Hush Little Baby

TITLE: Hush Little Baby
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: traditional, public domain
KEYWORDS: lullaby, bird, commerce, gift
EARLIEST DATE: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)

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Hush Little Baby is a lullaby which is usually sung to children before they go to sleep. The idea is that the song sung by a familiar and beautiful voice will lull the child to sleep. Lullabies can be found in every human culture, often very ancient.

Hush Little Baby is a traditional lullaby and it is not know who wrote it or when, although it is thought to be American because mockingbirds are from the American continent.

The form of the songs is simple allows the singer to make up more verses as needed. 

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Mockingbird Song
  • Don’t Say a Word
  • Papa’s Going to Buy Me a Mockingbird
  • Hush Up Baby

RECORDINGS:

 

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO:  download
BONUS AUDIO: Stephen Griffith & Friends (Studio Session) download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, and Bobby McFerrin

Hush Little Baby (Mockingbird)

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mocking bird don’t sing,
Mama’s going to buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama’s going to buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama’s going to buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat won’t pull,
Mama’s going to buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama’s going to buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,
Mama’s going to buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books
  • Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music, Guthrie T. Meade, Jr. with Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade, Southern Folklife Collection, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, NC 2002—Amazon Books
  • Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (1952), Volume 2: Folk Ballads from North Carolina. Edited by Henry M Beldin and Arthur Palmer Hudson. Duke University Press. [This volume will be indexed on this site in the weeks to come.]

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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