Baby Songs

We’re beyond “routine” with the bedtime routine in this house. It’s become a superstition. So much so that when Z was a toddler, I had to read the same book, sing the same three songs (“O Holy Night,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “All the Pretty Little Horses”) in the same order, and give her the same stuffed friend for every single nap and bedtime. Followed by the ever popular, ever annoying Drink Of Water.

Whatever works, right?

While I usually end Maverick’s routine with the time-honored classic “All the Pretty Little Horses,” I’m trying to mix it up a little more. Mostly because he’s still taking two or three naps a day, plus bedtime, and I can only handle so much of the same three songs.

So here’s what I’ve got in my bedtime arsenal:

  • All the Pretty Little Horses
  • Loch Lomond
  • O Holy Night (a little too long for Maverick, & I gotta sing it loud when I sing it otherwise I can’t pretend I’m auditioning for church choir solos. I’ll save this one for later)
  • In Ancient Egypt (a made-up song – here’s the “sheet” music & lyrics)
  • Sleep, Baby, Sleep (I made up my own melody for this, but I think there are others)
  • Peace Like a River (don’t I wish)
  • Ring Around the Moon
  • Scarborough Fair
  • a mutant version of I Love the Mountains (either I wasn’t taught the right way, or I heard it incorrectly – I’m guessing the latter because that happens all the time)
  • You Are My Sunshine (Z doesn’t like this one, thinks it’s too sad because of the part where “I held my head and cried”)
  • Three Little Birds

Any suggestions? What did your parents sing to you? What do you sing to your kids or nieces or nephews or the little boogers in your life?

In Ancient Egypt

Sometimes Z asks for a tried and true favorite for her nighttime lullaby. “Loch Lomond,” “All the Pretty Little Horses,” and “Ally Bally” are popular right now. For awhile it had to be “O Holy Night,” sung about four or five times. But occasionally she’ll throw me a loop, and request a song about a hawk, or, in this case, ancient Egypt.

So if there are any “real” musicians out there, just stop now. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing with this. Eleven years of piano lessons taught me how to read and play music, not write it. I took major liberties with putting the measures together, and wasn’t sure a treble clef was needed at all. There’re, what, two measures that actually need that extra range, but, whatever. It’s a home-grown lullaby, plunked out on my ancient, out-of-tune piano.

Except, I might have unconsciously stolen the tune, so if anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I know the lyrics are for sure my own (and so proud of them I am! Notice the “you’ll be happy if you go to sleep” subtext. Lullabies: my favorite form of propaganda, after cautionary tales of my own invention).

Oh, also, assume that if you don’t see a note there, it’s a “rest.” Because, frankly, after scribbling and erasing and erasing again, I can’t be freakin’ bothered. And I just realized I misspelled “lullabies” on the music. That’s it. No more apologies.

And finally, if you’ve written a lullaby for your kid/niece/nephew/small friend/whoever, I’d love to hear it/read it/play it/sing it to my Z. So let me know!