Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Cradle Song

Scottish Song By James Scott Skinner

The Cradle Song is a Scottish song written by James Scott Skinner, a Scottish dancing master, violinist, fiddler, and composer, in 1888.

John Drewry's instructions tell us this is a slow air- danced with slow strathspey steps- to the tune "The Cradle Song by James Scott Skinner (in Skinner's Logie Collection 1888). The air was originally a song with words by Alexander Hastings, from Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Skinner's inspiration for the song was said to be the sight of a sick child in the arms of its mother, whom he stumbled upon in a hotel room in Forres, Scotland.


Related Scottish Country Dances

The Cradle Song

The Cradle Song By James Scott Skinner

Sprites that guard young children
Enter here tonight;
O'er my fevered darling
Watch till morning light.

From our home forever
Went my love away;
Crossed the darkling River
Entered endless day.

Sleep my own fair darling
I will cling to thee;
Sure my cup of sorrow
Cannot fuller be.

Oh! my life is lonely;
Oft my thoughts are wild;
Ah! my heart were broken,
Did I lose my child.

But I'll trust God's mercy
And, through widow's tears;
Watch my precious darling
Climb to manhood's years.

Then I'll trace my lost one
Mirrored in these eyes;
Till I join his presence
Up beyond the skies.


The Cradle Song - Song Video

The Cradle Song - Information Video
Cradle Song Painting Image
Baby In Cradle
"Baby (Cradle)" Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Oil On Canvas, c. 1917-1918


Image Copyright Gustav Klimt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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