“Can Ye Sew Cushions”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1803 (Scots Musical Museum)
Keywords: nonballad baby
Found in: Britain(Scotland)

Description

"O can ye sew cushions, And can ye sew sheets, Can you sing ba-loo-loo When the bairn greets?" "And hee and baw, birdie, and he and baw, lamb... My bonnie wee lamb." (The singer talks of the child's future life.)

Notes

Insignificant as this item sounds, it's had some pretty big names associated with it; both Burns and Lady Nairne are said to have worked on it. Murray Shoolbraid's Digital Tradition notes give information on a putative Gaelic source; I have not been able to check this. - RBW

References

  1. Montgomerie-ScottishNR 135, "(O can you sew cushions)" (1 text)
  2. DT, SEWCUSHN* CUSHION2
  3. Roud #5527
  4. BI, MSNR135