Download this song here—>Mike Whitla - Elephants Have Wrinkles - Sandman

I had a great response an article I published on a the origin of a lullaby called “The Sandman”. It seems that this song has been kept alive for over 100 years by parents singing it to their children from generation to generation. This song is well known in my family and we have always wondered where it came from or who wrote it. It also seems that my family was not alone. Families from all over the English speaking world have also been keeping this song alive, including New Zealand, Scotland, England, USA and Canada. Many of them have also searching for the origin of this song.

You can read their stories and see the lyrics of their versions at this link:

Sandman thread

My father found the first evidence of the true origin of this song on a kid’s music chat site. There we discovered that the song could have been written my one Lucine French in 1899 but we needed confirmation. That is where my Aunt Margaret came into the story and here is her saga:

This lullaby was sung to my mother, (born in 1909 in London, England, before my grandparents came to the USA, and then Canada) and her sisters by my grandmother. My mother sang it to my siblings and me, and they sang it to their children, who are now grown-up, and they sing it to their children. We never knew where it came from. At one time one of my maternal aunts said she would write one of the “home and country” in the UK to see whether anyone recognized it, but she never did write.
In 2006 I e-mailed my siblings and maternal cousins to see whether any of them knew where it came from. My brother-in-law picked this e-mail up, and he traced the song to a web-site, which attributed the song to Lucine Finch, a Birmingham, Alabama children’s writer,who had copyrighted the song in 1899. The original words found by my brother-in-law differed a little from the words we were using- not surprising that the words had drifted a little over the almost 100 years the song had been in our family.
Because the song had originated in the USA, I went to the web-site of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and asked whether they could find the song. After several weeks, a music specialist in the music division of the Library Congress located the song in a book by Poulsson, Emile: HOLIDAY SONGS AND EVERYDAY SONGS AND GAMES (1901), photocopied the music with all the words (we knew only the first verse) and mailed it to me.

I was very impressed that she was able to track this sheet music down and now we could finally see how the song was originally written. Our family had omitted the second verse and added many beats to various points in the melody but the notes in the melody were almost all the same.
Here is the original text:

The Sandman by Lucine Finch 1899

Here comes the Sandman stepping so lightly,
Stealing along on the tips of his toes;
And he scatters the sand With his own little hand.
In the eyes of the sleepy children.

Oh! hear the Sandman singing so softly.
Singing the children to sleep everywhere.
See how drowsy they grow;
Tired heads drooping low,
And hear the sandman singing.

Go to sleep my children, close your sleepy eyes.
The lady moon is watching from out the dark’ning skies.
The little stars are peeping to see if you are sleeping.
Go to sleep my children.
Go to sleep goodnight.

So there it is the original text. I have recorded a new version of the song which I will be releasing on a reissue of my cd called “Elephants Have Wrinkles”. My brother-in-law Alan Gasser who is a lyric tenor sings the melody and I play the guitar. I think it is a lovely rendering of the song. I’ll make a post here when it is out.
If you would like to see the music you can download it from this link:

Sandman Sheetmusic

Putzer Family version:

 



86 Comments » for “Here Comes the Sandman” song origins revealed.
  1. Claire says:

    Hey Mike,
    this is so cool, I didn’t think anybody in Canda new about this song.
    my mum use to sing this number to us when we were babies, and now I’m singing it to Lily.
    Actually my mum has many great songs and lullaby’s all stemming for that time era, they are so fun to sing to the kids. “are you there mr. bear?” is very good and if I find all the lyrics I will forward it to you, (mum can only remember a few of the verses).

    Claire

    • janice says:

      where can I get the words for, ‘Are you there mr bear’. my mum used to sing it to me way back in 1952

      • kate says:

        Hi
        I was just wondering if you ever found the words to Mister Bear?
        My mum passed away and Id love to frame the music for my siblings

        Kate

        • Mike Whitla says:

          No sorry I don’t know anything about that song.

        • dhd djd says:

          Mr. Bear,
          Are you there?
          Don’t you dare to take a bite of me
          For I shall scream and very quick
          My Papa will fetch a stick
          Cause he’s not afraid of bears not he.
          But if you want a little baby girl/boy
          And you’re hungry and you can’t wait anymore
          I can tell you where there’s plenty
          Try at number twenty
          Go and bite the little girl/boy next door
          Repeat.

      • Roger Hinsley says:

        If you have not yet got and still need the words to this, email me at parliquot@gmail.com and I’ll happily send you them.
        Regards,
        Roger Hinsey

  2. Mike Whitla says:

    Claire

    Wow I’m amazed by how many people are connected to this song. So cool that I know you outside of cyberspace and you know the song too!!

    Were your words the same as the original?

