Everyone knows that children’s songs are a just a little bit unsettling.
You’re either singing about children falling down a hill and cracking their heads open, or you’re glorifying the flooding of a tiny spider’s drain pipe home. And let’s not even touch on the macabre horror of telling an inoffensive ladybird that her house is on fire and her children are gone.
But it wasn’t until my first child was born that I realised exactly how creepy lullabies can be.
Rock-a-Bye Baby, in the Treetops
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradles will fall
Down will come baby, cradle and all
Creepy, right? What, you don’t see it?
The rough translation goes something like this:
I love you dear Baby
So I’ll put you in a tree
And when the branch breaks
You’ll fall and die
Or I may be over-thinking it.
Either way, the first time I held Big Brother in my arms and started to sing him this lullaby, I was struck by the wrongness of it. It didn’t feel comforting to sing to him about falling out of a tree.
So I did what anyone would do. I changed the words.
Allow me to present, for the first time ever on the interwebz, the new, improved Jo-style Rock-a-Bye Baby.
Rock-a-Bye Baby, in Mummy’s arms
You close your eyes, you’ll come to no harm
When you wake up, I’ll still be here
And we’ll have fun tomorrow, without any fear
This is the verse I sang time and time again to both my boys, and so far I’ve only come across one downside.
Big Brother is quite vocal about telling everyone else that they’re singing the wrong words.
Have you ever changed the words to a song you’re uncomfortable with?