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

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
Replies (11-20):
BMW0508
by on May. 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM

I just now found out what it really meant and I'm almost 28. No harm done here.

Quoting BEXi:

 

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..


Della529
by Matlock on May. 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM

No nursery rhymes here.  But, all five of my children do like the beat, bass and rythym of AC/DC.

rotPferd
by Silver Member on May. 22, 2009 at 10:12 AM


Quoting Della529:

No nursery rhymes here.  But, all five of my children do like the beat, bass and rythym of AC/DC.


This made me laugh!! 1st song that popped in my head was highway to hell!

Della529
by Matlock on May. 22, 2009 at 10:22 AM

 

Quoting rotPferd:

Quoting Della529:

No nursery rhymes here.  But, all five of my children do like the beat, bass and rythym of AC/DC.


This made me laugh!! 1st song that popped in my head was highway to hell!

They liked the music, and so do I.  They also like Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Manheim Steamroller.  Not to mention Josh Turner's song, Long Black Train.  Or Tim McGraw's genre'.

BEXi
by on May. 22, 2009 at 10:46 AM

There's this one song that i've sung to both of my boys since birth.. It's a very old song, its called "Turn Around".

Where are you going
My little one, little one
Where are you going
My baby, my own

Turn around and you’re two
Turn around and you’re four
Turn around and you’re a young girl man
Going out of the door



Except I changed it to fit for a boy instead. :P Calms down my oldest everytime he is having a bad time. <3

ColtsFan1912
by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM

agreed.

they don't know the "meaning" behind the songs

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.



"I am surrounded by  people who don't think like  i do. ..love is the protest" Jars of Clay

rlemde
by on May. 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Guess Ican agree with you guys, Matt and I used to jam to Tom Petty. AC/DC seems to be a favorite to all kids. I still wonder how they came to be so popular?

Della529
by Matlock on May. 22, 2009 at 11:10 AM


Quoting rlemde:

Guess Ican agree with you guys, Matt and I used to jam to Tom Petty. AC/DC seems to be a favorite to all kids. I still wonder how they came to be so popular?

Don't...have.. to live like a refugee...okay, I'm back now, LOL. (Love TP, too.  He and the Heartbreakers got started about 60 miles from my hometown).

Some believe it was the H to H song.  I beg to differ.  AC/DC pretty much uses the same chords/beat in every song and this theme seems up-lifting and energetic. 

DulceBrowneyes
by Member on May. 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM

I never really sang any of the proper nursery ryhmes, just the spoofs, although Jack and Jill has a happy ending despite the association with Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The lyrics?

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Then up Jack got and home he trot, as fast as he could caper. He went to bed and bound his head with vinegar and brown paper.

The ones I like are perversions of the classics, like the itsy bitsy spider:

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun, right through the ozone hole, and it baked the itsy spider into spider casserole.

Most nursery ryhmes have some kind of violent historical reference. Georgie Porgie - courtier George Villiers, King James I's lover, as well as Queen Anne's of France; Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary - Bloody Mary (garden - cemeteries); etc.

Blessed Be

He lied and never knew that he lied, and when it was pointed out to him said that lies were beautiful. He was an idealist.

- 'Of Human Bondage', W. Somerset Maugham
hsteele
by on May. 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I've actually heard that rock a bye baby is a metaphor for birth. In the tree tops the baby is in the womb, when the wind blows, labor begins, the cradle rocks and contractions rock the baby, the bough breaks, water breaks, down will come baby, baby is born, cradle and all, the placenta and all also come out. Just something I've heard. Can't remember where.

I made a lullaby for my own daughter. We usually only sing the first verse. Its actually all I know off the top of my head.

Hush little child

Mamas here

Hush little child

Do not fear

The world outside

Is far away

So hush my child

Mama's here.

 

Sleep my darling

Dream sweet dreams

Sleep my darling

Float away

The stars shine down

To light your path

So sleep sweet darling

Dream Sweat Dreams

 

Float away

Into your dreams

Float away

Above the trees

Up to the clouds

above the world

Float away

Up to the stars

 

The stars will fade

When morning comes

Dream till then

And fear no one

Your Mamas here

To keep you safe

So dream sweet child

Till morning comes.

Heather
Proud Pagan Momma

"And When the Night is Cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Speaking words of Wisdom, Let it be."
~Lennon, McCartney

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