Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (I)

DESCRIPTION: A child's prayer, asking the apostles for a blessing: "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John / Bless the bed that I lie on / Four bright angels at my bed / Two at the bottom and two at the head / Two to hear me as I pray / And two to bear my soul away"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1891 (Baring-Gould); original probably from 1656 (Ady, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: nonballad religious
FOUND IN: US(Ap,NE)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Flanders/Olney, p. 33, "White Paternoster (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) (1 short text)
Chase, p. 209, "The Bedtime Prayer" (1 text)
Opie-Oxford2 346, "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" (4 texts)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #548, p. 221, "(Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)"
Dolby, p. 177, "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #457, "Before Sleeping" (1 composite text, of a number of children's prayers; it may have inspired some later uses of the text.)

ST FO033 (Full)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Go And Dig My Grave" (lyrics)
cf. "The Little Beggar Boy" (floating verses)
cf. "Old Lead (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John II)" (lyrics)
NOTES: The first two lines of this piece can be dated to Thomas Ady in 1656 -- but could easily have been used in another context. Similar pieces are common e.g. Montgomerie-ScottishNR 95 runs "Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Hold the horse till I leap on; Hold it succar, hold it sure, Till I win o'er the misty moor". Peter and Iona Opie, I Saw Esau: Traditional Rhymes of Youth, # 84, is similar: "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Joh, Hold the horse till I leap on; When I leapt on I could not ride; I fell off and broke my side" (also in Opie-Oxford2 #347, p. 305); they suspect this is a hobby horse rhyme.
I'm not really convinced, e.g., the Chase and Flanders/Olney texts are the same -- but how do you separate two pieces with the same words and no tune? - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: FO033

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