January 2, 2012
OK, so yeah, I knew the lyrics to, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” before Astrid was born, but my repertoire beyond that was pretty slim. It’s been a few years since I’ve sung kids’ songs, let alone lullabies, let alone – let’s be honest – sung regularly at all. Ramon downloaded some album of ’80’s hair metal converted into lullabies, but I wasn’t going to put our new infant to bed to, “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” no matter how many dulcimers they used to replace the guitars.
Somehow I pulled up with the words to, “You Are My Sunshine,” one night when Astrid was wakeful and that became our bedtime lullaby. Well, for like a month until the words sank in and I realized how completely depressing they are. Not to mention stalker-y. Or bipolar. Or whatever. Not good bedtime fare for little ears. So I went hunting for the right lullaby for us.
Let me pause here to say that yes, you do need a lullaby. Really. I don’t care if you don’t sing ’cause neither does your baby. All he wants is your quiet voice in the dark helping him nod off. You don’t have to be on pitch. Just sing. Silence or white noise or classical baby tunes are not enough when he’s upset. He wants to hear you singing. You need a lullaby. Own it ’cause it’s happening.
OK, back to my hunt. In the regular lullaby canon I couldn’t find anything I’d be willing to sing repeatedly for up to 90 minutes (did I mention Astrid wasn’t a sleeper?) so I branched out.
Remember that movie Waitress? Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion? If you haven’t seen it, you should. Even if you don’t love romantic comedies, you might like it ’cause it’s a little quirky. Anyway, upshot, Kerri Russell’s character makes pies and there’s a song on the soundtrack about pie and babies and love and what not. It’s called, “Baby Don’t You Cry,” and besides being about pie (which is awesome and don’t even get me started and I will teach you how to make a kick-ass pie crust if you ask me nicely), it is an excellent lullaby. Easy words, easy tune, swinging and sweet rhythm.
Maybe that song isn’t for you. That’s fine. My point: find a lullaby (with lyrics that won’t send little Murgatroyd into adolescent therapy) and learn it ’cause you’ll need it and you’ll thank me later.
Or you can thank me now. In which case, you’re welcome!