Lyrics (Full version): Little Bo-Peep
Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home,
And bring their tails behind them.
Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For still they all were fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook,
Determined for to find them;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they’d left all their tails behind ’em!
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Unto a meadow hard by–
There she espied their tails, side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks she raced;
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
That each tail should be properly placed.
Generally referred to as a game with the first five verses since the 16th century. Additional verses were added in 1810.
Now, the phrase “to play bo-peep” refer to the punishment of being stood in a pillory in the 14th century.