I did a little poll to see how off tradition lullabies can get, and as it turns out, very. Here are some of the popular answers and why they likely came onto the roster.
American Pie was one of the most popular responses, and I don't think we are pushing a discussion on the loss and change of the American social landscape or the death of Buddy Holly. Why are we lulla-bye-ers flocking to it? Because it keeps us semi-conscious dangling over the side of the crib while we try to recall the countless verses we all learned to sing around campfires in our freshmen days. If you are looking to branch out try Hotel California, Stairway to Heaven (some might recall cautions about singing it backwards) and Free Bird. All of these songs are wildly known as the perfect school dance songs when asked by a boy you liked or the most entrapping song if you were just trying to be nice. True story.
Christmas songs, anything Beatles or John Lennon (Mothers of sons... Beautiful Boy, am I right?), and the overplayed, such as Wonderwall, got a lot of nods. With the easy recall of traditional Christmas carols at the ready, many found themselves heading into an off season festive repertoire with the predictable Away in a Manger and Silent Night or the Little Drummer Boy.
This might be a stretch but maybe something is happening in our subconscious here? In this category I heard about songs like Cats in the Cradle and Folsom Prison Blues. Good use of time with nightly reminders about making time for your children and the importance of obeying the law because prison is bad. Little Boxes also got mentioned so “don't conform little baby” and it also makes me think of the show Weeds, therefore, see also drugs are bad. There were also songs about the beauty of nature (Rocky Mountain High), thinking positively (Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and songs from Rent) and Mr. Tambourine Man, which Bob Dylan says is about a guy he used to play in a band with, not drugs, so we have to go with Bob on this one.
We all have made up songs, sometimes it was for the first child and the successors just got their names switched in, sometimes they are original melodies, sometimes you sub words to the melody of Spider-Man, it's all good. Whatever works.
I have always liked Crash by Dave Matthews myself, but when doing research I found it is basically about a Peeping Tom. Due to its creepiness I added this category. And then there was Shoop. This was shared with the caveat, “I swear they couldn't speak yet!” It probably became the choice again due to the easy recall. I have also headed into Old School rap only to find many verses needing sudden redirection. There is a solution that makes everything work and that is the ROCKABYE BABY! renditions which takes everything from Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and our more than ever treasured Tragically Hip into the most appropriate instrumental night music. Just press play!
Now in our defense, the traditional lullabies aren't that sweet either. Rock-a-bye Baby ends with baby falling out of a tree in a cradle and I am not sure how age appropriate half these gifts are for a baby in Hush Little Baby anyhow. Sing on my friends, no judgment!
What are the oddest songs you have sung crib side?
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