How to Play the Chords of 'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep' on Guitar

Learning to Play Children's Songs on the Guitar

You have to begin somewhere.
Begin with major chords to play the guitar. Redrockschool | Getty Images

Here are the chords you'll need to play the traditional children's song "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep." If the chords and lyrics below appear poorly formatted, download this PDF of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," which is properly formatted for printing.

Master this song, and it will be easier for you to play many other children's songs and their chords; the hours of enjoyment with your family will make the effort completely worth it.

Click on the link after each chord below to see how to finger it properly on the guitar. Note that these are all major chords.

Chords Used: C (x32010) | F (xx3211) | G (320003) 

'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep' Chords

C
Baa, baa, black sheep,
F            C
Have you any wool?
F        C
Yes sir, yes sir,
G          C
Three bags full.
C           F
One for the master,
C           G
One for the dame,
C               F
And one for the little boy
    C              G
Who lives down the lane.
C
Baa, baa, black sheep,
F            C
Have you any wool?
F        C
Yes sir, yes sir,
G          C
Three bags full.

'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep' Performance Tips

There are two potential strumming patterns to be used when playing "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep": The first uses slow down strums, and the second uses alternating down and up strums. Both are easy.

If you want to tackle the easiest strum first, simply strum your guitar four times for each "line" shown above.

If there is only one chord shown on a line (for example the first line of the song has only a C major chord above it), strum that chord four times slowly in a downward motion. For lines in which there are two chords, strum each chord twice slowly in a downward motion.

For the slightly more complicated, although still really easy, strumming pattern, simply strum down then up for each down strum in the previous version.

This means you'll play each line with only one chord eight times (down up down up down up down up). For lines with two chords, you'll play each chord four times (down up down up). There are no tricks or variations throughout the song.

If you're having a hard time playing the F major chord above, try these hints on playing an F major chord.

A History of 'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep'

The song's lyrics are derived from an English nursery rhyme dating back to 1731. The melody is one used in many songs, most notably "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and the "Alphabet Song." The marriage of these lyrics and the melody was first published in 1879 in Nursery Songs and Games.