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Lost quotations

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Two little seeds | 21-Oct-07

Our enquirer writes:

I remember part of a poem from a few years ago as a child...but I can't find it in books or online.
The poem is about 2 little seeds that grow side by side in the ground. One grows into a sunflower and the other into a shorter plant - which I think was a poppy.....Hence they have to say goodbye to each other...the sunflower says 'I will send the bees down to kiss you, little brown brother goodbye.'

Other lines that I remember are...
Two little seeds lay close in the ground, Never a sight never a sound.....
Little brown brother, little brown brother are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie in the ground close together 'hark to the sound of the lark!
Oh little brown brother, little brown brother, what kind of a plant will you be? I am a poppy just like my mother, do be a poppy like me!
But I am a sunflower and will reach for the sky....
I shall send the bees down to kiss you, little brown brother goodbye....

21 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!


Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Comments:

Baby seed song by E.Nesbit
Kathryn Hungerford

Baby Seed Song, by Edith Nesbit, 1858-1924

Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cosily, close to each other:
Hark to the song of the lark
"Waken!" the lark says, "waken and dress you;
Put on your green coats and gay,
Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you
Waken! 'tis morning 'tis May!"
Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
What kind of a flower will you be?
I'll be a poppy all white, like my mother;
Do be a poppy like me.
What! You're a sunflower! How I shall miss you
When you're grown golden and high!
But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;
Little brown brother, good-bye.

Jean Cash

Thankyou very much for bringing back some of my childhood memories. To me as a child it was a poem, I had no idea it was a song! I managed to obtain an original copy and have played it on the piano!

Gill.
Gill Coburn

Thankyou I remembered some lines my mother used to quote but had never heard the full song.
Lynda Thorns

My nan used to tell us this poem when I was little, along with Johnny Price, My Teddy Bear and Wreck of the Hespress and many others, she used to quote them from memory (that always amazed me). We have an audio cassette with her quoting them on there, it's so lovely to listen to now she's been gone for almost 17years.
Jo Moscrop

I learned this as a song in early childhood, in Detroit, Michigan where I was born. I remembered it because my little sister liked me to sing it to her as she went to sleep. When I turned 80 (in 2007) I gave a concert and sang this little song as a tribute to my sister, and someone put a video of it on YouTube. I only knew the second verse, but remembered the melody perfectly even though it was quite complicated for a child.

How can I contact the man who has the printed music for it? His note (below) makes me very curious to see it.

Thank you for any help. Barbara
Barbara Dane

I found this poem in an old book last year, read it out to my grandson, put the book away somewhere safely, but cannot find it now anywhere. It is so safe, too safe, have hunted high and low. But so grateful for this to be detailed here.
I didnt know it was a song.
I have copied it out now from this send in by Jean Cash.
Thankyou so much.
Will read it now again to my grandsons!
Maggie Wilcox

I've been hoping someone would have the music (I know the tune but can't sing well) to save this piece for posterity. It's so unusual and I loved it from the time my Grandmother taught it to me! Here's the version we learned, from northern Utah:

Little Brown Brother

Little brown brother, little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie nestled close to each other.
Hark! ?Tis the sound of a lark.
Wake up the lark says,
Wake up and dress you.
Put on your green coat or brown.
Wake up and dress you.
Put on your green coat or brown.
Wake up ?tis morning, ?its dawn.

Little brown brother, little brown brother,
What kind of flower will you be?
I?ll be a poppy, just like my mother,
Do be a poppy like me.
What?! You?re a sunflower!
How I shall miss you,
When you grow golden and high.
But I will send all the bees up to bless you,
Little brown brother goodbye.


Jane van Schaardenburg

I have been looking for it for years as my mother would recite also the one by Patrick R Chalmers called roundabouts and swings
Yvonne Baker

My grandmother, who was born in 1895, used to sing a song to me with these very sweet lyrics. She would sing it at night when we were in bed. Here is the part I remember her singing:

Little brown brother, little brown brother, what kind of flower will you be?
I'll be a poppy, just like my mother, what kind of flower will you be?
What, you're a sunflower,
How I will miss you,
When you've grown golden & tall,
But I will send all the bees up to kiss you,
Little brown brother, goodbye

