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Why do we sing "Rock a bye baby" to lull a baby to sleep when the song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle on the ground?


Asked by amber710 at 3:40 PM on Dec. 8, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (31)
  • The author of this well-loved lullaby was reportedly a pilgrim who sailed on the Mayflower. The Wampanoag Indians, who befriended the colonists, carried their infants in cradleboards on their backs. In temperate weather, they suspended the cradles from tree limbs so that passing breezes could rock the babies while their mothers tended the maize and beans. With typical motherly indulgence, the cradles were decorated with shells, beads and porcupine quills. For sober-minded puritans, the sight of a birch tree festooned with such cradles must have been very memorable indeed.
    *you can google anything these days*

    Answer by angevil53 at 4:13 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • lmfao who knows good question tho

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:43 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • It is morbid when youu think about it. I always felt that it was a way to threaten the baby. If you don't go to sleep right now, I will put you in a tree.

    Answer by mayas_mom at 3:46 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • haha nice question!

    Answer by Emmagr at 3:47 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Do you know the translation for "Alouette"? It is about plucking the feathers from a pretty skylark. LOL

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:49 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • I use the tune, but I have changed the wording.

    Answer by buzymamaof3 at 4:08 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • OMG I say this all the time I never really "noticed" it until DS was born and I'm like WTH? We don't sing it around Great question!!!

    Answer by jess227ny at 4:10 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • I actually discussed this with my 3yo daughter. She loves for me to "rock" her and sing "Rock by baby" to her. I was singing it one day and we started talking about how silly it would be to put a baby in a tree. She was like, "what if the baby fell out?"

    And, yes, I knew the translation to Alouette. We learned it in French class in high school. Pretty sick song.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:16 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Also...Ring Around The about people dying fromt he black plague...

    Answer by glamomomo at 4:26 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Ring around the Rosie is said to be related to the Black Plague. Snopes says it's not, but a former history professor of mine was certain of it.

    A ring formed around the huge lump that one got at the beginning of the plague. Folks carried flowers to ward off the smell, before germ theory people thought that stench carried the disease. Ashes because many bodies were burned.

    Fairy tales can be quite morbid too.

    Answer by ecodani at 4:29 PM on Dec. 8, 2009