may be tabulated as follows,
[18 additional English variations were given. Some examples are]

2. Lady cow, lady cow, fly away home
   Your house is on fire, your child all roam
[1892, p. 326]

5. Ladybird, ladybird, eigh thy way home,
   Thy house is on fire, thy children all roam,
   Except little Nan, who sits on her pan
   Weaving gold laces as fast as she can.
[Lancashire, 1892, p. 326]

6. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
   Your house is on fire, your children are home.
   They're all burnt but one, and that's little Ann.
   And she's crept under the warming pan.
[Rusher's Series]

11. Fly, ladybird, fly!
    North, south, east, or west,
    Fly to the pretty girl that I love the best.
[1849, p. 5]

18. God A'mighty colly cow, fly up to heaven;
    carry up ten pound, and bring down eleven.
[Hampshire, 1892. p. 327

19. This ladybird I take from the grass.
    Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass.
    Fly ladybird, north, south, east, or west,
    Fly where the man is found that I love best.
[M.; p. 417, citing Brand]

-snip-

The author then provides some "foreign parallels" for this rhyme, and then writes the following paragraph:

"Mannhardt was of the opinion that the ladybird rhyme originated as a charm intended to speed the sun across the dangers of sunset, that is, the "house on fire" or welkin of the West...

[And there my photocopies of those pages ends. The next page I have is page 106 where Lina Eckenstein begins to discuss the foreign parallels to the rhyme "Humpty Dumpty"]...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bainbo
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:53 PM

This could never be considered a lullabye -it's far too raucous. But the Bobby Peterson Quintet sang:

Mama, fetch a hammer
A fly's on the baby's head.
Mama, fetch a hammer
A fly's on the baby's head.
And if you don't hurry up, the baby will soon be dead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 01:48 PM

Footnote on the Anatolian Lullabies CD: Kalan have it at half price, so they're presumably about to discontinue it. It's an amazing bargain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM

Go to sleep, my little pickaninny
Br'er Fox gonna catch you if you don'
Hushabye, rockabye, mama's little baby
Br'er Fox gonna eat you if you don'


My mother actually used to sing that to me when I was small. The context completely lost on my poor little head.

Aieee, aiooo, my laddy, lie easy
Sure my misfortunes are none of your own.
But it's weary I am with rocking and mourning
And rocking the cradle of a child not my own


This one always made me worry, and is clearly not written with the child's best interests in mind. It ended up (after the 19th century widespread emigration to Amerikay) as a song used to lull dogies on the trail.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: meself
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:45 AM

"Most entomologists agree that the true bugs ... "

So even among entomologists, the meaning of "bug" agreement is not unanimous. Certainly among North Americans, if not the rest of the English-speaking world, you will have a hard time persuading people to stop using "bug" as a generic term for creepy little critters. In fact, I'd say it's a battle lost before it ever began ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: skarpi
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:39 AM

hi bonnie

this is called in Icelandic " Móður mín í kví kví "

I hvae heard it and I have sung it both at the Getaway as
in Portaferry

its about a child who feels sorry for her mother ....

Móður mín í kví kví ,
kvíddu ekki því því
ég skal lána þér duluna mína
duluna mína að dansa í
ég skal lána þér duluna mína
duluna mína að dansa í


its Icelandic version

all the best Skarpi


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:28 AM

Oh you are a mucky kid
Dirty as a dustbin lid
When he hears the things you did
You'll get a belt from yer da'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bert
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:15 AM

Bugs are Hemiptera, Ladybirds are Beetles which are Coleoptera.

Calling all insect bugs is about as daft as calling them all sausages.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: gnomad
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 09:12 AM

Bugs are a group of insects, characterised by their mouth parts. The group does not include ladybirds, despite their commonly used name of ladybugs. See this page. The word bug seems to be used of many insects and similar creatures for which it is a not strictly correct, but nevertheless convenient, term. This usage seems more prevalent in the States, but is gaining ground in Britain too.