Terry Clark

If you want to hear how it's sung, just watch the movie from Netflix. The Edwardians is the title of the series, and in one, you can watch the story of the life of E. Nesbit, who wrote the Baby Seed Song. Also in the movie, you'll see and hear a group of English schoolchildren, singing the song.
I just watched the DVD, and it's in black and white, but, it's got the whole song in it. E. Nesbit wrote it.
nancy brown

I am 75. My father used to misquote this to me about seventy years ago. I have remembered it as being about two flower bulbs. It had beenit read to him at school. It must have been over a hundred years ago. He laughed at it and thought it sentimental rubbish. He use to say,"I will send all the wasps up to sting you". Little boys were about the same a hundred years ago as they are today.
bob saxton

Jo Moscrop mentions Johnny Price, which is a poem my great aunt used to recite to me. Does anyone know the full version?
I remember;
There was beef for dinner
Beef and rhubarb tart
When he pulled his chair up didn't Johnny start?
on his plate before him stood his milk and bread
'Rather eat dog's biscuits' naughty Johnny said

I would be so pleased to be reminded of the whole
Cath Smith

My mother taught me this when I was in junior school over fifty years ago. That and one called the grasshopper and the and which goes
The grasshoper gay through the long summer day
sang merrily blithe and free
but when summer had fled she discovered with dread
no store for the winter had she
I'll go to the ant who lives over the way
Oh good mrs ant don't refuse me I pray
your larder is full. I can see
I will pay it all back yes more than you lend
if you'll spare me some food my faithfull old friend.
But pray what were you doing when summer was here,
when the flies and the grubs were swarming my dear.
I was working as hard as can be -
Oh good mrs ant I sang all the day.
You sang cried the ant you sang did you say?
Well now you must dance said she

Anyone know anything about this one please
kathy Tyrrell

Another version

Two little seeds in the earth one day
Nestled close to each other
I'll be a Poppy
All red, like my mother
Do be a Poppy like me!
What - you're a Sunflower
How I shall miss you
When you have golden and high
But I will send all the bees up to kiss you,
Little brown brother
Goodbye.

Joan Rawlins

I know this, but it was a song my Mom sang to me as a child.

Little brown brother little brown brother, are you awake in the dark? Here we lie closely, snuggly together hark to the sound of a lark. Little brown brother little brown brother what kind of flower will you be. I'll be a poppy just like my Mommy, do be a poppy like me. What you're a sunflower, how I will miss you. When you grow golden and high, but I will send all the bees up to kiss you. Little brown brother goodbye.
Megan Moris

For Cath Smith who wanted to be reminded of the words of Johnnie Price, this is the poem my Dad used to recite to me when I was small. I believe his mother told it to him, but I've never seen it written down:

Johnnie Price

Johnnie had for breakfast lovely milk and bread.
"Oh, it's very nasty!" naughty Johnnie said,
"Horrid stuff, I'll leave it." Mother said: "You may
But you shall have, Johnnie, nothing else today."

On a shelf she put it, covered with a plate.
"Go to school now, Johnnie, or you'll be too late."
Off to school went Johnnie, but he said, "I know
I shall have some dinner when back home I go."

There was beef for dinner, beef and rubarb tart
But when he pulled his chair up, didn't Johnnie start?
For there stood his basin all filled will milk and bread
"Eat it," said his Mother "or you'll go to bed."

Up to bed went Johnnie, grumbling all the way.
Saying: "She'll be sorry if I die today."
When he heard the tea-bell, Johnnie cried the more
Then he saw his mother standing at the door.

"Are you good now, Johnnie? Here's your milk and bread"
"I could eat DOG BISCUITS," hungry Johnnie said.
He sat up and took it; soon it was all gone;
Found it most delicious; better then felt John.

Children when you're dainty, take this good advice
Eat what's put before you and remember Johnnie Price.

Pam Pheasant

E Nesbit wrote it
Tess Chapman

Thank you so so much Pam and Tess for helping me find the whole of the Johnnie Price poem. I'm going to forward it to my sisters and cousins and I know it will make them smile.
Cath Smith

Hello Kathy Tyrell, the poem you quote is a translation or transliteration of the French fable 'The Grasshopper and the Ant', 'La Cigale et La Fourmi' by Jean de la Fontaine.
Ros Cuthbert

I think is called Jonnie you and Me.
It is about two urchins watching a posh dinner party being served
And the amount of food when they are starving
Sylvia Apps


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