Baa Baa Black Sheep


Today we are going to Muse about hidden meanings.   If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.

Colored text is a link.  Clicking on the text will provide additional information about the subject.

black sheep

black sheep

Baa Baa Black Sheep

A bit of trivia is what we are about today.  Simple things are often not what they seem to be.  Take the nursery rhyme  Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Baa Baa Black Sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the Master
And one for the Dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

As a child I enjoyed the rhythm of the words and the rhyme, but never really thought about what was being communicated.  Recently I read a blog that discussed its meaning.

It is about commerce and taxation.

In the 1700’s in England, black wool garnered a better price than ordinary wool. It did not require the expense in time and money of dyeing the wool.  It was the preferred wool.

The Master and the Dame do not refer to landed gentry.   The Master refers to the king;  the Dame refers to the church.  One bag for the king: one bag for the church.  This was taxation, a high rate of taxation:  66%.

The remaining bag went to “the little boy who lives down the lane”, meaning the shepherd or commoner.

I find this kind of stuff interesting.  Simple things are often not what they seem to be.

More to come

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Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available
Click on title below to preview

Works on Paper

On The Waterfront

Impressions of Florida



Fine Art America, a company is now offering Throw Pillows, Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Shower Curtains, Duvet Covers and more with reproductions of my artwork.  If you want to check them out, here are the steps:
1.  Click on this link:
2.  Click on one of the galleries to open up the page of images.
3.  Click on an image you like.  It will open up a side bar with a number of options.
4.  Click on “HOME DECOR“.  It will open up a menu of products.
5.  Click on the product and it will open up a sizing slide so you can adjust the image.

Have fun.

My work is available as traditional prints on canvas, paper or metal, but it also available on greeting cards, phone covers, tote bags, shower curtains,  t-shirts and more.  It makes for some very personalized gifts.  Below is the link to the site.  When you click on an image in the site,  a menu of products will appear.  I hope you like it.

           CLICK ON:


 Works available

Along North County Road

Along North County Road

Click to see

Society of Four Arts

Society of Four Arts

Click to see



Click to See

For information about these or other works of art, please feel free to contact us:






About Thomas L. Tribby

Professional artist: painter, sculptor, print maker. Maintains a studio in West Palm Beach, Florida
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