My niece is almost two. My parents often recite little poems and rhymes to her that they told to my sister and I when we were small. Many of the poems they learned as children making some at least three generations old.
One of my nieces favourite poems is How many miles to Dublin? which is always recited while being bounced on one knee. It goes a follows
Hupp, hupp my little horse, hupp, hupp again sir.
How many miles to Dublin? Three score and ten sir,
Will we be there by candle light? Yes sir and back sir.
This is not an Irish poem. According to the book A history of nursery rhymes, during the 19th century the poem was commonly recited to children in Britain as well as Ireland, where the word Dublin was substituted for London or other English towns.
Around the Mount Leinster area of Co Carlow the poem went
Hupp hupp little horseHow many miles from this to RossThree score and tenCan you be there by candle lightYes sir and back again
Here Ross is substituted for Dublin and likely refers to the town of New Ross.This book suggests that this poem may date back even further to Tudor times. Its really interesting to see how simple family traditions can be preserved through the generations.
Green, P. 1899. A history of Nursery Rhymes. London: Greening & Co. Ltd.