Baby Nursery Rhymes | The Best Songs for your Little One

Baby Nursery Rhymes

When you find yourself holding your little one in your arms, you often feel like singing to them. People have always done that, and babies have a better physical and mental development if parents to sing these rhymes to them.

From lullabies to funny and cute rhymes, these are the most popular songs for babies. Whether you’re about to put them to sleep or play with them and make them laugh, this list will give you ideas, lyrics, and music you can sing upon. What else is there to ask for?


1.

Rock-a-bye baby

This is probably one of the most famous lullabies, but it’s certainly the most significant nursery rhyme throughout the last centuries. “Rock-a-bye Baby” was first recorded in 1805 by Benjamin Tabart in London and it was published for the first time during the 18th century.

Its melody is a variant of the English satirical march-ballad “Lilliburlero”.

Lyrics

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.

Rock-a-bye Baby Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


2.

Brahms’ Lullaby (Cradle Song)

Johannes Brahms composed this extremely popular lullaby in 1868 and it has been since the most recognizable melody among parents worldwide.

Its original title is “Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht”, which means “Good evening, good night”. It was actually a gift from him to Bertha Faber, a composer’s lover, on the occasion of the birth of her second son.

Lyrics

Lullaby and good night,
With roses bedight,
With lilies o’er spread
Is baby’s wee bed.
Lay thee down now and rest,
May thy slumber be blessed.
Lay thee down now and rest,
May thy slumber be blessed.

Lullaby and good night,
Thy mother’s delight,
Bright angels beside
My darling abide.
They will guard thee at rest,
Thou shalt wake on my breast.
They will guard thee at rest,
Thou shalt wake on my breast.

Brahms’ Lullaby Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


3.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

A French melody (“Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”) and some English words (from Jane’s Taylor poem “The Star”) created the famous lullaby “Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star” in 1806, which is still one of the most well-known rhymes for babies.

The song is also known with different lyrics as “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” and as “Alphabet song”, so you don’t have to stick to the original one!

1. Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

2. When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

3. Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

4. In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
‘Till the sun is in the sky.

5. As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark.
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

6. Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

7. Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
How I wonder what you are.

Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


4.

Finger Family (Daddy Finger)

This is one of the most popular songs for kids.

It can be easily sung while showing the fingers of your hand thus presenting the five members of the family.

Lyrics

1. Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

2. Mommy finger, Mommy finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

3. Brother finger, Brother finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

4. Sister finger, Sister finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

5. Baby finger, Baby finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

Finger Family Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


5.

Hush, Little Baby

Is your little girl quiet? Is your little boy upset, while it’s pretty late at night? “Hush, Little Baby” is the perfect lullaby for you and your babies!

This traditional melody from the American South promises all kinds of rewards to your children if they are quiet and you can count on it. Sing it with love and you can offer them and yourself a peaceful night sleep.

Lyrics

1. Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

2. And if that mockingbird don’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

3. And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

4. And if that looking glass is broke,
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat.

5. And if that billy goat won’t pull,
Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and a bull.

6. And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

7. And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,
Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and a cart.

8. And if that horse and cart fall down,
you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

Hush, Little Baby Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


6.

Itsy-Bitsy Spider

“Itsy-Bitsy Spider” (also known as “Eetsy-Beetsy Spider” or “Incy-Wincy Spider“) is a traditional song about a spider that tries to climb up the waterspout and the troubles that occur on its way.

It is usually accompanied by a sequence of gestures that mimic the words of the song.

Lyrics

1. The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the spout again

2. The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the big tall tree
Down came the snow and made the spider freeze
Out came the sun and melted all the snow
So the itsy-bitsy spider had another go

3. The itsy-bitsy spider climbed in the bubble bath
Then came rubber duckie and made the spider laugh
Down came the water and washed him down the drain
So the itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the spout again

Itsy-Bitsy Spider Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


7.

Five Little Monkeys

That’s another song to count the five fingers and it’s easy to mimic with gestures.

Hold up the number of fingers to match the verse with one hand. When you sing about “monkeys jumping on the bed”, you bounce your fingers up and down on your other hand, and when a monkey falls off, you hold up one finger.

Lyrics

1. Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

2. Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

3. Three little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

4. Two little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

5. One little monkey jumping on the bed
He fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

6. No little monkeys jumping on the bed
None fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“Put those monkeys back in bed!”

Five Little Monkeys Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


8.

This Little Piggy

“This Little Piggy” is a British nursery rhyme and fingerplay. In 1728, the first line of the rhyme appeared in a medley called “The Nurse’s Song”.

This is yet another song counting to five, but this time with toes instead of fingers, which is something babies usually find very funny.

Lyrics

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.

This Little Piggy Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


9.

Golden Slumbers

Many people know the Beatles’ song “Golden Slumbers”, but just a few actually know the English lullaby of the same name.

