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Subject: Children's song around 1800
(30 augustus 2012)

Good evening,

my name is Antonio and I'm making a study on behalf of an Italian writer, about lullabies in Netherlands. To be more precise, I'm looking for a Dutch lullaby datable back to about 1790-1850, but unfortunately I don't speak a word of Dutch.

During my study I ran up against 'Hop Marjannake'; it's not properly a lullaby, but I tought a mum could had sang this song as a lullaby. Could you please give me any suggestion about it?

Thank you very much.

Best regards, Antonio.

Answer     (31 augustus 2012)

Dear Antonio,

The song you mention, 'Hop Marjanneke' is nowadays a children's song (but not a lullaby, or sleeping song) and certainly not around 1800 (it was a protest song against the French reign in The Netherlands). So it would be unbelievable if a mother would sing this to sing her baby asleep.

The best way to find a Dutch lullaby from around 1800, is in the Dutch Song Database:

For example search there on: 'kinderlied' (children's song), 'wiegelied' (cradle song), 'slaaplied' (lullaby), or 'slaap' (sleep) and combinations. You will find songs chronologic, oldest first. But if you don't understand the lines, be careful, because you also find songs about sleep not for children, or about christmas time, and so on.

I will give you some examples:
title: nice song about a woman pulling a cradle
first line: who, surprizingly, knocks on my house, is it a rat, is it a mouse
chorus: sleep my sweet little child, close your little eyes
date publication: 1742
(complete lyrics:
this song in other songbooks: 1 (1856)
title: cradle melodie
first line: hush, hush little child, sleep, lay your little head down
date publication: 1750
(scan on google books:
this song in other songbooks: 0
title: song for the cradle
first line: sleep well, my little child, child, Jan cry no longer
date publication: 1789 (published by the Society of Common Profit; famous in those days)
(lyrics: / and other, rock little cradle:
this song in other songbooks: 2 (1795, 1824)
title: the woman who rocks
first line: sleep well my little sister, / come, close your eyes
date publication: 1791, second edition (published by Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken; who are still famous as female writers)
this song in other songbooks: 0

As you can see, in the Dutch Song Database, you will only find the first lines (and the first lines of the chorus) and the songbook where you can find the complete lyrics. Sometimes they give a link to complete lyrics. If you want information (missing lyrics), you have to contact them directly, you can find an e-mailadres on the website (it is: lied(at) ).

If you want to use one of these songs, or an other you find in the Database, I can translate it for you in English, so you know what the song is about.

I wish you good luck with the book!

Kind regards,


Dutch children's songs with music and English translation  (

Re:     (10 september 2012)

Dear Rozemarijn,

thanks for the advice. I hope you don't mind if I ask you again for help.

I chose these songs based on the date and the presence of the score. The work will be a theatrical script and the actor should sing the lullaby!

Do you think one of the follow choice are credible? The last one have a catchy melody, and the date is coherent with the plot, but it miss the lyrics!

Thank you very much for your time.


Re:     (13 september 2012)

Dear Antonio,

I now understand you also need sheet music.

About the four songs you mention:
No. 1: this is a shepard who sings for his child. So it is very specific, but possible. It is a lullaby.
No. 2: this is a christmas song, it is a lullaby for the child Jesus (no common lullaby)
No. 3: also a christmas song, a lullaby for the child Jesus (no common lullaby)
No. 4: this is an older version of a lullaby that later became very famous
the oldest version with text I could find is dating 1894:

About the four songs I mentioned before: two of them, the music notation can be found.

No. 1:
click on the right side on '10 songs' (in red), now you find musical notation in other sources.

No. 3:
click on the right side on '151 songs' (in red), now you find musical notation in other sources.

This last one is a very well known melody, even nowadays, most known of Adrian Valerius:
(even I can still sings this song ;-) I send you the midi of it I made for my folks songs website).

Full text:

I hope you can make a good choice now for the play. I wish you succes, and if you want to know what the song you choose is about, I can tell you in English.

Kind regards,


Dutch children's songs with music and English translation  (

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