  3. Katherine Michalak says:

    Can anyone find this sheet music somewhere? I would love to have it and frame it! This is just HUGE that y’all have located this information. My grandmother used to sing this song to us — slightly offkey and always forgetting some of the words — but, nevertheless, gently rocking against her soft skin in the sticky, sultry heat of those New Orleans summer nights. An infinitely loving woman, she suffered a terribly debilitating stroke in November of 1992 at the age of 80, only 3 1/2 months after her first great-grandchild was borne. The stroke left her blind and sickly — she tried to sing this to Baby Alden in December of 1992, but couldn’t remember it, tears streaming down her face as she struggled for the words and notes. She died only weeks later in January of 1993, and the song has been lost to all of us ever since. Now, there are 8 great-grandchildren, ranging from ages 14 to 3 and I will be delighted to relearn this song and rock my own babies to it.

  4. Mike Whitla says:

    Katherine,

    Thanks for sharing your history with this song. What a touching story. I assume you want a clearer version of the music than the one I posted here:
    http://www.rainbowsongs.com/sheetmusic/sandman.pdf

    I had a look for the book by Emile Poulsson, and titled HOLIDAY SONGS AND EVERYDAY SONGS AND GAMES (1901) where this song is printed at abebooks:
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?tn=holiday&sts=t&an=poulsson&y=0&x=0

    Looks like the same book the can be purchased used. I hope this helps.

  5. Wayne says:

    (Looks like the same book the can be purchased used.)

    Kinda hard to purchase it new.. (!!)

    Hi Mike – wayne from Oz here…. lovely juxtaposition from my prior experiences of your musicality (Brass Bikini et el – still one of my top 20 all-time CDs!) through to ethnic-folk to home town nostalgia…. gets even more surreal as I’m currently coding listening to DIG jazz (ABC oz on the web – check it out!!! with a bebop outfit playing Nirvana’s main hit (called?!! my libido…?? Teen Spirit!! ah…) at 4am b4 work-day. Hm Only thing I can add – self; anglo/oz background, no knowlege of sandman…:(
    No matter, just what I know.
    All the best! W.
    PS Band (DIG-above) was called “The Bad Plus”, 2003, album:These Are The Vistas. I googled…awesome.
    PPS My daughter’s just (JAN!!) turned 13 – was it that long since our world intersected?!!
    PPPS Havn’t had the time 2look @ melb muso 4 a while; draw no conclusions.

    • Claire says:

      This song is alive and well in Oz. My Nanna who passed recently at age 96 spent a day remembering the lyrics and melody to give to my sister and I for our children. It’s a very special keep sake, along with tales of banshies, leprechauns and Wee Willy Winkie from our Irish Grandad.

      She was pretty spot on with the words to!

  6. Mike Whitla says:

    Wayne

    Great to hear from you!! Are you still playing sax or just coding these days?

    I’ve heard a lot of versions of “Teen spirit”. Have you heard Tori Amos do it?

  7. Linda says:

    I’m so glad you found this and posted it. I’ve searched the web many times for this song with no luck.

    My 94 year old grandmother in Wisconsin said her mom sang this song to her, and she sang it to my mom, who sang it to my sisters and I, and now I sing it to my kids (although my son says its kind of spooky) Now in Seattle. Never met anyone who knew this song…

    We had lost the middle verse too… and its a tricky melody

    Our version;
    The sandman is coming, he is drifting so lightly
    he is stealing a long on the tips of his toes
    and he scatters the sand, with his own little hand
    in the eyes of the sleeping children
    Go to sleep my children, rest your weary eyes,
    the lady moon is watching, in the starry skies
    the little stars are peep-ing, to see if you are sleep-ing
    go to sleep my children, go to sleep, goodnight.

  8. Mike Whitla says:

    Linda

    Thanks for stopping by. Your words are almost the same.
    I agree with your son that there is something spooky about the song. . . . something brothers grim . . .

  9. Lin Mercer says:

    Wow, this is great what you’ve done to get history from all the people related to this song. I was searching for this song because my father, age 93, remembered performing in a play of which he doesn’t remember the name, all the families participated in it and the children were acting out the song. They walked with their pillows in hand singing and then at the end of the song they all got to have a pillow fight (on stage). He said this gentleman who created the play with this song in it, and others of kids older doing other tunes took the show to cities across the country and helped the cities raise money. The people who performed in his play would always be people from that city. Dad sang the words to me similar to what all are stating. There was another tune he mentioned called “The Dream Train”. Anyway, great info on your site. I’ll read some to my Dad who by the way, is an old Vaudevillian performer and entertained as one of the Mercer Brothers all his life (over 70yrs) until his brother passed away in 2003. Dad’s written a book about it you can see at http://www.budmercer.com – I’m really proud of him. Thanks to all for your blogs about this song. Maybe my Dad can give me more details of his experience after I read this all to him and we’ll share more. -Lin

  10. Mike Whitla says:

    Lin

    Thanks for your story. Please if your dad has any more to offer about this song or anything else share it with us!!