“Golden Slumbers” (the lullaby) is a wonderful song by English Elizabethan dramatist Thomas Dekker, which was written in 1603 and it is based on his poem “Cradle Song”. It is considered to be one of the most popular British cradle songs of all time.

Lyrics

1. Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise;
Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry,
I will sing a lullaby.

2. 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.

Golden Slumbers Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


10.

Mozart’s Lullaby (Sleep, Little One)

“Sleep, Little One” is the most famous German lullaby (Wiegenlied) of all time. It was composed in the 18th century by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart… or maybe not!

According to recent research, the composer of the melody is considered to be either Bernhard Flies or Johann Friedrich Anton Fleischmann, while the words are (definitely) written by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter.

Lyrics

Sleep, little one, go to sleep
So peaceful the birds and the sheep
Quiet the meadow and trees
Even the buzz of the bees
The silvery moonbeams so bright
Down through the window give light
O’er you the moonbeams will creep
Sleep, little one, go to sleep.

Good night, good night.

Sleep, Little One Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


11.

Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)

James Royce Shannon wrote “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)” in 1913 and he also recorded the song the same year, using the voice of singer/actor Chauncey Olcott.

It topped the music charts, but it wasn’t until 1945 that the lullaby became extremely popular, when Bing Crosby covered it in the film “Going My way”. The song sold more than a million copies and it is considered a classic nowadays.

Lyrics

1. Over in Killarney, many years ago
My Mother sang a song to me
in tones so sweet and low,
Just a simple little ditty,
in her good ould Irish way,
And I’d give the world
if she could sing That song to me this day.

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Hush now don’t you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
That’s an Irish lullaby.

2. Oft in dreams I wander
To that cot again,
I feel her arms a-huggin’ me
As when she held me then.
And I hear her voice a-hummin’
To me as in days of yore,
When she used to rock me fast asleep
Outside the cabin door.

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Hush now don’t you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
That’s an Irish lullaby.

Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby) Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download

12.

All The Little Pretty Horses (Hush-a-bye)

This American lullaby is actually a special one, because it is written from the perspective of a caretaker singing a baby to sleep. Many authors believe that it was originally sung by an African American slave, who didn’t have time to take care of her children, because she was busy taking care of her master’s babies.

The song inspired the title of the book “All the Pretty Horses” (Cormac McCarthy) and consequently that of the 2000 film of the same name by Billy Bob Thornton, starring Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz.

Lyrics

1. Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleep, my little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses

Blacks and bays, dapples and grays
Coach and six a little horses
Hush you bye, Don’t you cry
Go to sleep, little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses

2. Way down yonder, in the meadow
poor little baby, crying mama.
Birds and the butterflies, flutter ’round his eyes,
little baby crying mama.

Blacks and bays, dapples and grays
Coach and six a little horses
Hush you bye, Don’t you cry
Go to sleep, little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses

All the Pretty Little Horses (Hush-a-bye) Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


13.

My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean

“My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” is a traditional Scottish folk song which remains popular in Western culture.

Although the song’s origin is uncertain, its subject may be Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’): after the defeat of the Prince at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and his subsequent exile, his Jacobite supporters could have sung the tune in his honour; and thanks to the ambiguity of the term “bonnie”, which can refer to a woman as well as to a man, they could pretend it was a love song.

Lyrics

1. My Bonnie lies over the ocean,
My Bonnie lies over the sea.
My Bonnie lies over the ocean,
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.

Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.

2. Last night as I lay on my pillow,
Last night as I lay on my bed.
Last night as I lay on my pillow,
I dreamt that my Bonnie was dead.

Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.

3. Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean,
And blow the winds o’er the sea.
Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean,
And bring back my Bonnie to me.

Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.

4. The winds have blown over the ocean,
The winds have blown over the sea.
The winds have blown over the ocean,
And brought back my Bonnie to me.

Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.

My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


14.

Ten Little Fingers

This is a simple nursery rhyme and a counting game.

It is sung to learn how to count to ten by using your hands, and its originality is that it also does a countdown, which is something that really attracts the baby’s attention.

One little, two little, three little fingers
Four little, five little, six little fingers
Seven little, eight little, nine little fingers,
Ten little fingers on my hands.

Ten little, nine little, eight little fingers
Seven little, six little, five little fingers
Four little, three little, two little fingers,
one little finger on my hand.

Ten Little Fingers Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


15.

Humpty Dumpty

The rhyme of this English song dates from the late eighteenth century and the tune from 1870, but there is no specific information about its origins.

As a character it is most known from Lewis Carroll’s novel “Through the Looking-Glass”.

Lyrics

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty Free Printable Lyrics | Free Download


You may also like:

The Best Lullabies | 10 Bedtime Songs to Sing your Little One to Sleep

Why Should Parents Sing Nursery Rhymes to their Children?

Top 5 Counting Songs for Children

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