The origins of “Little Bo Peep” go back to the 16th century England.
The first line was discovered in an old manuscript from 1805, and published around 1810, with additional lyrics in Gammer Gurton’s Garland or “The Nursery Parnassus” a collection of lyrics for amusement.
However, there are references about the existence of a game for kids, named Bo-Peep, also found in Shakespeare’s King Lear.
Little Bo Peep is a nursery rhyme with a moral purpose, about a little sheep-keeper who lost one of her sheep because she fell asleep.
“Little Bo Peep” Lyrics
Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they’ll come home,
Bringing 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 they were all still 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 left their tails behind them.
It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into 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 went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should.