There are many versions of this rhyme throughout western culture.

Ladybird, Ladybird - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

*A ladybird is a ladybug. Ladybirds are called ladybugs in the US, but ladybirds in the UK.
It can also be called a lady beetle.

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Here's the version recited in the mp3:

Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home,
Thy house is on fire, thy children all gone:
All but one whose name is Ann,
And she crept under the pudding-pan.

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Here's the version from The Little Mother Goose (1912) which was printed in the USA:

Lady-bug, lady-bug,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire,
Your children will burn.

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Charles Madison Curry and Erle Elsworth Clippinger wrote, "These lines, common in similar form to many countries, are said by children when they throw the beautiful little insect into the air to make it take flight." Their version ends with the line: "And she crept under the pudding-pan." Curry and Clippinger edited Children's Literature, A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes (1920).

The Real Mother Goose (1916) also ends the rhyme with "And she crept under the pudding pan."

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Here's the version from The Only True Mother Goose Melodies (Published and Copyrighted in Boston in 1833 by Munroe & Francis):

Lady-bird, Lady-bird
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire,
Your children will burn.

Here's another version from The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes (circa 1920) edited by Walter Jerrold:

Lady-Bird, Lady-Bird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire,
Your children have gone,
All but one, that lies under a stone;
Fly thee home, Lady-Bird,
Ere it be gone.

Ladybird, Ladybird - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Comment After Song Image
Ladybird, Ladybird - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 1
Ladybird, Ladybird - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 2
Ladybird, Ladybird - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 3

Comments

I recited this rhyme to my 7 year old daughter and she pointed out that it's sad. I mentioned that people lived harder lives back then when they came up with it. She commented that it should have been all the more reason to come up with happier rhymes...

Listen

The words to the mp3 below can be found in the Notes.

Download

Recited by Ruth Golding.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

The illustrations come from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897), The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright, St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, May 1878 issue, The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.

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