“Hush Alee”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: lullaby nonballad father mother
Found in: Ireland

Description

"I sit up all night with the fire burning bright, While rocking my baby to sleep, Singing, 'Hush a-le la lee, hush a-lo lee, Your daddy will come by and by, So close your eyes and go to sleep, Your dear mother she is tired, Singing hush alee..."

Notes

It's far from certain that these songs are the same. Kennedy, who knew the Henry collection, did not equate them, speculating instead that "Hush, Little Babbie" came from a Gaelic original.

But both the Kennedy and Henry texts are from Northern Ireland, and they share lines and somewhat similar choruses. I decided to equate them.

The text cited in the description is from Henry. Kennedy's version has a curious floating segment, "Where are you going, my old man, Where are you going, my honey?" - RBW

References

  1. SHenry H591b, p. 6, "Hush Alee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Kennedy 343, "Hush, Little Babbie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. DT, HUSHALEE*
  4. Roud #2158
  5. BI, HHH591b