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Lullaby

From Academic Kids

This page is for "lullaby", the song. See Lullaby (novel) for the Chuck Palahniuk novel.


A lullaby is a soothing song sung to children before they go to sleep. The idea is that the song sung by a familiar voice will lull the child to sleep.

One of the most famous lullabies, "Rock a bye baby", is hardly lulling. Although it starts mildly enough, it quickly turns to disaster:

Rock a bye baby on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Johannes Brahms wrote his famous "Lullaby" as a cradle song (Wiegenlied, in German), originally for a young singer whom he knew, Bertha Faber, on the occasion of the birth of her first child. The English lyrics are similar to the original German lyrics.

see also: Berceuse

Hush Little Baby

Another famous lullaby, generally known as "Hush Little Baby" makes many promises to the child if it will only be quiet and go to sleep, a sentiment with which parents will be familiar:

Hush little baby, don't say a word,
Momma's going to buy you a mockingbird

and goes on to promise "a looking glass", "a horse and coach", and other treasures. This song has had the unusual distinction of two separate manifestations as a popular song, first as the eponymous "Bo Diddley" and then, in a near-fugue arrangement, as "Mockingbird", a hit first for the brother-and-sister team, Inez and Charlie Foxx in 1963, and then, for then husband and wife, James Taylor and Carly Simon in 1974, singing the Foxx arrangement. Toby Keith and his teenage daughter Krystal covered the song in 2004.

In 2005 rapper Eminem adapted "Mockingbird" into a song for his daughter. In it, he threatens to break the bird's neck if it won't sing.nl:Slaaplied fr:Berceuse

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