  11. Lida says:

    I am looking for a different version of the Sandman a song my
    >mother sang to me and my granddaughter loves. However, I cannot
    >find the words anywhee.
    >
    It begins
    >
    >”Now see the little sandman
    >at the window raise his head
    >And look for all good children
    >who ought to bee in bed.
    >And as he closes
    >sleepy eyes…….
    >
    >This is all I remember Has anyone heard
    >this version? Thanks, Lida

  12. jo Mitchell says:

    hi
    it was really great to get the propper words. I live in Cape Town and my gran used to sing it to us. i now sing it to my kids along with the Chritopher Robbin prayer

  13. eveline shore says:

    Hi the words I used to sing for the sandman lullaby at school were;
    The sandman lives by the shadow hill, where the river of dreams runs dark and still, and he goes to the shore his sacks to fill,Hey Ho for the sandman.Sleep tight, slumber light, pleasant visions be yours tonight, close your eyes till the red sun rise, so says the sandman.( Do you know a lullabye sung to the Brahms lulaby tune? some words: Slumber sweetly my dear for angels are near to watch over you, the silent night through, —— till the dawn breaketh through to awaken you? Thanks

  14. wilson says:

    Is the name Lucine Finch or Lucine French. I noticed both in your description. The sheet music you have above is too small for me to make out the name. Could you please clarify?

  15. Mike Whitla says:

    It is Finch. I fixed the typo. Sorry about that.

  16. Serena Henley says:

    Oh my gosh I can’t even believe this!!! i have a Grandmother who is 98 years old, she’s not doing very well. We do believe her time is coming. She used to sing this song to my kids when they were younger. They would spend the night with her, sleep in the same bed, talk for hours on end and than she would sing this sweet song to them. This song has touched my childrens lives,by there Grandmother bringing it to life. I am so excited I found the lyrics. Thank YOU!!!!!

  17. Uziboy says:

    Another Sand man lullaby, does anybody know its origin?
    Here’s how it goes. I learnt this in primary school some twenty
    years back. Thanks.

    ——————

    Sandman

    My very good friend the sandman
    visits me every night
    He smiles and he says hello to me
    When mummy turns down the light

    My very good friend the sandman
    Carries a shiny pale
    a pale full of the magic sand
    That comes from a brook on a hush-a-by trail

    When I get drooowsy
    He tells me to close my eyes
    While he and the evening breeze
    Saaay goooooood niiiiight.

    • Sue Mattix says:

      When I get drowsy
      He tells me to close my eyes
      While he and the evening breeze are
      Softly singing lullabies

      Can’t remember last verse! Help!

      • Sazz78 says:

        When I’m on my way to dream land nestled down cozy and tight, my very good friend the sandman says goodnight.

        My favorite lullaby, wish I could find the sheet music I used to own in the 80′s

  18. Brian says:

    My grandfather used to sing this one to my mother, and my mother to me. Of course, over the years, apparently, most of the lyrics have changed. My wife and I now sing a modified version to our little boy. Mostly we just hum the melody, but some improved lines have seemed to stick with us during our daily/nightly ritual.

    Here comes the Sandman
    Walking so softly.
    He moves around on the tips of his toes
    And he sprinkles the sand
    With a wave of his hand
    In the eyes of sleepy children.

    Go to sleep my baby.
    Close those sleepy eyes.
    The little lambs are all sleeping
    Beneath the starry skies.

    Go to sleep my baby.
    Close your little eyes.
    The kitties all are wondering
    If you will soon be slumbering.

    Go to sleep, my baby.
    Close your sleepy eyes.

    ~~~ and if that doesn’t do it, we add …

    Go to sleep, my baby.
    Rest your weary head.
    The little baby puppies
    have all climbed into bed.

    Go to Sleep my baby.
    Close your tired eyes.
    The little birds are peeping
    To see if you are sleeping.

    Go to sleep my baby.
    Go to sleep, goodnight.
    ~

    My wife and I have a good time finding ways to switch around the animals (little lambs, puppies, kitties, uh… baby alligators? whatever fits the meter.) Thanks a TON for sharing this. It was a pleasure reading of this great lullaby’s origin.

  19. Christine Blewett says:

    My Grandmom sang this song to us when we were little and would sleep over her house. She had routine she would do with it. All 13 of grandchildren loved it. She never knew where it came from.

    Here comes the sandman
    Stepping so lightly
    On the tips of his toes
    He gather the sand with is own little hands
    For the eyes of the sleepy children.

    So go to sleep my baby close your pretty eyes
    The lady moon is watching you from out the dark blue sky
    The little birds are peeping to see if you are sleeping
    So go to sleepy by baby.

  20. Steve says:

    My grandfather sang this song to my father who taught it to my mother who sang it to us. Now as a grandfather myself I sing it to my grandson.

  21. Kelly Pauley says:

    We are late coming to your blog, but we are so excited that you have found the origin of the Sandman lullaby! My mother used to sing us to sleep in our tent while camping, so I guess the other campers got to benefit from her pure soprano. I can’t do it justice, but I sing it to my children also.

