“Rock-a-bye Baby” ‘s melody comes from a variant of the English satirical ballad “Lilliburlero”, a march that seems to have been known at the time of the 17th-century English Civil War.
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.
Printable Lyrics PDF
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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.
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