Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Nursery Rhyme from Mother Goose


Left: from The Real Mother Goose, illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright. Right: A Nursery Rhyme Picture Book by L. Leslie Brooke.

Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme

(Click to it.)

First appearance in print: 1744

Interesting

  • See if the tune sounds like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to you. Or The Alphabet Song.
  • The term "black sheep" came to mean the most shameful member of a family, though it's hard to see how that usage could have come from this rhyme.

Vocabulary

  • marry, used to be used as an exclamation of surprise or emphasis. Think "As a matter of fact..." (This word is often replaced now, leaving the line reading, "Yes sir, yes sir / Three bags full."

What do you think?

  • I've always thought this nursery rhyme needed one more stanza, just like Twinkle, Twinkle has, in order to sound complete. So I added one! You'll find it in italics at the end of the poem. Let me know if you like it!

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, marry, have I,
Three bags full.

One for my master,
One for my dame,
But none for the little boy
Who cries in the lane.

(Extra verse)
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Thank you for the wool.
Baby needs a sweater,
Mama needs one too.

The Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme appears in Blanche Fisher Wright's classic The Real Mother Goose collection.

More Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

from Denslow's Mother Goose, illustrated by W.W. Denslow

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