Lullabies G-H

Go row the boat child

Go to sleep, go to sleepy

Go to sleep my baby

Go to sleepy little baby

Golden slumbers

Goodnight, beloved mine

Goodnight children

Goodnight Mr. Moon

Goodnight, sweet dreams

Great big stars

Greensleeves

Hey, little crow

Highland fairy lullaby

Ho, ho watanay

Hobo’s lullaby

Last updated: 1/4/2021 11:15 AM

The songs below are compiled, illustrated and sometimes adapted by Dany Rosevear

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·       you must give the original author credit

·       you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·       for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·       any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder

Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

 

Go row the boat child 🔊

 

 


A song from the West Indies, in particular the Georgia Sea Islands; there are numerous version of the title probably interpretations of Bessie Smith’s singing - Johanna is rowin’, Johanna the rowing, Johanna de row-di, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Johanna and Rhody, go row the boat child,

Johanna and Rhody, go row the boat child,

Johanna and Rhody, go row the boat child,

Go row the boat an’ let me go home.

 

I'm so tired…

Darkness falling…

Lightning flashing…

Mama’s calling…

Baby cryin'…

Daylight breaking…


 

 

Go to sleep, go to sleepy  🔊

 

 


A variation on the lullaby collected by J. and A. Lomax from the singing of Florida Hampton, Alabama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go to sleep, go to sleepy,

Go to sleepy, little baby.

Hush li’l baby an’ don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy, little baby.

Moma and papa have gone to town,

Buy a pretty little pony.

 

Go to sleep, go to sleepy,

Go to sleepy, little baby.

Hush li’l baby an’ don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy, little baby.

When you wake you shall have cake

An’all the mulies in the stable.


 

 

Go to sleep my baby 🔊

 

 


A lullaby from my childhood, not quite sure if these are the words that were sung to me though as there have been so many adaptations since ‘A Wyoming lullaby’ was first written by Gene Williams in 1920

See: https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31222.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go to sleep my baby, ,

Close your pretty eyes,

Angels up above you,

Peeping at you from the starry skies.

Great big moon is shining,

Stars begin to peep.

Time for sleepy heads, like you dear,

To go to sleep.

La-la, la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la, la.

Time for sleepy heads, to go to sleep.


 

 

Go to sleepy little baby O

 

 


A North American lullaby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go to sleepy, little baby,

Go to sleepy, little baby,

When you wake we'll patty-patty cake,

And ride a shiny little pony.


 

 

Golden Slumbers 🔊

 

 


Golden Slumbers was written by Thomas Dekker and first published in 1603.

This arrangement is by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,

Smiles await you when you rise.

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry,

And I will sing a lullaby.

Lullaby, lullaby,

And I will sing a lullaby.

 

Cares you know not, therefore sleep,

While over you a watch I'll keep.

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry,

And I will sing a lullaby.

Lullaby, lullaby,

And I will sing a lullaby.


 

 

Goodnight, beloved mine 🔊

 

 


This German parting song is a folk song translated by L. d’O Warner and can be found in ‘Songs of all time’, songs traditional to the Appalachian South’, published by the The Cooperative Recreation Service. It was previously in ‘The home and community song book’ part of the Concord series published in 1951.

You can see I have rejigged the words of the second verse to make it more like a lullaby than a lament. You can find original verse below.

Jean Ritchie, who has done so much to preserve these regional wonders, wrote on Mudcat: https://mudcat.org/detail_pf.cfm?messages__Message_ID=1948139

“This one used to give me goose bumps. I remember we sang it years later, at one of my sisters' funeral. Everyone cried, we loved to sing and harmonize on incredibly beautiful ones, like this.

My hope is that they will be sung forever, and not vanish like our Kentucky mountain tops - that's a sadness from which I cannot recover.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good night, goodnight, beloved mine,

Good night, sleep well, my dear,

Good night, good night, beloved mine,

Good night, sleep well, my dear:

May Cherubim and Seraphim

Watch over you and hover near,

Goodnight, good night, beloved mine,

Good night, sleep well, my dear.

