Hush a bye baby rhyme

Paupers at dinner
Paupers at dinner

Hus-a-bye baby rhyme is said to have originated from America. It was the practice of some Native Americans to place a baby in the branches of a tree allowing the wind to gently rock the child to sleep.

Hush a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock;
When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

You may imagine how the cradle rocks with the wind, and it's so sweet.

But I met another version of the this nursery rhyme or lullaby in the book "Workhouse" by Simon Fowler (National Archives, P. 198), the verse was from Yorkshire:

Hush-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
When you grow old, your wages will stop,
When you have spent the little you made,
First to the Poorhouse and then to the grave.

It seems quite offensive to sing to a baby, but it was the damn reality.

A Japanese Buddhist monk Sengai was invited to the birthday celebration of a rich man. The rich man asked Sengai to write something for the continued prosperity of his family. Sengai picked up the huge pen-brush, dipped into the ink-stone, and then wrote on a large piece of paper, "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies."

Sengai explained to the angry host, "If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. You wouldn't be grieved on your son's death, and your son would not be broken-hearted because his son dies before him. I call this real prosperity."

Do you feel helpless when you have to face the harsh reality, or ponder on the fate of everyone.

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W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 5 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

Death is the one thing we all have in common and yet so many people waste their lvies worrying about money and the things that don't matter.

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