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Cradle Song (Golden Slumbers)

Golden slumber kiss your eyes,
Smiles await you when you rise;
Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Cares you know not, therefore sleep,
While over you a watch I’ll keep.
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Thomas Dekker Original Version (Cradle Song)

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby:
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Care is heavy, therefore sleep you,
You are care, and care must keep you;
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Beatles Version (Golden Slumbers)

Sleep pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Golden slumbers, fill your eyes,
Smiles await you when you rise;
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Origin of Cradle Song (Golden Slumbers)

Cradle Song (or Golden Slumbers as it’s also commonly known) is a lullaby written by Thomas Dekker. He was an Elizabethan dramatist and playwright who was born in London and lived from around 1572 until 1632. Although Thomas created a number of successful plays, he lived in constant debt and spent over seven years in prison, continuing to write during his incarceration. The Cradle Song was a poem contained within a play he co-wrote called Patient Grissel in 1599.

The poem (and Thomas Dekker himself) would likely have been virtually unknown outside of literary circles, however in 1969 an interpretation of Cradle Song was used by Paul McCartney in the lyrics for Golden Slumbers, a track from the album Abbey Road. The lullaby has subsequently become an enduring classic, with a wide variety of versions combining elements of the original text with the melody from the Beatles.

Questions & Answers

Other Lullabies