Learn a Rhyme

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Little Boy Blue

Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow,
The cow's in the corn;
Where is that boy
Who looks after the sheep?
Under the haystack fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
Oh no, not I,
For if I do he will surely cry.

This traditional rhyme was first published in 1744

This may be a rhyme warning shepherds of the dangers of falling asleep instead of watching over the flock.

The rhyme has also been suggested to refer to Thomas Wolsey, the son of a butcher who rose during the reign of Henry VIII to become a Cardinal and the most important man in the land. He is said to have been vain (blowing his own horn) and also to have creamed of riches for his own benefit rather than those of his 'flock'.