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What Kind of Song is that to Sing to a Baby?

Posted by on May. 21, 2009 at 9:57 PM
  • 27 Replies

What Kind of Song is that to Sing to a Baby?

May 21, 2009 at 7:26 AM by Cafe Suzanne

 

weird nursery rhymes

Photo from Amazon

No one could put poor Humpty

back together!

Mr. Cafe Suzanne and I are hoping to raise our daughter to be bilingual so we've bought her a lot of French music. Many of the songs have been sung to babies in France for generations, and my husband grew up hearing them. But after singing them to our daughter recently, he was a bit taken aback.

One song is about sailors that run out of food and are going to eat the cabin boy so he tries to hang himself. Another is about a girl who is happily skipping about until she meets some officers who make fun of her and call her trash for wearing clogs. Huh?

And when you think about it, the songs and nursery rhymes in the U.S. aren't any cheerier. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and couldn't be put back together, Jack and Jill tumbled down a hill, Rock-a-bye baby falls out of a tree, Little Bo Peep lost her sheep and finds their tails hung out to dry, a spider scares Miss Muffet, and so on. Not really the kind of stories that will inspire sweet dreams as your little one drifts off to sleep.

I grew up hearing all of these songs and I don't think it did any damage to my psyche (then again, who knows), and I have sung all of them to my daughter. But still, why such dark themes in songs written for babies?

What songs do you sing your baby? Why do you think traditional nursery rhymes aren't all sweet and sunny? Have your ever heard what "ring around the rosey" means?


 





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by on May. 21, 2009 at 9:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
luchousdiva
by Member on May. 21, 2009 at 10:18 PM

I never did sing them nursery ryhmes.  I sung them songs that I knew like off the radio and stuff.  What does ring around the rosey mean?  Will I be scared to know? 

tericared
by on May. 21, 2009 at 10:24 PM


Quoting luchousdiva:

I never did sing them nursery ryhmes.  I sung them songs that I knew like off the radio and stuff.  What does ring around the rosey mean?  Will I be scared to know? 


I refused to sing these songs to my girls, and I read some where once that "ring around the rosie" was a song kids in Nazi Germany dealth camps sang about going to the gas chanbers to die......

Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

rlemde
by on May. 21, 2009 at 10:30 PM

 I didn't think it was the death camps. I thought it was about smallpox breakout in England or something. http://www.rhymes.org.uk/-- That rhyme's on the list.

tericared
by on May. 21, 2009 at 10:37 PM


Quoting rlemde:

 I didn't think it was the death camps. I thought it was about smallpox breakout in England or something. http://www.rhymes.org.uk/-- That rhyme's on the list.


yep you are right, sorry...

Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague of London in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of bubonic plague in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before World War II make no mention of this;[15] by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in Britain. Peter and Iona Opie remark[16]: ‘The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection, sneezing was a final fatal symptom , and “all fall down” was exactly what happened.’

Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

rlemde
by on May. 21, 2009 at 10:44 PM

I wouldn't have been surprised if it was about the death camps though. You wonder how these rhymes came to be for children...different times I guess.

stormcris
by Christy on May. 21, 2009 at 10:48 PM

As a child it did not matter what the song meant just if the tune was cheery. I think people worry too much. You can read the wall street journal and a baby will be happy if you use the right tone of voice ...all the way up until about 6 years old.

BEXi
by on May. 21, 2009 at 11:34 PM


Quoting stormcris:

As a child it did not matter what the song meant just if the tune was cheery. I think people worry too much. You can read the wall street journal and a baby will be happy if you use the right tone of voice ...all the way up until about 6 years old.

Agreed..


I mean, do people really think kids think that far into nursery rhymes? Do they really give a flying poo? Nah- not really. It wasnt until last year I actually found out what ring around the rosie was REALLY about..

vlester
by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2009 at 9:23 AM

I agree kids just like beats, tunes, music they don't care too much about the words or the understanding of a song

Quoting stormcris:

As a child it did not matter what the song meant just if the tune was cheery. I think people worry too much. You can read the wall street journal and a baby will be happy if you use the right tone of voice ...all the way up until about 6 years old.


rotPferd
by Silver Member on May. 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM

I used to sing the song Mother from Pink Floyd to my son, but that was 25 yrs ago.

ShadowRaven
by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2009 at 9:33 AM

I agree as well. There are lots of songs on the radio that ds loves now but if he were older and could actually understand them, he wouldn't be listening to them.

Quoting vlester:

I agree kids just like beats, tunes, music they don't care too much about the words or the understanding of a song

Quoting stormcris:

As a child it did not matter what the song meant just if the tune was cheery. I think people worry too much. You can read the wall street journal and a baby will be happy if you use the right tone of voice ...all the way up until about 6 years old.



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