Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lullabies for Dummies?

I realized the other day that I don't know any lullabies. Except "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", which I not only know the lyrics by heart, but also the hand gestures that accompany it. But that's about it. I don't know all the lyrics to one other lullaby, and frankly, that's concerning.

What will I sing to our daughter? Something from my punk collection?

I know parts of some popular songs, but not all. I also have a bad habit of messing up the words to songs, so what few lullaby lyrics I do know, I am not confident are the actual lyrics.

Like many people, I thought Credence Clearwater Revival was advising us there was a bathroom on the right, as opposed to a Bad Moon (an innocent mistake considering I don't know what a Bad Moon is), and I thought Johnny Rivers was singing about a Secret Asian Man, not a Secret Agent Man. But it wasn't until the time that I was singing along to a White Stripes song when a racial slur flew melodically out of my mouth. I watched Chris' horrified expression and our near accident as he veered into oncoming traffic and I realized that I quite possibly had many lyrics wrong. VERY wrong.

As a result, I don't sing along to most songs in public for fear that my interpretation is not only wrong, but offensive. I'll mumble the words in question, but I just don't think that's a good example to set for our daughter. "Bah bah black sheep, have you any wool? Mumble, mumble, 3 bags full."

I start thinking I should get some music so I can bone up on my lullaby skills before she's born, so I'm singing actual songs, with actual correct lyrics. But the lullabies I heard as a kid are terrible! Rock a Bye Baby? Uh, the cradle breaks. That's horrid. Humpty Dumpty? All cracked up and on the ground. Hush Little Baby...just feeds into expectations we can't meet. We can't buy her a diamond ring just because her mockingbird won't sing. Besides, I have a bird phobia and we won't be dealing with any birds.

Then I stumbled upon Punk Rock Baby.

This is perfect. Songs I do know the lyrics to (Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Smash it Up, London Calling) "re-worked Lullaby Style."

We can play this CD when she is wearing her uber-baby-punk Vans she got at her shower:


avalikelava said...

Ha! I love it :) If it makes you feel any better, I don't know any of the lullabies either... and considering my... ughmnm... vocal stylings, I'm sure our child will prefer that I don't even try to sing.

In terms of song lyrics there's a hilarious little book out there called "'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics " -- it's all about the most commonly misunderstood song lyrics out there. You guys might get a good laugh out of it.

Kelly Marie said...

I spent a lot of time singing "Don't cry for me Argentina" with the argentina changed to "Greyson" or "Don't you cryyyyyy tooonight, there's a heaven above you baaaabbbyyy" ala, Guns N Roses.

Anything can be a lullaby :)

Alison said...

Awww... the Vans are adorable!!!

ABarker said...

OMG! Perfect! Love the CD and the shoes!
I remember when I first started teaching preschool, the kids would ask me to read them nursery rhymes from our library collection, and I'd always balk.
All the songs and stories were unbearably hostile or sexist or just plain violent and I hated having to constantly stop the story and explain "oh, that wasn't ver kind of Jack, was it..." Hahaha. I think the only one I could bear was Raffi's Baby Beluaga. (which you should check out because I think it rocks!)

Mason's Mommy said...

There's a series of instrumental lullabye renditions of rock bands that we play while Mason sleeps. WE LOVE THEM - speaking from a rocker household, I'm sure they have a little punk flavor for you too. We currently have the Metallica, ACDC, and Beatles versions, but want so much more: Rockabye - google it, you won't be disappointed. ;) I've even found a couple at Target!

Hope you're feeling well. - Julia(Smuches)