Returning to lullabies, how about

Rock-a-by baby, your milk's in a tin,
Mummy has got you a nice sitter in,
Rock-a-by baby, don't get a twinge,
Mummy and Daddy are out on the binge.

Not exactly hostile, but a fair portrait of modern life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:59 AM

Voluntary euthanasia or compulsory? I'm not trying to be a smart-alec, just that I'd never heard of such a thing outside of fiction and it's fascinating, if grim. Who was being euthanised, and why? Was that a society in which people officially outlived their usefulness, either from senescence or illness?

The old and ill, I guess. David Rorie's book on Scottish folk medicine alludes to a Breton practice - the "hammer of death" - which was a large stone placed on the chest of a person who was dying slowly and painfully to hasten the end. He implies there was only one "hammer" in a village and somebody kept it on their mantelpiece.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: thread bug drift
From: peregrina
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:47 AM

The 'lady' in lady-bug and bird is cognate to continental names with associate the insect with Mary-- Marienkafer in German; but strangely, in Dutch, Onzelieveheersbeestje, French coccinelle or bête à bon Dieu.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:38 AM

Is "ladybird" mainly southern in the US, "ladybug" northern?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:34 AM

Lyndon B. Johnson's wife, Claudia Taylor Johnson, was always known as Ladybird or Lady Bird; and if Wiki is correct, this came from her nurse - so it's American usage alongside of Ladybug. Article sez:

Though she was named for her mother's brother Claud, during her infancy her nurse commented, she was as "purty as a ladybird" which is a brightly colored beetle commonly known as a ladybug in the United States. That nickname virtually replaced her given name for the rest of her life.

Certainly sounds better than Lady Bug Johnson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: peregrina
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM

I have also heard 'ladybird' in the nursery rhyme in the US, -bug and -bird interchangeably otherwise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:05 AM

Malcolm, we cross-posted. Thanks for all that interesting info (while I was wittering on about Bugs . . .)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:04 AM

I always thought "bug" was just a generic catch-all name for all creepy-crawlies. The proper terms were insect, arachnid, crustacea etc, but Bug had no scientific classification and could mean any of them.

I grew up in America but lived in England and Ireland after college so I tend to get these things mixed up. But I do think I recall hearing "Ladybird" used in the States, though not while I was growing up in the west. So it must have been in the east? I was in Boston. Can anybody help?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 08:02 AM

See thread An Cronan Bais (The Death Croon) for a little on one example of a 'death croon'.

Almost any song can be pressed into service as a lullabye; chiefly pop songs nowadays, of course. Folk song collectors of the early C20 frequently got songs from middle- and upper-class informants; these had usually been learned in childhood from their nurses, and many had been used as lullabyes. Obviously not designed as such, they will often just have been whatever the nurserymaid happened to know, and the subject matter could be pretty disturbing: Francis Child, for example, described 'Long Lankin' as 'the terror of countless nurseries', and the version Sharp got from Sister Emma of Clewer has a short and repetitive melody with a rather hypnotic feel to it, though the sleep that followed might well have been troubled.

Bob Copper wrote of being sent to bed with the bloody images of 'Admiral Benbow' running in his mind. Though not directly hostile to an infant, the effect of some of those songs must have been quite traumatic. Songs that actually express direct hostility to the child would seem to have been more of a safety-valve for a tired and frustrated mother or nurse, sung to an infant too young to understand what it meant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Midchuck
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:57 AM

Some years back, reacting to a particularly cloying Christmas song, I started singing:

It's Baby's last Christmas,
He's going to die.
It's baby's last Christmas,
And no one knows why...


My wife told me, "Don't sing that, it's horrible."

I said, well, yes, it was, but the original was horrible too.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM

Aren't beetles considered bugs in the UK? I believe they are in the US.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hostile baby rocking songs
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:49 AM

Actually Jan--from Bradford on Avon-- says "Ladybird" while I say "Ladybug".   Is it "ladybird" in the UK and "ladybug" in the US?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 February 10:52 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.