Rocking the Cradle (and the Child Not His Own)

DESCRIPTION: The old man laments "about rocking the cradle and the child not his own." Though at the time he had been happy to marry a lighthearted lass, he now finds her out at parties all the time (or keeping company with other men)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1900 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.9(282))
KEYWORDS: marriage age wife husband children infidelity bastard
FOUND IN: Ireland US(MW,SE,So) Britain(Wales) Canada(Newf) Australia
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Randolph 393, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 166, "Show Me the Man Who Never Done Wrong (or, Rocking the Baby to Sleep)" (1 text, 1 tune -- a curious version in which it appears at first that it is the woman, not the man, who is betrayed)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, pp. 168-169, "The Wee One"; p. 266, "Rock All Our Babies" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 212, "Rocking the Cradle" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tunney-StoneFiddle, pp. 143-145, "Old Man Rocking the Cradle" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 478-479, "The Milkman's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 240-241, "As I Went A-Walking One Fine Summer's Evening" (1 text, 1 tune); also pp. 242-244, "Run Along, Little Dogies" (1 text, 1 tune, mostly "Get Along, Little Dogies" but with lyrics imported from "Rocking the Cradle (and the Child Not His Own)")
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 192, "The Old Man's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune); also 190, "Run Along, You Little Dogies" (1 text, 1 tune, mostly "Get Along Little Dogies" but with a chorus partly from this piece!)
ArkansasWoodchopper, pp. 20-21, "While I Rock Our Babies to Sleep" (1 text, 1 tune, probably slightly cleaned up and with an added yodel)
Hamer-GreenGroves, p. 53, "Lullaby" (1 fragment, 1 tune, too short to be properly identified)

Roud #357
Robert Cinnamond, "Rocking the Cradle" (on IRRCinnamond02)
John Doherty, "Rocking the Cradle" (on FSBFTX19)
Fay & the Jay Walkers, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (Paramount 3100/Broadway 8093, 1928)
Richard Hayward, "County Mayo Fragment" (Rex 15016A/matrix DR 11812-2, 1947)
A. L. Lloyd, "Rocking the Cradle" (on Lloyd2, Lloyd4)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Tossing the Baby So High" (Vocalion 5013, 1926)
Neil Morris, "Rock All the Babies to Sleep" (on LomaxCD1707)
Charlie & Bud Newman, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (OKeh 45431, 1930; rec. 1928)
Riley Puckett, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (Columbia 107-D, 1924)
George Reneau, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (Vocalion 14997, 1925)
Jimmie Rodgers, "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" (Victor 23721, 1932; Regal Zonophone [UK] MR-2200, 1936; rec. 1930)
Paddy Tunney, "The Old Man Rocking the Cradle" (on Voice01); "Rocking the Cradle" (on IRPTunney01)
Dave Turner [pseud. for Dick Parman], "Rock All Our Babies To Sleep" (Supertone 9374, 1929)

Bodleian, 2806 b.9(282), "Rocking the Cradle," J.F. Nugent & Co. (Dublin), 1850-1899; also Harding B 19(65), 2806 c.15(202), "Rocking the Cradle"
cf. "Unhappy Jeremiah (The Brats of Jeremiah)" (plot)
cf. "Hush-a-Bye, Baby" (plot)
cf. "Show Me The Lady That Never Would Roam" (theme)
cf. "When I Was Single (II)"
cf. "How Sad" (theme of the husband having to do his wife's work and care for the baby)
cf. "Seoithin Seo" (tune, according to Sean O Boyle, notes to David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland")
Tossing the Baby So High (Uncle Dave Macon version)
NOTES [120 words]: An Irish legend has it that the chorus, "Hi-ho, hi-ho, my laddie, lie easy, For perhaps your own daddy might never be known. I'm seein' and sighin' and rockin' the cradle, And nursing the baby that's none of my own," was sung by the Virgin Mary to the baby Jesus. In English, no doubt. - RBW
Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "Rockin' the Cradle" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)) - BS
Hamer's single-stanza text is, flatly, too short to identify and may be an independent piece. Roud files it here on the basis of a few words, and I've done the same because I know of no clear versions of this text." - RBW
Last updated in version 5.2
File: R393

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