Baa Baa Black Sheep

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One of the most widely known of our nursery rhymes whose somewhat oblique words and simple tune have been used as a lullaby and early-learning song for centuries. The first known publication was in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book of c.1744, which shows that the text has hardly altered since. The line ‘Three bags full’ has become an English idiom in its own right, as a parody of servile agreement to unreasonable demands.

Opie and Opie, 1997: 101.

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