 

In the woods there sings a nightingale,

With notes of sweet delight.

In the woods there sings a nightingale,

With notes of sweet delight.

The pale moon listens silently

Its beams give gentle light for thee,

The moon can see you snuggled there,

Sleep well, my dear, goodnight.

 

Original verse:

In the woods there sings a nightingale,

With liquid moonlit tone.

In the woods there sings a nightingale,

With liquid moonlit tone.

The moon has seen your silent room

Whence joy and laughter now have flown.

The moon has seen you slumb’ring there,

But I go forth alone.


 

 

 

Goodnight children 🔊

 

 


A song for going up to bed and settling down to sleep; sing the second verse more slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Goodnight, children, goodnight, children

Goodnight, children it’s time to go to bed,

Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along

Merrily we roll along as off to bed we go.

 

Sweet dreams, children, sweet dreams, children,

Sweet dreams, children, it’s time to say goodnight.

Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along,

Merrily we roll along to dreamland we shall go.


 

 

Goodnight Mr. Moon 🔊

 

 


This is a song, possibly from the 1920s, that lies in the folk memory but little else is known about it; grandmother’s sang it to their children as their mothers did before. Find out about the search for information at: mudcat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gentle moon that gives us light,

Through the dark and stormy night,

Will you kindly tell us pray,

Where you go to in the day?

In your starry nest,

Do you ever rest?

Goodnight Mr. Moon, we shall have to go and leave you,

Goodnight Mr. Moon, come again and see us soo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oon,

And when we're asleep

Through the window pane you’ll peep

We'll wake up and call out,

Goodnight Mr. Moon.

 

Up and down the moonbeams bright,

Do the fairies dance all night?

Mamma says "Be sure they do"

So of course it must be true.

In your starry nest,

Do you ever rest?

Goodnight Mr. Moon.


 

 

Goodnight, sweet dreams 🔊

 

 


This lullaby recorded by Burl Ives in the early 1960s was based on the traditional German parting song: ‘Goodnight, beloved mine’ that I recorded last year. Here I have replaced ‘No harm will come your way’ with ‘As the moon peeps down and smiles’ to rhyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Goodnight, sweet dreams, may gentle dreams tonight,

Keep you warm and cosy, my child.

Goodnight, sweet dreams, breathe softly through the night,

As the moon peeps down and smiles.

 

May golden feathered birdies sing,

‘Midst blossom sweet of faint perfume,

And your guardian angel spread her wings,

O’er all your silent room.

 

Goodnight, sweet dreams, may gentle dreams tonight,

Keep you warm and cosy my child.

Goodnight, sweet dreams, breathe softly through the night,

As the moon peeps down and smiles.


 

 

 

Great big stars O

 

 


This is an adaptation from the version in Ruth Crawford Seeger’s ‘American folk songs for Christmas’ sourced from ‘The story of the Jubilee singers’ edited by J.B.I. Marsh 1877 London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1877 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23342360M/The_story_of_the_Jubilee_Singers  This volume was a testament to a company of emancipated slaves who toured Europe with their songs raising funds for the education of other African Americans. Well worth reading! To find the song, ‘Shine, shine’ go to P.220.

I have added my own verses and encourage others to make up verses to suit their audience; ‘Warm in bed Ethan is sleeping’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Great big stars way up yonder,

Great big stars way up yonder,

Great big stars way up yonder,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

 

Shooting stars blaze in number,

Shooting stars blaze in number,

Shooting stars blaze in number,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

 

Great big moon smiles in wonder,

Great big moon smiles in wonder,

Great big moon smiles in wonder,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

 

Warm in bed children slumber,

Warm in bed children slumber,

Warm in bed children slumber,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine,

Oh, my little soul’s gonna shine, shine.


 

 

Greensleeves 🔊

 

 


This tune is often used as a lullaby on CDs; the original text might not be suitable but little ones still enjoy the calming sound of the words and the beautiful melody.

