“Katie Lee and Willie Gray”


"Two brown heads with glossy curls... Little boy and girl were they, Katie Lee and Willie Gray." The pretty boy and girl are described. As they grew up, they fell/stayed in love and married; now she rocks a cradle where once she carried a basket

Supplemental text

Katie Lee and Willie Gray
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Hazel Felleman, ed., The Best Loved Poems of the American
People (1936), pp. 246-247. Presumably from some other printed

Two brown heads with tossing curls,
Red lips shuttered over pearls,
Bare feet, white and wet with dew,
Two eyes black, and two eyes blue;
Little girl and boy were they,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey.

In a porch she sits, and lo!
Swings a basket to and fro,
Vastly different from the one
That she swung in years agone.
This is long and deep and wide,
And has -- rockers at the side.

(Stanzas 1, 10 of 10)


Randolph's informant reported that this comes from the Hutchinson family. Felleman's _The Best Loved Poems of the American People_ lists attributions to Josie R. Hunt and J. H. Pixley. - RBW


  1. Randolph 773, "Katie Lee and Willie Gray" (1 text)
  2. ST R773 (Partial)
  3. Roud #5255
  4. BI, R773


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1942 (Randolph)
Keywords: love marriage family
Found in: US(So)