A Bushel and a Peck

Main Piece: CR: I always sang my daughter “a bushel and a peck”. I’m not entirely sure grandma sang it to me, but I’m gonna assume she did, and we sorta ended up having to make up our own words at the end of it because I don’t think we know what the real words are, but yeah so I sang it to my daughter, and my mom sang it to her too. Our version went, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, a hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap, a barrel and a heap and I’m talking in my sleep about you.” I think grandma would sing it “a pocket full of sheep.”


Context: This song was sung to CR as a lullaby, and CR sung it to her daughter as a lullaby.


Background: CR and her husband raised their daughter with lullabies sung to her every night, because that’s how they were raised as well. This was the specific song sung to her daughter by her; her husband had a different song he would sing when he took her to bed.

Analysis: This song was originally published in 1950’s, and adopted as a part of the musical Guys and Dolls. CR’s mother probably learned it from that, or heard it on the radio one day, and started singing it to CR, who then remembered it as her childhood lullaby and passed it on to her daughter. The most interesting part of this story is that CR assumes her mother sang this to her– it may not have been! CR’s mother could very easily have sung a different lullaby, but because CR sang it to her daughter she so firmly accepts that her mother also sang it to her, because why else would she know it as a lullaby? This kind of ingrained idea is so fascinating to discover.