  22. Sarah says:

    Message to Uziboy:

    I’ve also been looking for the origin of the version of Sandman Lullaby you mentioned. More than 20 years ago, I had a tape and music sheets with that song and other lullabies called “Lullabies by Grandpa Spy”. I still sing those lullabies, and love them. There’s a slim chance I may still have the music sheets, but it would take a lot of searching at my parent’s house. If you happen to see this and are still interested, let me know…

  23. Sarah says:

    Message to Uziboy:

    Correction, it was lullabies by Grandpa Sy. Also the music was by Jill Jackson.

  24. Molly Nightingale says:

    I’m just getting ready to send a newly compiled and color illustrated children’s song book called SING TO ME to the printer with this Sandman song in it. I’m glad I located the exact original words and author information in time to include it.

    This song is also in a school songbook called Merry Melodies, available from Prairie View Press, Grenta, Manitoba. (pvp@mts.net) I’d be glad to post a copy of the sheet music I have, which contains the melody (or soprano) line only. Please email with instructions for posting the PDF file if you are interested.

    Or the above mentioned printing press would, for a small fee, set the entire original music you have posted into a new clear copy.

    • Sandy says:

      Any chance you can still post your version of the sheet music? It would be great to see another copy – maybe clearer :) (Might have to find a way to exchange emails?) Thanks!

      • Mike Whitla says:

        Sandy, I’m sorry the only copy of the music is the one I have posted. I got it as a digital file so I can’t get a darker copy. You can see where the staff lines should be on the music though. I know I learned to play it from the score. Good Luck!

  25. janice says:

    Hi

    I was thrilled to find this Blog and to learn that others know about the Sandman and are passing it down to their children. My grandmother sang it to me and my sisters and we have passed it down to our children. My grandmother told me that her teacher taught the song to her class (one room school in a tiny hamlet north of Kingston, Ontario) when it was time for the children to have a rest and put their heads down at their desks. The teacher would sing the song and choose one child to be “the Sandman” and tiptoe around and pretend to sprinkle sand into the children’s eyes.

    It is magical.

    Janice

  26. Eric P says:

    Wow! This is incredible! My mom sent me this link because my grandfather used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little, and she did too (of course). Now I have my first born and I started singing it to him while he was in the womb, and it really soothes him. We, too, sing it a bit different, and I’m looking forward to downloading and checking out the sheet music!

    Here comes the sandman, stepping so softly
    Stealing along on the tips of his toes
    And he scatters the sand with his own little hand
    in the eyes of sleepy children
    Go to sleep, my baby Close your sleepy eyes
    The lady moon is watching from out the darkened skies
    The little stars are peaping to see if you are sleeping
    Go to sleep, my baby Close your eyes Goodnight.
    (or we would substitute “children” or “baby” for the name of the child being sung to… I always liked hearing my name in it :-) )

    It sometimes brings a tear to my eyes when I think back and recall my grandfather and I lying down to take naps and he would sing this song to me. Or my mom comforting me and helping me get to sleep at night.

  27. Eric P says:

    I am from NJ, USA by the way

  28. Alfie says:

    I’m looking for the words and music to:

    When Daddy puts the light out
    He kisses me and says:
    An angel keeps
    his darling while she sleeps
    but does the Angel know
    that every night when Daddy’s gone
    there’s a grumpy little noise
    upon the stairs
    and I shiver in my byes
    ‘Cos it might .. be a bear

    Are you there Mr Bear
    Don’t you dare to take a bite of me
    For I shall scream and very quick
    my Pappa shall fetch a stick
    and he’s not afraid of bears, not he. etc

    Can anyone help?

    • Wendy Dyble says:

      Are you there, Mr Bear?
      Don’t you dare to take a bite off me.
      Or I shall scream and very quick,
      My papa will fetch a stick,
      Cos he’s not afraid of bears not he.
      But if you waant a little juicy girl/boy,
      And you’re hungry and you can’t wait any more.\I can tell you where there’s plenty,
      Go and try at number twenty.
      Go and bite the little girl/boy next door.
      Go and bite the little girl/boy next door.

      I can sing the tune but don’t have any music.

  29. jane currie says:

    i am 47 and my grandmother sang this song to me as a child. She was born in australia and we thought this is where it came from

  30. Hi Mike,

    My mother passed in 1991, but I always remember the title to this song. I was an only child, so there is no one left to ask.

    Is there a MIDI version of this somewhere on the Internet so I could just hear the melody? I am a lover of lyrics, musical theater, played the piano for just a few years and gave up. I’ve been told I have perfect pitch and excellent rhythmic memory. As a youngster, I was obsessed with Leonard Bernstein (watched him on TV all the time) and wanted to be a conductor.

    My mother’s Sandman version was never as intricate as any of these, but perhaps it was adapted in some way. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA and played classical music on the piano. She used to play Beethoven’s “Fuer Elise” and every time I hear that melody, it chokes me up. My father was a violinist, but not a very good one.

    All I remember is a few lyrics and a little bit about the tune:

    The sandman…
    He’s scattering his sand in Ellen’s eyes.
    The sandman, the sandman
    Has put my Ellen to sleep.