Second verse adapted by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alas my love you do me wrong,

To cast me off discourteously;

For I have loved you so long,

Delighting in your company.

 

Greensleeves was all my joy,

Greensleeves was my delight,

Greensleeves was my heart of gold

And who but my lady Greensleeves.

 

You may desire no earthly thing,

But still you have it readily:

With music still to play and sing,

And now sweetest dreams for your company!


 

 

Hey, little crow 🔊

 

 


A lovely number fingerplay for bedtime, from Lithuania.

Translated freely and  music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hey, little crow, do you know,

How many children that you have?

 

One crow is home alone,

One crow makes the garden grow,

Two crows slice brown, brown bread,

Two crows count the stars it’s said.

 

Three crows fly high and low,

Three crows feel the breezes blow,

Four crows fish for little stars

Night has fallen, tired they are.

 

Five dream of chocolate cake,

And ginger biscuits they could make.

Six are rocking in the sky,

Their moon bed sings a lullaby.

 

Baby crows are sleeping,

Night has stilled their tweeting.

They dream of playing in the sky,

As little clouds roll by.

 

Šarkele varnele,

Kiek tu turi vaikelių?

Vienas namuose,

Vienas laukuose,

Du duonelę raiko,

Du galveles kraipo.

Šarkele varnele,

Kiek tu turi vaikelių?

Trys pinigus skaito,

Trys vėjus vaiko,

Keturi žvejoja,

Daineles dainuoja.

– Šarkele varnele,

Kiek tu turi vaikelių?

Penki ropes rauna,

Į krūveles krauna,

Šeši dūdom groja

Ir per dangų joja.


 

 

Highland fairy lullaby O

 

A lullaby from the Highlands of Scotland. Beware of leaving a baby out of doors in this part of the world  – the little people are out and about and likely to steal them away. There are many more verses to be found online. You can hear it sung beautifully in Gaelic at: http://www.kistodreams.org/fairy_lullaby_g.asp

Blaeberries are similar to blueberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I left my baby lying there,

Lying there, lying there,

I left my baby lying there,

To go and gather blaeberries.

Chorus:

Hovan, hovan gorry og o,

Gorry og o, gorry og o,

Hovan, hovan gorry og o,

I never found my baby-o.

 

I saw the wee brown otter's track,

Otter's track, otter's track,

I saw the wee brown otter's track,

But never saw my baby-o.

 

I heard the curlew crying far,

Crying far, crying far,

I heard the curlew crying far,

But never heard my baby-o.

 

I searched the moorland tarns and then,

Wandered through the silent glen,

I saw the mist upon the ben,

But never found my baby-o.

 

 

 


 

 

Ho, ho watanay 🔊

 

 


Or ‘Iroquois lullaby’ was collected in 1955 by Alan Mill  on the Kahnawake (Caughnawaugha) Reserve near Montreal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ho, ho watanay, Ho, ho watanay,

Ho, ho watanay, Kiokina, kiokina, (ki-yo-ke-na)

 

Lullay little one, Lullay little one,

Lullay little one, Now go to sleep my baby.

 

Do, do mon petit, Do, do mon petit,

Do, do mon petit, Et bonne nuit, et bonne nuit.


 

 

Hobo’s lullaby O

 

 


Written by Goebel Reeves, this song about the wandering vagabond has been recorded by both Woody Guthrie and his son Arlo (in the film Alice’s Restaurant) and also by many others.

The song tells of the plight of drifters and the homeless that is still sadly relevant today. However, with such a beautiful tune (originally,Just before the battle, mother’), it makes a lovely lullaby for all little people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go to sleep you weary hobo,

Let the towns drift slowly by.

Can't you hear the steel rail humming.

That's a hobo's lullaby.

 

Do not think about tomorrow,

Let tomorrow come and go.

Tonight you're in a nice warm boxcar,

Safe from all this wind and snow.

 

I know your clothes are torn and ragged,

And your hair is turning grey.

Lift your head and smile at trouble,

You'll find happiness someday.


 

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page