A Short Analysis of the ‘Little Bo-Peep’ Nursery Rhyme

By Dr Oliver Tearle

‘Little Bo-Peep’ is a classic nursery rhyme, probably one of the most famous in the English language. But what are the origins of ‘Little Bo-Peep, and what does it mean? Before we attempt an analysis of this children’s rhyme, here’s a reminder of the words:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell 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 still all fleeting.

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