    Maybe my mother adapted it. My grandparents were Jewish people from Eastern Europe — Czechoslovakia and Rumania.

    Thanks for the information. I looked for it on Google a couple of years ago, but came up with nothing. This thread has been quite interesting.

    Warmly,

    Ellen

  31. David Barkdull says:

    Like many of you my mother sang this song to me as a little boy and I have song it to my four daughters and they have learned it too. My mother’s mother sang it to my mother as a little girl too. Not sure where grandma got it from. I know her parents sang many songs to her as a little girl and they were of English descent (first generation Americans). My greatgrandparents live on a farm in SW Idaho so this is the version that was passed down to me. As you can see the words in this “Idaho” version have changed too.

    Here comes the Sandman
    (as passed down to me from my mother)

    Here comes the Sandman stepping so lightly,
    Stealing along on the tips of his toes;
    And he scatters the sand with his two tiny hands.
    In the eyes of the sleepy children.
    Go to sleep my sweet-heart.
    Close your weary eyes.
    The lady moon is peeping throughout the clear blue skies;
    The little stars are peeping to see if you are sleeping.
    So go to sleep.

  32. Barbara Davis says:

    I am so delighted to see so many others who have heard of this lullaby and were as affected by it and I was. I have been trying to find the origin of this lullabye for years. I am originally from Ohio and was born in 1945. My grandmother was Irish and I had assumed that it was an Irish lullaby. My mother sang this to me and to my children and I picked it up and have sung it to both my children and grandchildren. I found that it was just as soothing to me while singing it in the middle of the night as it was to my children! It has the same tune as the recording bythe elderly man, but the version we sing is:

    Go to sleep my baby.
    Close your sleepy eyes.
    The lady moon is watching from out the darkening skies.
    The little stars are peeping to see if you are sleeping.
    So go to sleep my baby. Close your sleepy eyes.

    Here comes the sandman, stepping so lightly.
    Walking along on the tips of his toes.
    And he sprinkles the sand
    With his own little hand
    in the eyes of the sleeping children.

  33. Carol Dickey says:

    It’s great to have found people who heard this lullaby as children and have passed it along. Like many others, I thought that the song was familiar only to our family. The lyrics my mother sang were changed from the original, but only a bit. I had thought that I would need to write the lyrics and the tune down, so that it wouldn’t be lost. Thanks so much to everyone who has added what they know about the song.

  34. Erin says:

    Alfie, I loved that song when I was little, too! I only remember pieces of the words now though…
    “So if you want a little baby girl,
    if your hungry and you can’t wait anymore,
    …………………….
    Go and bite the little girl next door!”

  35. Erin says:

    Sorry, “You’re”

  36. Prue Peters says:

    Hi this is a message for Alfie – I was sung the4 ‘bear song’ as a kid and remember the words as follows:-

    When Daddy Ticks the light off and he tucks me into bed
    He kisses me before he goes
    He leaves an angel guarding his darling while she sleeps
    But do you think the angel know?:
    That every night when Daddy’s gone and banged the study door
    There’s a creepy little noise behind the stairs
    Whoooooo
    Are you there? Mr Bear?
    Don’t you dare to take a bit off me
    For I shall scream out very quick
    My Papa will fetch a stick
    For he’s not afraid of bears, not he
    But if you want a little baby girl
    And you’re hungry and you can’t find any more..
    I can tell you where there’s plenty,
    Go and try at number 20
    Go and bit the little girl next door!

    Does anyone else remember it like this??
    Prue

  37. Dvaid Whitton says:

    The Mr. Bear song is on an LP I have of Victorian and Edwardian songs sung by Benjamin Luxon called “Break the News to Mother”. The album is ARGO ZK42 (part of the Decca company.) I believe this may have been transferred to CD but I don’t have the details.
    DW

  38. alison atkinson says:

    hia prue,my mum sang this to me when i was small,i sang it to my children,and i now sing it to my granddaughter she loves it and falls asleep on my knee when i sing all my childhood songs to her,im 54 and still singing them,you cant beat the oldies xx

  39. Janis Warne says:

    To the people asking about the Mr. Bear song–Our Nana (from Leeds, England, who moved to Canada after WWI when she married my Grandfather) and our mother used to sing it to my sisters and me: here are the lyrics (we have a recording of our grandmother playing the piano and singing it):

    Daddy clicks the light off as he takes me up to bed
    And he kisses me before he goes
    And he says an angel lady watches me while I sleep
    But do you think the angel knows?
    That every night when Daddy goes and shuts his the study door
    There’s a squeaky little noise upon the stairs
    And I shiver in my byes as I close my baby eyes
    in fright because I might see a bear

    Are you there? Mr Bear?
    Don’t you dare to take a bite of me
    For I shall scream and very quick
    My Papa will fetch a stick
    For he’s not afraid of bears, not he
    But if you want another baby girl
    And you’re hungry and you can’t wait any more..
    I can tell you where there’s plenty,
    Go and try at number 20
    Go and bite the little girly next door!
    Go and bite the little girl next door.

