How Lulling are Lullabies?

My husband and I, like most parents, love to sing lullabies to our children at bedtime.  My issue is with the quality of the songs that have been passed down to be sung to little ones as we tuck them in for the night.

1) Rock a Bye Baby: Really? Who thought singing about a cradle breaking and a baby falling was soothing before tucking a child into their very own cradle to be left alone with these thoughts. And why is the baby in a tree?

2) You are my Sunshine: For a mother of four it is hard to tell any child they are my ONLY sunshine. This may cause problems of sibling rivalry and favoritism.  Not to mention a “Right mom, you say that to all your kids” thought process.  And who is this mystery entity that is taking away my sunshine? Why do they need it? Is someone a sunshine thieving kid snatcher in the night.  Sleep well my love.

3) Naughty Baby: For those of you who are saying, “She is so making this stuff up!” I assure you I am not. For those who are still skeptics, I encourage you to look it up.  Lullaby is about a giant that goes around eating up naughty children.  So first the child is naughty and if that wasn’t enough there is always the promise of the giant.

4) Hush, Little Baby: After the baby eating giant this one seems harmless but I have issues with this one as well.  Why are we making promises to a wee baby that we have no intention of keeping.  Mockingbird, really? Why tell the child you are going to buy them anything and then make matters worse with promises of items no reasonable baby would ever need anyway.  Bull and cart? I ask you. And, how cheap are these items if you are already making plans for their replacement?

Years ago I was a great fan of the Disney classic, Darby O’Gill and the Little People.  I loved the song that Sean Connery sang while he worked as the ground’s caretaker.  Yes, for those doing a double take, Sean Connery. I began singing it to my first born twelve years ago and still sing it to this day to all four. For she is my dear, my darling one/ My smiling and beguiling one/ I love the ground she walks upon/ My darling [NAME] girl. I am able to insert each child’s name so it is personalized and I even sing it to my boy and just change she to he and girl to boy.  This is one lullaby that I can support.  Sweet, introduction to vocabulary, soothing, Sean Connery connection, and easy to remember since even the 1 yr old can sing along with me.

Every parent should sing a lullaby to their child(ren).  I would just suggest being selective when you decide to do so.  Sweet dreams everyone.

4 thoughts on “How Lulling are Lullabies?

  1. With my daughter I made up lullabies. The favorite started with “Mommy loves Miranda, Daddy loves her, too” and would go on and on adding bubba, mamaw, papaw, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, etc, etc. Should have known the sweet song you like, too.

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  2. I sing a lot to Amelia, but my favorites are “Baby Mine” from Disney’s Dumbo and “La-la-lu” from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. But I also really like “So this is Love” from Disney’s Cinderella. I sang that to her in the hospital and to me had the realization that whoever wrote it must have meant it to be about a mother and her child. Just my opinion. 😉

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  3. When my girls were little, I sang “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “Lean on Me”–not the best lullabies, maybe, but they were songs I knew by heart and therefore the best I can do! One day when they were getting shots, my daughter Lucy curled up to me and said, “Sing Blackbird, Mommy, sing Blackbird,” so I sang it low while the doctor did his work and she stayed calmer. One of those powerful moments, all with a song.

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