Crow on the Cradle

by Sydney Carter

The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
Reach for the moon, and laugh at the sun
If he's a boy he'll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

If it should be that the baby's a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn't curl
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

Rockabye baby, the black and the white
Somebody's baby was born for a fight
Rockabye baby, the white and the black
Somebody's baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Now your mammy and pappy, they scrape and they save
Lord they build you a coffin and they dig you a grave
Hushabye little one, never you weep
‘Cause we've got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me a gun and I'll shoot that bird dead
Yes that's what your mammy and pappy once said
Crow on the cradle, tell me what shall I do?
That is a thing that I leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle

© 1963

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