Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir; yes, sir
Three bags full.
One for my master,
And one for my dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

Original rhyme:

Bah, Bah, a black Sheep,
Have you any Wool?
Yes, merry have I,
Three Bags full.
One for my master,
One for my Dame,
One for the little Boy
That lives down the lane.



First published in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book in 1744, the rhyme’s exact origins are unknown. One common theory suggests a connection to England’s wool tax of 1275, and another refers to the transatlantic slave trade that began in the 16th century, but both theories are unacknowledged as fact. The melody is a version of the French tune “Ah! vous dirai-je je, Maman,” which also accompanies “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “The Alphabet Song.” The words of the rhyme have essentially stayed the same for over 250 years.