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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Songs and Ballads - Dance to your Daddie


A prime favourite—none excelling it—has been:-

Dance to your daddie,
My bonnie laddie,
Dance to your daddie, my bonnie lamb
And ye'll get a fishie,
In a little dishie,
Ye'll get a fishiie when the boat comes hame!

Dance to your daddie.
My bonnie laddie,
Dance to your daddie, my bonnie lamb.
And we'll get a coatie,
And a pair o' breekies,
Ye'll get a whippie and a supple Tam!

By the bye, as touching the lullaby order of these songs, it is interesting to note that, no matter of what age or nation they may be, they are all but regularly made up on precisely the same plan. There is first the appeal to the child to slumber, or to rest and be happy; then comes the statement that the father is away following some toilsome occupation; and the promise succeeds that he will soon return laden with the fruits of his labour and all will be well. We have been seeing, and will see again, how the Scottish go. The Norwegian mother sings:-

Row, row to Baltnarock,
How many fish caught in the net?
One for father and one for mother,
One for sister and one for brother.

Even the Hottentot mother promises her child that its "dusky sire" shall bring it "shells from yonder shore," where he has probably been occupied in turning turtles over on their broad backs. The Breton song goes:---

Fais dado, pauvre, p'tit Pierrot,
Papa est sur l`eau
Qui fait des bateaux
Pour le p'tit Pierrot.

The Swedish cradle song follows the almost universal custom. It runs (in English):—

Hush, hush, baby mine!
Pussy climbs the big green pine,
Ma turns the mill stone,
Pa to kill the pig has gone.

The Danish does not prove an exception:—

Lullaby, sweet baby mine!
Mother spins the thread so fine;
Father o'er the bridge has gone,
Shoes he'll buy for little John.

The North German cradle song is:—

Schlaf Kindchen, schlaf!
Dein Vater hut't die schaf;
Dein Mutter schuttelts Baumelien,
Da fallt herab ein Tramelein,
Schlaf, Kindchen, schlaf!

Which, being done into English, runs:-

Sleep, baby, sleep
Thy father guards the sheep
The mother shakes the dreamland tree,
And from it falls sweet dreams for thee.
Sleep, baby, sleep.

The simplest and crudest of these, we may be sure, has lulled millions to sleep, and by virtue of that association is worth more than many quartos of recent verse deliberately composed with the view of engaging the attention of the nursery circle. How many volumes of the newer wares, for instance, might be accepted in exchange for...


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