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Brewster: Ballads and Songs of Indiana 313
71 BABES IN THE WOOD
This song was written at least as early as 1595 (Rollins, Analytical Index, No. 1962). Mention of it by title occurs in stanza 22 of "The Lamentation of a Bad Market," a broadside dating from about 1680 (Kollins, The Pepys Ballads, III, 56, No. 100). See also Bishop Percy's account of it m the Reliques (1865).
For other texts, see Baring-Gould, A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes, p. 40; Journal, XXXV, 348 (with additional references); McGill, p. 104; Mason, Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs, p. 22; Pound, No. 115; Scarborough, p. 57; Williams, Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames, p. 217; Roxburghe Ballads, II, 214 ("The Children in the Wood; or, The Norfolk Gentleman's Last Will and Testament"); Cox, Traditional Ballads, p. 73.
"The Three Babes." Contributed by Mrs. Alidore Cassidy Huffman, of Tell City, Indiana. Perry County. March 15, 1936.
1. O don't you remember a long time ago, Three little babes whose names I don't know Were stolen away one bright summer day And lost in the woods, I've heard people say.
2. And when they were gone, so sad was their plight; The moon shone bright, the stars gave good light. They sighed; they sighed and bitterly cried,
And those three little babes all lay down and died.
3. And when they were dead, the robins so red Scattered strawberry leaves all over their bed; They sang sweet songs and mourned along1
For those three little babes who are now dead and gone.
1 For alone ?