    Daddy couldn’t do without his little baby girl
    And he wouldn’t give me up to you
    But the Jones’s, they’re next door,
    They’re our neighbours
    they have four
    little girlys and a rabbit or two
    and Freddie Jones, their brother,
    always teases me and says
    I’m a silly and I didn’t ought to cry
    But Freddie Jones has got a little night light by his cot
    for he might be afraid of a bear
    (refrain) Are you there, Mr. Bear…

    I would like to know about the history of this song and some of the others Nana used to sing, like “Christopher Robins is saying his prayers,” and “The Goblins’ (will get you if you don’t watch out)” I’ve heard that Melanie wrote CR, but as Nana used to sing it to us when we were very young, in the late 1950′s and early 1960′s, I think it is older than that. Does anyone out there know about these songs?

    Janis

  40. Tiffany says:

    I’m delighted to find the words to Are you there, Mr. Bear? My Gran (very theatrical) used to sing it when I was young but I know that I have misremembered the bit of the song I remember the words to. She lived to 103 but during all her later years I couldn’t really make out the melody, bless her, and would LOVE to know how it really goes, not my misremembered version (which I’m very fond of nevertheless. She sang Hello, Hello, Hello Susie Green and Daddy Long Legs too. Happy New Year! I think she had sandman song too but I remember it less than the others.

  41. Anne Blair says:

    My mother died when I was very young, but my aunts sung this same song to me! It was the exact same lyrics, minus the second verse. My mother’s from the Montgomery, AL area, but a lot of her family is from Pennsylvania.

    I’ve always wanted to do more research on the song – thanks so much! I still sing it to my two children :)

  42. tamara says:

    hello, i know that i was sung a slightly different version, also sung from my grandmom to my mom and my mom to me. i have always loved it… i too am looking for the “real version”….has anyone else heard the ” listen to the sandman, stepping ever so lightly, creeping along on the tips of his toes, as he scatters the sand, with his own tiny hand, in the eyes of the sleeping children….go to sleep my baby, close your sleepy eyes, the lady moon will watch you, from out the darkening skies, the little stars are peeping to see if you are sleeping, go to sleep my baby, go to sleep goodnight” version?

  43. Mike Whitla says:

    Hi Tamara

    I think the “real version” must be the one the composer wrote which I posted here:
    http://www.rainbowsongs.com/sheetmusic/sandman.pdf

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Sandy says:

      Any chance of a darker copy of the sheet music? I’d really appreciate it.

      It’s been fun reading the stories – this was a popular lullaby for my North Dakota relatives, and it was sung to me as a babe I believe, but I find I must learn it anew. The other kiddy songs that were popular were Jacky Frost, Rock-a-bye and Don’t You Cry (Daddy’s coming bye and bye), Dolly’s Mama, and Mighty Like a Rose.

  44. Tiffany Jane says:

    Have just purchased Break The News To Mother LP on ebay with Mr. Bear by JF Johnson & N. Blaney (3.01 mins) being the first one on side 2. Now I just need to locate a record player so I can get it onto CD!
    Tiffany

  45. Tiffany Jane says:

    ps it’s Victorian & Edwardian Ballads with Benjamin Luxon baritone & David Willison piano c1978

  46. Robert Vreeland says:

    My Grandmother born in England at the turn of the century sang the Sandman song to us, her Grandchildren. She left out that second verse which is not as personal anyway. I still remember all the words and I sang it to my children when they were little.

  47. Cindy Reed says:

    This is completely amazing. My mother used to sing this to me and my other 14 siblings and of course, we sang it to our kids, and their kids, and their kid’s kid’s. I’ve never heard it outside of the family so didn’t think much about it. My Mom’s family was from England, so maybe it relates farther back? Awesome job finding the info you have so far. This song is priceless in our family.

  48. Margaret Keay says:

    Hi, I’m feeling really stunned at the moment. I was actually looking for another song with similar title: “Hush here comes the Dream Man” we also knew it only as “The Dream Man” or “The Sandman” as we weren’t sure of the lyrics. As it turns out it is a totally different song to yours. However, I’m amazed at how, like your song, many people are searching for our song, and the amount it has also travelled around the world. Go to the following site and check out how similar the searches are and where people have come from that are looking for it. http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/do-you-know-the-lyrics-to-the-sandmans-coming-in-his-train-of-cars/

    I’m also wondering if the web-site of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. can find ours like they did your song? Mmmm … something to consider!

  49. Mike Whitla says:

    Margaret
    As far as the library of congress goes we did not get the sheet music online from them. My Aunt phoned them and bugged them to look it up for her and got them to mail a photocopy of the music.

    Crazy huh?
    We are not even American and the did this free of charge.

    Phone ‘em up and see what happens.

