Bye Baby Bunting
DESCRIPTION: "Bye, baby bunting, Daddy's gone a-hunting To get a little rabbit skin To wrap the baby bunting in." "Sister stayed at home To rock-a-bye-a-baby bunting. Mama stayed at home To bake a cake for baby bunting."
EARLIEST DATE: 1784 (Gammar Gurton's Garland, according to Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes)
KEYWORDS: nonballad baby hunting family
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE) Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) West Indies(Jamaica,Tobago) New Zealand
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 112, "Bye Baby Bunting" (assorted stanzas from sundry collections)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 112, "By Baby Bunting" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 25, "Bye, baby bunting" (2 texts)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #551, p. 226, "(Bee baw bunting)"
Dolby-OrangesAndLemons, p. 173, "Bye, Baby Buntin" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan8 1556, "Baby Baby Bunting" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Henry-SongsSungInTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 243, (no title) (1 short text)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 89, pp. 141-142, "Bye, Baby Bunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Elder-FolksongsFromTobago 23, "Buy Baby Ribbon" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sutton-Smith-NZ-GamesOfNewZealandChilden/FolkgamesOfChildren, p. 126, "(Baby, baby, bunting)" (1 text)
Heart-Songs, p. 101, "Baby Bunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [131 words]: The Opies, as their #24, print what looks like a by-blow of this, "Bye, baby bumpklin, Where's Tony Lumpkin? My lady's on her death-bed, with eating half a pumpkin." The Opies observe that Tony Lumpkin is a character in Oliver Goldsmith's 1773 She Stoops to Conquer; he is a rather obnoxious country squire. I have no idea if that is significant.
Boswell's version of this song is very different from the common one, with two long verses about the parents. I suspect these came from a different source.
I would guess that George MacDonald knew this piece from oral tradition; he has a poem beginning "baby baby babbing / your father's gone a-cabbing" (sic.; it has no upper-case letters or punctuation) in chapter 17, "Diamond Makes a Beginning" of At the Back of the North Wind.- RBW
Last updated in version 6.0
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.