Little Boy Blue - The Nursery Rhyme Collections

The Nursery Rhymes Collections 1-4 contain a total of 277 children's songs. Each double CD album showcases the highest quality children's music ever recorded with a total playing time in excess of 10 hours!

Little Boy Blue (Audio Sample and Lyrics)

Little Boy Blue
Come blow your horn,
The sheep are in the meadow
The cow's in the corn.
But where is the boy
Who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
No, not I
For if I do,
He's sure to cry
If I do, he's sure to cry

Words: Traditional
Music: Ian J Watts

Origin and background

The only certain knowledge concerning this song is that it is listed in Tommy Thumb's Little Songbook (1744). The blue boy mentioned in the nursery rhyme might refer to Cardinal Wolsey, a very important and mighty historical person in connection with King Henry VIII. During his reign he became one of the most powerful men of the time. The colour blue might refer to his emblem.

Blowing a horn means raising attention. If you don't want to raise attention - don't blow a horn! The sheep and the cows symbolise wealth but the person who is in charge of taking care seems to be fast asleep, so he seems to neglect his treaures. But - assuming that the blue boy actually refers to Cardinal Wolsey - is it clever to wake up King Henry? There is a saying that you should not wake up the sleeping lion. If the King will wake up, he will be in a rage (he is sure to cry).

But obviously that's exactly what happened: Cardinal Wolsey lost the favour of King Henry VIII, his punishment was hard and his fall was deep.

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