  50. Brenda Holmes says:

    I am 80 years old and studying grade 2 ABRSM exam Music, and I have chosen this piece to learn. Under the music it reads that Joannes Brahms wrote this music and lyric for the children of Robert and Clara Schumann. The correct name is Sandmannchem–Little sandman “”The flow’rs have long been sleeping beneath the pale moonshine. Their tiny heads are nodding upon their stalks so fine, The rosetree bends her dreaming head, and shakes her petals red. Slumber, slumber. My own sweet baby dear. “”
    That version can be found in Yolks-Kinderlieder –Folksongs for Children written in German.

  51. Peggy Menlove says:

    It is so fun to discover the origins of the lullaby I grew up with and sang to my children. My Australian Grandmother sang it with you crisp British accent. Singing this lullaby is a family tradition spanning at least five generations.

  52. Cathy says:

    Hello,

    Since I own a private music class and thus at the moment buidling a website to give support to my kids here http://readmusic.org

    Will you mind if in case I quote a handful of of your articles as long as I gives credit along with references back to your blogs? My websites is actually in the exact same area of interest as yours and our users would definitely definitely benefits from a lot of the information you provide right here. Please let me know if this fine with you.

    Thx!

  53. Mike Whitla says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for contacting me about my blog. I’d like to give you the same advice I received from someone when I was developing my business. I approached someone in a similar way you are approaching me about using written content. One person gave a thoughtful response to my inquiry. He said: (I paraphrase)

    “Rather than using other people’s words and ideas take the time to develop your own content. It will take more time but in the long run you will have something that is your own and will be a better representation of what you do and are all about.”

    At first I thought this advice was frustrating. Here is this person who has content that I agree with and it would be so easy to just use it. But now years later I am thankful for that advice as my website now has more developed content that I can call my own.

    So I would encourage you to do the same. Absorb what is out there. Work with your curriculum and develop your own content.
    You are welcome to link to articles on my blog but please do not us any of its content.

    I wish you all the best in your endeavours!


    Mike Whitla
    Director
    Rainbow Songs Inc.
    http://www.rainbowsongs.com

  54. Maggie Wilde says:

    I was looking for the lyrics to Mr Bear and found this site.
    I’m 62 and my Mum used to sing this to us as children and then I sang it to my sons and now I sing it to my grandchildren. I live in Derbyshire, England and I had never heard this song anywhere else. No-one here remembers it at all! Thanks for sharing everyone! :lol:

  55. Sue Walsgrove says:

    My Mum used to sing this to me – she learned it from her Mum, and I sang it to my children and now sing it to my grandson. I have never heard it anywhere else, and have been unable to find any trace of it on the Web so far, so if anyone knows where it might be from I’d be delighted to hear from you! It’s called ‘The Man in the Moon’ and goes:
    The Man in the Moon is a shepherd dear
    And all the bright stars are his sheep
    He watches and guards with a tender care
    When you little ones are asleep
    I’m sure he has counted them all, my dear
    For he is a shepherd true
    And if we but try, perhaps you and I
    Can count them and name them all too.
    Bye-low we’ll count as we go
    Each little twinkling star
    First one for you, then for me, my dear
    What a fine lot there are
    Bye-low we’ll name as we go
    Each little starry sheep
    Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye, rock as we go
    Into the Land of Sleep

  56. Jenny Wigginton says:

    I am 67 years old and my mother used to sing me the bear song and I remember the lyrics to this day. I have never heard of anyone else who knew the song so I am delighted with knowing that it still lives on. My aunt named Pretoria, long since dead, who sung lots of temperence songs and monologues had a huge repetoire from the 1st world war, including The Firemans Wedding and He Saved the Flag. Does any one know the words to either of these.

  57. Jenny Wigginton says:

    :razz: I am 67 years old and my mother used to sing me the bear song and I remember the lyrics to this day. I have never heard of anyone else who knew the song so I am delighted with knowing that it still lives on. My aunt named Pretoria, long since dead, who sung lots of temperence songs and monologues had a huge repetoire from the 1st world war, including The Firemans Wedding and He Saved the Flag. Does any one know the words to either of these.

  58. rohan says:

    Recorded version anyone? (i cant read music but i can play by ear)

  59. Janis Warne says:

    I hadn’t visited this site in a while and was delighted to read that some people were grateful to get the words for Mr. Bear! But no one out there knows about the Goblin song? Or its history and that of Christopher Robin? I would love to know more about both–could any of you help me?

    • Val says:

      i just happened upon this site looking for mr bear. delighted to find lyrics & now want a recording. anyway , about christopher robin, the line, “christopher robin is saying his prayers” is from a poem called “vespers” written by A A Milne, the english author of the “winnie the pooh books” & 2 volumes of poetry. vespers is in the book entitled “when we were very young”. the poems & stories were written in the 1920s for (& about) his son, christopher robin milne who subsequently sold the rights to disney which is why winnie the pooh, an english bear if ever there was one, now has an american accent!! i hope this is helpful info.

