"The strange and weird superstition, concerning the carrying off by the fairies of children, is well known... But the fairies carried off adults also, as the following song will show.... It is necessary to observe that the person who speaks is the one who has been carried off by the fairies, and set with others who had undergone the same fate to nurse the stolen babies. If not delivered, within a year and a day, she was to be made queen of the fairy fort, and would henceforth be lost to mortal ken. She perceives a woman washing on the brink of a stream, and informs her of these facts, and of the manner in which she may be liberated, whilst still hushing the baby to sleep. There is much pathos in her allusion to the fact that she is nursing a strange babe, whilst her own remains without a mother's care. " -The Shamrock (1870)

Fairy Lullaby - Irish Children's Songs - Ireland - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


"The lullaby line addressed to the baby is to be read in a lower tone than the rest, being marked piano in the music. This line differs in different Irish copies, so that, in place of 'Hush-a-by baby, babe not mine,' the reader might say simply: 'Shoheen sho, strange baby O!' or, 'Sho hoo lo, sho hoo lo.'" -The Shamrock (1870)

The original version of this song is Irish Gaelic. It's called A Bhean Úd Thíos


Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Fairy Lullaby

Thanks and Acknowledgements

"The English version is by Mr. Sigerson, who has preserved the rhythm of the original, in a faithful translation." -Shamrock (Vol. 8 - 1870)

Image from an old fairy book - heavily edited by Mama Lisa.