Popular English Lullabies and Their Meanings

Lullabies have a long history and these stories are passed from one generation to next. These lullabies are among the most popular tunes around the world with their soft tunes and entertaining lyrics. Although lullabies are written in different languages and different cultures, they are the greatest assistants to calm the babies down and to make them sleep. Do you know you can improve your English skills with lullabies in English?

In addition to reading and writing in your English learning process, you can improve your English by listening. At this moment, lullabies will support you to listen to an English test and to understand what you hear. Also, lullabies will expand your vocabulary and help you to learn different patterns with new words and rhyming phrasal verbs. In this sense, English lullabies will make English learning and improving your English skills into a fun journey.

Here are the most popular English lullabies and their meanings:

Hush Little Baby Lullaby

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,

Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,

Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

If that diamond ring turns brass,

Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,

Mama’s gonna buy you a goat.

And if that goat won’t pull,

Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,

Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,

Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,

You are still be the sweetest little baby in town.

And if that horse and cart fall down,

You are still be the sweetest little baby in town.

“Hush a Little Baby” is assumed to arrive in America from England. This lullaby has a long history as well as calm and comforting tune and fun lyrics. In “Hush Little Baby” lullaby, the mother wants her small baby to stop crying and go to sleep. She promises the baby that his father will buy a mockingbird if she sleeps. Then, the mother says she will buy a diamond ring if the mockingbird does not sing. Then, the mother says if the diamond ring becomes rice or fades, she will buy a mirror.

Later, the mother says she will buy a goat if the mirror breaks. After that, the mother says she will buy a bull and a cart if the goat does not move. Then, she says if she sings and the bull comes back with the cart, she will buy a dog and call that dog Rover.

Sleep Baby Sleep Lullaby

Sleep, baby, sleep

Your father tends the sheep

Your mother shakes the dreamland tree

And from it fall sweet dreams for thee

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

Our cottage vale is deep

The little lamb is on the green

With snowy fleece so soft and clean

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

The mother wants the baby to sleep when she sings sleep baby sleep lullaby. Then, she says her father will count the sheep and her mother will swing her in the imaginary tree. All sweet dreams will fall from this tree where the mother swings the baby. Here, the dream tree is something that does not exist and created to entertain the child.

The second section of the lullaby starts with “sleep baby sleep”. Then, the singer tells about a hut in the depth of the valley to the child. The singer mentions that the fur of the young sheep is still soft. This lullaby ends with “sleep baby sleep”. This ending phrase is repeated until the baby sleeps.

Little Star Lullaby

Twinkle twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

When the blazing sun is gone

When there’s nothing he shines upon

Then you show your little light

Twinkle, twinkle, through the night

In the dark blue sky so deep

Through my curtains often peep

For you never close your eyes

Til the morning sun does rise

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Little Star is among the most popular and well-known lullabies due to its pronunciation and content. This lullaby tells the story of a little girl who loves watching twinkling stars at night. She loves the stars so much that she owns her own star pillow. She sleeps with it every night. One night, before she goes to bed, she looks out of her window. And she sees a small, twinkling and shining star visiting her and calling her “hello”.

When the lullaby continues, the star takes the little girl to an amazing journey up in the sky. They see some lost wanderers during their journey. Star shows its shiny light to help them go back to shore. Then, the star and the little girl turn back to the little girl’s room. In the next morning, the girl remembers her amazing journey and hugs her star pillow.

All the Pretty Little Horses Lullaby

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby.

When you wake, you shall have,

All the pretty little horses.

Blacks and bays, dapples and greys,

Go to sleepy you little baby,

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby.

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby,

When you wake, you shall have,

All the pretty little horses.

Way down yonder, down in the meadow,

There’s a poor wee little lamby.

The bees and the butterflies pickin’ at its eyes,

The poor wee thing cried for her mammy.

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby.

When you wake, you shall have,

All the pretty little horses.

“All the Pretty Little Horses” lullaby is also known as “Hush-a-Bye”. The origins of this lullaby dates back to the US. In this lullaby, the mother wants her baby to stop crying. As she sings the lullaby, the mother promises the child to have all the beautiful horses. Then, the mother says the baby can have one of these beautiful horses and names a few of them.

Later, the other asks the child to stop crying and start sleeping because when the child sleeps, all the beautiful horses will dance around him and the love of these beautiful horses are real and holy. The mother says when the child sleeps throughout the night and imagining these horses, the coats of these horses will shine and they will look more beautiful. Lastly, the mother wants the child to dream about wild running horses in the meadows. And she asks the child to turn around with joy and he can have fun with the horses.

Little Blue Boy Lullaby

Little blue boy,

The sheep is in the meadow.

Where is the boy who looks the sheep?

He is under the haystack asleep.

This short lullaby starts with little blue boy phrase. The lullaby has a comforting and soft tone when it mentions sheep in the meadow and the boy looking at the sheep.

You’re My Honeybunch (Cuppycake) Lullaby

You’re my Honeybunch,

Sugarplum

Pumpy-umpy-umpkin,

You’re my Sweetie Pie

You’re my Cuppycake,

Gumdrop

Snoogums-Boogums,

You’re the Apple of my Eye

And I love you so and I want you to know

That I’ll always be right here

And I love to sing sweet songs to you

Because you are so dear

Cuppycake lullaby is loved as it has lovely words. This lullaby starts with the mother calling her baby as honeybunch, sugarplum, sweetie pie and cuppy cake. When the lullaby continues, the mother says that she/he is the most valuable person around the world and she loves her/him the most. And she uses “apple of my eye” phrase. At the end of the lullaby, the mother says she loves the baby very much and she/he should know that she will always be on her/his side. She says she/he is the most beautiful and sweetest thing for her and she will continue to sing lovely lullabies to her/him.

You can create your membership on Englishninjas.com and start practicing with native English speakers. Also, you can choose the most suitable program you need and take the right step to improve your English level.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *