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Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree (P. P. Bliss)

linda lu 10 Jun 06 - 12:59 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jun 06 - 03:02 PM
Peace 10 Jun 06 - 03:05 PM
Peace 10 Jun 06 - 03:10 PM
Q 10 Jun 06 - 04:03 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jun 06 - 05:09 PM
Peace 10 Jun 06 - 05:12 PM
Peace 10 Jun 06 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 10 Jun 06 - 07:57 PM
Q 10 Jun 06 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,JB 25 Jun 11 - 10:00 AM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 11 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Melissa 28 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM
GUEST 07 Mar 12 - 04:19 PM
GUEST 09 Oct 12 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,juli 14 Feb 13 - 01:43 PM
Jim I 14 Feb 13 - 01:48 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Mar 13 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Dottie Nauer 29 Mar 14 - 08:39 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: linda lu
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 12:59 PM

I'm looking for the words and authors name to a song my mother used to sing to me. It starts off... little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree. Little birdie in the tree, sing a song to me. Can anyone help me?


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Subject: ADD: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 03:02 PM

Hi, Linda Lu-
The Traditional Ballad Index has only one songbook citation for this song:

Little Birdie in the Tree

DESCRIPTION: "Little birdie in the tree, Singing a song to me, Singing about the roses, Singing about the tree; Little birdie in the tree, Singing a song for me."
AUTHOR: Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876)?
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: bird nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownIII 146, "Little Birdie in the Tree" (1 text)
Roud #5259
NOTES: For more on Philip Paul Bliss, see the notes to "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning." - RBW
File: Br3146

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibliography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Roud #5259 - Index Search



So, here's that one example that was cited, #146 from Volume 3 of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore:
    Little Birdie in the Tree

    Little birdie in the tree,
    Singing a song to me,
    Singing about the roses,
    Singing about the tree;
    Little birdie in the tree,
    Singing a song to me.

Editor Newman Ivey White notes that the song is "a corruption of a nursery song I heard in my own early childhood and can still sing." The manuscript is marked: "Found in Guilford County near High Point. Sung by Negroes before the Civil War." This fragment is also used as the first stanza of a song pf the same title by P.P. Bliss in the Franklin Square Song Collection dealing with a series of birds - the redbird, snowbird, bluebird, blackbird.
Here's another version, collected by John and Ruby Lomax in 1939:

LITTLE BIRDIE IN THE TREE

Little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree,
Little birdie in the tree,
Sing a song to me.

Sing about the robin,
Way up in the sky;
When you go out callin,
Do your children cry?

(Repeat first verse)

Sung by Ray Wood, Houston, Texas, April 13, 1939.



Library of Congress, American Memory Collection (click to access recording - select "related audio")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Peace
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 03:05 PM

Box 38 FF 3 Collected Folklore--Field Recordings. Reel #37 (with cassette copy). Box is labeled: "Songs sung by Mrs. Olasta Kolarik recorded by JoAnne Terrell April 14, 1960" Cassette includes: SIDE A: Performance by Olasta Kolarik, songs: Little Pig Song, Little Birdie in the Tree, The Darkies Song, I Don't Love Nobody, Johnny's History Lesson, The Horseshoe Song, My Brother, Bob White, Put My Little Shoes Away, Little Boy For Sale, Spelling Song, Morior. SIDE B: Performance by Olasta Kolarik, songs: Mill Mae, The Blind Girl. Performances were collected by JoAnne Terrell, April 14, 1960.

from

specialcollections.wichita.edu/ collections/ms/2002-10/2002-10-b.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Peace
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 03:10 PM

It was also recorded on a 78 by Frank Luther as part of a medley.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Q
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 04:03 PM

I have sent a scan of the music and lyrics of the P. P. Bliss song to Joe. From the "Franklin Square Song Collection, devoted to home and school," ed. J. P. McCaskey, 1881 (1898 Harper printing) p. 140. The song was copyright John Church and Co.

Click to play


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Subject: ADD: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 05:09 PM

Here are the lyrics from the scan Q sent:

Little Birdie in the Tree
(P.P. Bliss)

Little redbird in the tree, in the tree, in the tree,
Little redbird in the tree, sing a song to me.
Sing about the roses On the garden wall,
Sing about the bird-swing On the treetops tall.

CHORUS:
Little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree,
Little birdie in the tree, sing a song to me.


Little snowbird in the tree, in the tree, in the tree,
Little snowbird in the tree, sing a song to me.
Sing about the cloud-land Way off in the sky;
When you go there calling, do your children cry?
CHORUS

Little bluebird in the tree, in the tree, in the tree
Little bluebird in the tree, sing a song to me.
Sing about the mountain, Sing about the sea,
Sing about the steamboats, Is there one for me?
CHORUS

Little blackbird in the tree, in the tree, in the tree
Little blackbird in the tree, sing a song to me.
Sing about the farmer, Planting corn and beans,
Sing about the harvest - I know what that means.
CHORUS



Click to play




Thanks a lot, Q.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Peace
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 05:12 PM

www.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/fordlittle1260.html

Another there with a bit of folklore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Peace
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 05:17 PM

Good one, Q.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 07:57 PM

An old fraternity rhyme, mid 1960's:

Little Birdie on the window-sill.
Sitting there - Oh, so still.
Lured there by a hunk of bread.
Now bash in it's F--kin' head.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Q
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 10:31 PM

A later song, 1892, by E. P. Gresh, titled "Pretty Little Bluebird," has some of the same ideas. It may be found at Levy Sheet Music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 10:00 AM

My grandfather used to sing this, and I remember the beginning of a verse:
Sing about the farmer planting corn and beans

For the second line, all I can recall is "sing about the farmer, you know what I mean"-- so either I've not heard it right or my grandfather made that part up!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 05:59 PM

The song in 4-part harmony can be seen in The Pennsylvania School Journal, Volume 22 (Lancaster, PA: Inquirer Printing and Publishing Company, 1873), page 144.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST,Melissa
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM

I remember my grandfather singing this to me. It went something like this:

Little Birdie In The Tree
In The Tree
In The Tree
Little Birdie In The Tree
Sing A Song To Me

Sing About The Possies
On The Tree Tops Tall
Sing About The Roses
On The Garden Wall

Little Birdie In The Tree
In The Tree
In The Tree
Little Birdie In The Tree
Sing A Song To Me

Then he went on to another verse I can't recall, something about the meadows.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 04:19 PM

My grandmother alway sang it like this

Little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree, little birdie in the tree sing a song to me.

Sing about the farmers planting corn and beans, sing about the harvest I know what it means

Little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree, little birdie in the tree sing a song to me....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:27 PM

Little birdie in a tree,
In a tree,
In a tree.
Little birdie in a tree,
Sing a song to me.

Sing about the birdies,
In the tree top tall,
Sing about the flowers,
Growing on the wall.

Little birdie in a tree,
In a tree,
In a tree.
Little birdie in a tree,
Sing a song to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST,juli
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 01:43 PM

Grandpa used to sing it like this... each of us grand kids got it "personalized"

little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree
little birdie in the tree, sing a song for Juli and me.
Sing about the Roses on the garden wall.
Sing about the Birdies in the tree tops tall...
Little birdie in the tree, in the tree, in the tree
Little birdie in the tree, sing a song for Juli and me.

There were 8 grandchildren within 10 or 12 years... We heard that song sooooo much, that my uncle (a carpenter) used to end up singing it as he was roofing houses and hammering to the beat!!
He got quite a few funny looks from the guys he was working with.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Jim I
Date: 14 Feb 13 - 01:48 PM

You didn't mean this one then?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HivJ4EosWS8


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 09:28 PM

The oldest printing of LITTLE BIRDIE IN THE TREE that I could find is in The Charm: A Collection Of Sunday School Music By Philip Paul Bliss (Cincinnati: John Church & Co., 1871), page 120.

Lyrics are identical to those posted by Joe Offer above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Birdie in the Tree
From: GUEST,Dottie Nauer
Date: 29 Mar 14 - 08:39 PM

What fun these posts were. I'm 70, and when I was around 8 and later, my grandmother used to gather all the grandkids around the piano and sing songs, but I think the one we all loved the most was "Little Birdie in a Tree." These responders have some verses new to me.
My husband and I just got a piano and I thought I'd like to play this song for my grandkids! Thanks to whoever posted the "click to play." Maybe I can write the music and learn to play it. I don't have an "ear" but this might be easy enough.

Thanks again to all who wrote.


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