“Katie Lee and Willie Gray”

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


"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