“All the Pretty Little Horses”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Keywords: lullaby animal horse
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So)


"Hush-a-bye, don't you cry, Go to sleep you little baby. When you wake, you shall have All the pretty little horses." The horses are described. Another verse describes a baby (lamb) left in a meadow at the mercy of the birds

Cross references



  1. Randolph 269, "Black Sheep Lullaby" (2 short texts, both rather far removed from the usual form; 1 tune)
  2. BrownIII 115, "Hush-a-Bye, Don't You Cry" (3 text plus mention of 1 more); also
  3. "Poor Little Lamb Cries Mammy" (3 short texts, perhaps related to the Randolph version)
  4. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp.145-148, "Lullaby," (no title), "Go to Sleepy, Little Baby," "Got to Sleep, Little Baby," (no title), (no title), "Ole Cow," (no title) (8 texts, most short, 2 tunes); also probably pp. 148-149, "Baa-Baa Black Sheep" (1 short text, one tune, which is much like this piece except for the first line)
  5. Sandburg, pp. 454-455, "Go To Sleepy" (1 text, 1 tune, in which the child is promised rewards upon waking -- but seemingly also threatened with the "booger man" if it won't sleep)
  6. SharpAp 233, "Mammy Loves" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Scott-BoA, pp. 204-205, "Hushabye (All the Pretty Little Horses)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Lomax-FSUSA 2, "All the Pretty Little Horses" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 304-305, "All the Pretty Little Horses" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Lomax-FSNA 265, "Black Sheep" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 217-218, "[Horsey Song]" (1 text, 1 tune, partly repeated on page 223)
  12. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 704, "You Shall Have a Horse to Ride" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 224, "All the Pretty Little Horses" (1 text); also probably p. 235, "Go to Sleepy, Little Baby" (very short fragment)
  14. Silber-FSWB, p. 407, "All The Pretty Little Horses" (1 text)
  16. Roud #6705
  17. BI, LxU002