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Crusader963 Crusader963 61-65, M 4 Answers Oct 11, 2010

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According to the great Wiki"

I don't know this - Wiki does





Yet another theory has it that the lyrics, like the tune "Lilliburlero" it is sung to, refer to events immediately preceding the Glorious Revolution. The baby is supposed to be the son of James VII and II, who was widely believed to be someone else's child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Catholic heir for James. The "wind" may be that political "wind" or force "blowing" or coming from the Netherlands bringing James' nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution. The "cradle" is the royal House of Stuart.[4] The earliest recorded version of the words in print appeared with a footnote, "This may serve as a warning to the Proud and Ambitious, who climb so high that they generally fall at last"[5], which may be read as supporting a satirical meaning. It would help to substantiate the suggestion of a specific political application for the words however if they and the 'Lilliburlero' tune could be shown to have been always associated.

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I just LOVE it when people know their social history! Excellent.

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Nice cut and paste from wikipedia. You forgot to take out the reference numbers.

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I don't know about this one but as with many nursery rhyme they are about death and doom

ring a ring a rose was a song about the plague

humpty dumpty was about war and cannons.

even our fairy tale stories are all about killing, eating children, murder,animals eating people and each other but for some reason...the kids love them.

i've had many requests for ..read it again mum.

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ANY BABY, TREE TOP SWAYS. I NEVER LIKED THE VERSE " AND DOWN WILL COME BABY CRADEL AND ALL" SO I SING" AND GOD WILL CATCH BABY CRADEL AND ALL" NIGHT,NIGHT!!!!

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Everyone else does their cut and paste before me. Thinking out this one ...



Various theories exist to explain the origins of the rhyme.



One[1] identifies it as the first poem written on American soil, suggesting it may date from the 17th century and have been written by an English immigrant who observed the way native-American women rocked their babies in birch-bark cradles, which were suspended from the branches of trees, allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep.[2] A difficulty with this theory is that the words appeared in print first in England in c. 1765.



In Derbyshire, England, local legend has it that the song relates to a local character in the late 18th century, Betty Kenny (Kate Kenyon), who lived with her charcoal-burner husband, Luke, and their eight children in a huge yew tree in Shining Cliff Woods in the Derwent Valley, where a hollowed-out bough served as a cradle.[3] However this "late 1700s" date is incompatible with the poem's appearance in print C. 1765.



Yet another theory has it that the lyrics, like the tune "Lilliburlero" it is sung to, refer to events immediately preceding the Glorious Revolution. The baby is supposed to be the son of James VII and II, who was widely believed to be someone else's child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Catholic heir for James. The "wind" may be that political "wind" or force "blowing" or coming from the Netherlands bringing James' nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution. The "cradle" is the royal House of Stuart.[4] The earliest recorded version of the words in print appeared with a footnote, "This may serve as a warning to the Proud and Ambitious, who climb so high that they generally fall at last"[5], which may be read as supporting a satirical meaning. It would help to substantiate the suggestion of a specific political application for the words however if they and the 'Lilliburlero' tune could be shown to have been always associated.



Another possibility 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.[6]

[edit] Publication

The words first appeared in print in Mother Goose's Melody (London, c. 1765), possibly published by John Newbery (1713–1767) in the 18th century, which was re-printed in Boston in 1785.[7] Rock-a-bye as a phrase was first recorded in 1805 in Benjamin Tabart's Songs for the Nursery, (London, 1805).[8][9]



[edit] Melody

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