  60. Emily P says:

    I love “Sanman” (as I called it as a child). Delighted to find others who sing it in their families. Our version is shorter and simplified. My mother sung it to me, and now I sing it to my 4 month old daughter. I am originally from Wisconsin, but my ancestry includes Germany, Norway, and England.

    Here comes the Sandman
    Creeping so softly
    On the tips of his toes
    With his own little hands
    He sprinkles the sand(s)
    On the eyes of the sleeping children

    Go to sleep my baby
    Go to sleep my love
    The moon is watching over you
    From now til morning comes

    I will try to record it for posterity-sake. I wonder if others have similar versions…?

  61. pam cottle says:

    A version of the sandman song has been sung in our family for four generations. Our version is”
    Here comes the sandman tripping along
    Tripping along on the tips of his toes,
    And he scatters the sand with his wee little hand
    Into the eyes of the sleepy children.

    Go to sleep my children, close your sleepy eyes
    The silvery moon is sleeping from far across the sky
    Little elves are peeping to see if you are sleeping,
    So close your in slumber close your sleepy eyes.

    I’m looking for the lyrics to several other songs my mother sang to me. One is about a baby that is not for sale, and the other is about a daddy that has gone away. If any one knows either of these please post a reply. Thanks.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Pam,
      The song that comes to mind about a father who has gone is:

      Bye, Bye, Baby bunting;
      Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
      to get a little rabbit skin,
      to wrap his baby bunting in.
      if I think of another I’ll let you know.
      Susan

  62. Cindy says:

    My 97 year old Mother (born 1914) is still singing this song! She said that she performed it in a school program when she was in the 7th grade.

  63. Susan Gould says:

    Thank You! I have just come back from visiting my Mom who is now being wonderfully looked after in a Home in B.C. Canada. Her mother came from England when she was 9 and sang this to her twelve children, and I am the first of twelve children that my mother sang too. I visited my mother at Easter, and while she had on her Nebulizer to help with her breathing, she mouthed “Sandman” (she cannot write or speak so we can hear) and when I asked she nodded with a big smile. So I sang it to her. I also learned the song without the 2nd verse, and instead of children we sang “baby”. I would tack on to this (on one of those sleepless teething nights with one of my five children) other songs she sang to us, one of which was “Sleep, Sleep, little one sleep. Birds have gone to their nests. Hoot owls are calling, a star is falling, time little ones were at rest. Sleep, Sleep, little one sleep,eyelids are fluttering,still. Sandman is coming, I hear his voice humming over the top of the hill, over the top of the hill. I am sure this gave my mom a lot of good memories. Sincerely,
    Susan

  64. Bre says:

    When my mom sang the song to me it went:
    Here comes the sand-man
    Stepping so light-ly,
    Spilling of sand from the tips of his toes
    and he scatters the sand,
    with his own little hand,
    in the eyes of a sleeping _____ (<Insert name here)
    Go to sleep my little ______
    Go to sleep.
    The lady moon is watching you,
    and the little stars are peeping
    to see if you are sleeping,
    So go to sleep my little ______
    Go to sleep,
    Goodnight.
    :grin:

  65. Dear Mike, I have just found this on the net and thought I should also share my memories of ‘The Sandman’. I am now 65 and my late mother, Ruth sang this song to me when I was a little girl around 1949-51. She leaned it from Maggie, her mother, who was born in about 1873, so that ties in with an adult learning from the ‘original’ version perhaps.

    This is it:

    Here comes the Sandman stepping so lightly,
    Stealing along on the tips of his toes,
    And he scatters the sand with his own little hand,
    In the eyes of the sleepy children.
    Go to sleep my darling,
    Close your sleepy eyes,
    The Paley Moon is watching from out the darkening skies.
    The little stars are peeping, to see if you are sleeping.
    Go to sleep my darling, go to sleep, Goodnight.

    PS My mother was born and raised in Liverpool and I was raised in Scotland and my children in England, so I have taken this song on and used it as a lullaby for my three boys, now aged 26, 24 and 22.

    Kindest regards,

    BARBARA

  66. Jo Anne Petty Smith says:

    I am an 81 year old grandma. 5 generations of my family has sung this song. Only a couple of words are different that what we learned. My grandmother sang it to my Dad. He sang it to me. I sang it to my 7 children, and I and all of them they all have sung it to their children (45 of them)I had no idea that anyone else ever knew it. What a treasure.

  67. Lauren says:

    Wow. I sang Sandman, 1st and 3Rd verse to my sons who are now 42 & 38 & to their , 5 grandchildren who are 8yo to 4weeks old. The 2&5yo say no not that Nanna, if not wanting to go to sleep - as it has always worked in putting them to sleep. They eventually relax and go to sleep with it being sung. My Mum does not know the song and I am unsure where I heard it, but like I’ve known it all my life

  68. Debra Bowman says:

    My Great Aunt in Kentucky would song this to me when I was a child
    Now I sing it to my grandson. Great to know it has touched the lives of
    So many people. Keep Singing!

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