Monday, March 17, 2008

Lullaby: Edited

Rowan loves to hear me sing, and often her bedtime involves a lot of it. As mentioned before, the cry-it-out theory does not work with her, and I have since dumped the pediatrician who tried to make me feel guilty for not using it. Some nights, she gets placed in her crib with her entourage (the bears Roosevelt and Eleanor and the red Monchichi with the leaf on her head, Apple), tucked in, and she goes to sleep easily by herself to the sound of the WombBear as we happily skip downstairs to a bowl of ice cream and some boob tube /internet /movie /book.

Other nights? We rock. And rock. And rock. Sing, sing and sing. Or even lie with her in the big bed until she falls asleep. (And try not to fall asleep ourselves. Usually failing.)

You'd think that a music teacher would have tons of great lullabies floating around in my head.

Yeah, you'd think.

Nope. Seems the only things I can remember are the Chipmunks Christmas Song and some very inappropriate Monty Python tunes. Ahem.

So, I'm learning some new ones. I now know all the words, in French, to À la Claire Fontaine, Au Claire de la Lune, Gentil Coquelicots and Frère Jacques (yeah, that one's pretty easy). We sing some jazz tunes, like the Gershwin tune I sang at my sister's wedding. And I make up new words to pop tunes that I can't remember the real words to (like Safety Dance: in my version, "we can dance! we can dance! everybody's wearing their pants!" I think it actually makes more sense than "everybody look at your hands!" as the real lyrics go. Why?)

But the most valuable tunes are the ones you can extend over and over, when she's just about there but needs a few more verses. So here are our current favorites.

  • Old McDonald (on his farm there are not only animals--we've got tractors, combines, swathers and sports cars! Tonight, there were squirrels. They go "chitter". Just so you know.)
  • He/She's got the Whole World In His/Her Hands! (Anything works with this. He can have trumpets and bassoons, she can have armpits and toejam, he can have a glass of wine for Mommy--whatever!)
  • Oops--I forgot! This Little Light of Mine. We keep it going by not hiding the light in lots of places, including the trunk of the car, the linen closet, and if Dr. B is singing, "my armpit" and other, um, unmentionable places.

So, I would love some new ones! Do you have any favorite lullabies? Especially never-ending ones? Please, tell us!

And just because you know you want to watch it, a little Men Without Hats.


Aimee said...

We have a CD of French lullabies. I will burn you a copy. Some good ones on there too.

Our daily songs are Twinkle, twinkle little star. The ABC song (educational and soothing), a song I made up in the maternité up late one night. The words are "cou cou, mon dou dou" or "cou cou mon maxou" pretty much over and over again to whatever tune I want.

I gotta get a monchi chi for Max. Now that's a classic!

The Bold Soul said...

On those now-rare occasions where I need to sing a baby to sleep, the first thing that comes to mind is Melissa Etheridge's "Baby You Can Sleep While I Drive". It's slow, has a nice melody, and goes great with some baby-rocking. Try it!

Mama Bear said...

You Are My Sunshine:

I sang this to Miss 14 over and over and over... then when she was about 2 or so, we sang it together. Now? It makes me cry... but it worked!
Your Cuz in ND

Sarita said...

Felix loves to hear me sing too and is always saying "encore, encore!" Some of his favorites are My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, I've Been Working On The Railroad, Kumbaya, or Row Row Your Boat. Tibo sings the French songs.. :) Unless we do a duet of Au Clair de la Lune - which Felix requests often too!

Anonymous said...

Hee, Personally I love the words to "your songs". That's the best, and she'll never forget those.

I too run out of words and songs to sing to our little girl. My current favorites are "You are my sunshine" (as she is my sunshine), "Somewhere over the rainbow", and "My favorite things"

Great thread, good to get a few new songs to sing. :)
Your cuz from chicago

enaje said...

I always sang the old standard lullabys to my kids--now almost 30. Rock-a-bye Baby, Hush Little Baby, Brahms Lullaby, What Child Is This?, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Away in the Manger, and a WWI tune "There's a Long, Long, Trail a-winding" among others. You could use any tune that can be sung quietly and slowly.

Since Rowan is so little I don't think the words matter. When we were little my mom used to sing a song that we later discovered was about snorting cocaine! Now there's a bedtime song.....

Stefanie said...

I like James Taylor's Sweet Baby James...

Anonymous said...

When my son was a baby, I used to sing the Beatles song "I Will" to him. I'm not a big Beatles fan, but it was a great song for singing to babies. We also had a cassette (that's how long ago it was) called "The World Sings Goodnight" with fantastic lullabies, which I would fake the best I could since I only understood the words to two--great melodies, though. I hummed to him more than I sang.


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