Thursday, October 13, 2005

All the Pretty Little Horses


Nursemaid and Child


Hushabye, don't you cry
Go to sleep, you little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses.

Dapples and greys, pintos and bays,
All the pretty little horses.

Way down yonder
In the meadow
Poor little baby crying ‘Mama’
The birds and the butterflies
Flutter ‘round his eyes
Poor little baby crying ‘Mama.’

Hushabye, don't you cry
Go to sleep, you little baby.
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses.


I’m learning this song on the guitar. Preliminary research lauds this song as a soothing, peaceful lullaby about a mother’s love for her child, but it struck such a yearning, melancholy within that I had to do a little more digging. I didn't have to dig all that deep to find a number of sources that revealed this ballad from the American South is about two babies: the plantation master’s child, and the nursemaid's own baby. No wonder this song unsettles me so.

Here is an MP3 download of All the Pretty Little Horses" sung by Miranda Russell. This version has more vocal and instrumental curliques than I like, but I wanted to link a free legal download of the song.

3 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

Troubling.

Nonny said...

Alkelda, I loved Drak Pack, to continue with our confessions (and this will make yours seem mild) When I was in my late teens I was obsessed with all things vampire. Alas, none ever came and bit me and after I had children I did not desire to become a vampire any longer. Also once you hit your thirties immortality doesn't sound as good as it use to :)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny, What is it about the vampires? I mean, I was never into the drinking blood gig, or the living forever gig, and I certainly didn't care for the violence. But hey, Richard Roxburgh was the best part of "Van Helsing" (sorry Hugh Jackman, sorry Kate Beckinsale, even though I love the new look. Don't ever lose weight again, okay?)

There is a book you might enjoy. It's called Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. As novels with vampires in them go, it's a cut above the rest, and a good story in its own right.