The origins of the "Pussycat pussycat" rhyme dates back to the history of 16th century Tudor England. One of the waiting ladies of Queen Elizabeth Ist had an old cat which roamed throughout Windsor castle. On one particular occasion the cat ran beneath the throne where its tail brushed against the Queen's foot, startling her. Luckily 'Good Queen Bess' had a sense of humour and decreed that the cat could wander about the throne room, on condition it kept it free of mice!
I often wondered where these lyrics came from as was a song I sung to my children.
“Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Alternate Lyrics as shown in The Real Mother Goose published in 1916:
Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green;
Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen;
And Betty's a lady, and wears a gold ring;
And Johnny's a drummer, and drums for the king.
The most common version used today is:”
There a many possibilities as to the origin and one is” that the words began as a "dandling" rhyme - one used while a baby is being swung about and sometimes tossed and caught. An early dandling rhyme is quoted in The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book which has some similarity:”
“Catch him, crow! Carry him, kite!
Take him away till the apples are ripe;
When they are ripe and ready to fall,
Here comes baby, apples and all.”
Lady Bird, Lady Bird,
Fly away home!
Your house is on fire,
And your children are gone!
All except one,
And her name is Nan,
And she has crept under the warming pan!
Auch, a charmin’ young colleen
Was Kitty O’Toole,
The lily of swate Tipperary,
Wid a voice like a thrush
And wid cheeks like a rose
An’ a figure as neat as a fairy.
I saw her one night,
Sure she looked like a quane,
In the glory of swate one and twenty.
As she sat wi’ McGinty’s big arm round her waist,
Auch, but I envied McGinty.
An’ soon after that,
In the swate summer time,
The boys and the girls were invited
By Mickey O’ Toole, o’ the cabin beyant,
To see Kate and McGinty united.
An’ when in the church they were made into wan,
An’ the priest gave them blessings in plenty,
An’ Kitty looked swater than every before,
Auch, but I envied McGinty.
But the time it did pass,
And Mcginty he died.
Sure my heart was all broke up with pity
To see her so mournful, lonely and sad,
That I went and got married to Kitty.
And now when I look where McGinty is laid
Wid a stone o’er his head, cauld and flinty,
As he lies there so peaceful, quiet and still,
Auch, but I envy McGinty.
Give me your answer, do.
I’m half crazy over the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage,
But you’d look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two!
God made Grandmothers
To listen and care
And hear a child's simple prayer
To read sories and take time
For nonsese and rhyme
He made Grandmothers
To laugh and chase sad times away
And to brghten he day
God made Grandmothers special
Like angels above
To guide us and help us
But mostly, to love
Can you no hush your weepin'
A’ the wee lambs are sleepin'
Birdies and bairnies are nestlin' the gither,
Dream Angus is hirplin' ower the heather
Dreams for sale, fine dreams for sale,
Angus has got fine dreams for sale
Hush my wee bairnie an’ sleep wi’ oot fear
Dream Angus has brought you a dream my dear