Ladybird Ladybird

“Ladybird Ladybird” (also known as “Ladybug Ladybug”) is a traditional nursery rhyme, dating back to the 18th century England.

Ladybugs, referred as ladybirds in the UK, have been always loved by little children, and not only. These red or yellow colored insects with black dots are very useful bugs for the farmers, as they save many plants from damages eating the aphids. They are also good fire alarms, running away from a place when it starts burning. Ladybirds have also become subject to superstitions, especially for kids.

The children are singing the rhyme when a ladybird lands on them, in order to make it fly away, as they believe that if they make a wish and the bug will fly away, the wish will become true. And also, there is a belief that to kill a ladybug brings you bad luck, so they sing this song to make the bug return home. This might have been an educational purpose of the song to teach children to protect the little bugs and not to harm or kill them.

The first recorded version of “Ladybird Ladybird” rhyme dates back to 1744, published in an English nursery rhymes collection. There are many accepted versions of the song, both in the USA and in the UK.

Below is a modern version of the song, published in the Helen Ferris’s collection “Favorite Poems Old and New, Selected for boys and girls” from 1957:

“Ladybird Ladybird” Lyrics

Lady-bird, Lady-bird, fly away home
the field mouse is gone to her nest
the daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes
and the birds and the bees are at rest
Lady-bird, Lady-bird, fly away home
the glow worm is lighting her lamp
the dew’s falling fast, and your fine speckled wings
will flag with the close clinging damp
Lady-bird, Lady-bird, fly away home
the fairy bells tinkle afar
make haste or they’ll catch you and harness you fast
with a cobweb to Oberon’s star.

“Ladybird Ladybird” Modern Version

The most common modern version of the song is:

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone,
All except one,
And her name is Ann,
And she hid under the baking pan