Tag Archives: singing

Lullabies are Creepy


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?


Filed under Life With Kids, Opinion

Christmas Top 5

I was going to share my usual rundown of Top 5 Posts I Enjoyed This Week, but I had a problem: The blogosphere has tumbleweed rolling across it. There’s been a few great Christmas posts, but mostly there’s been a lot of brief “Happy Christmas, I’m on holidays, see you in January” kind of stuff. And while I’m thrilled that so many of my favourite bloggers are having a great festive season away, they’re not exactly the kind of post one wants shared with the world.

So instead, I hope you enjoy my Top 5 Memorable Christmas Moments.

1. Receiving a new camera for Christmas.

This was great, because my old camera gave up the ghost a couple of months ago. When you’ve got small children, two months is a long time between photo opportunities. But since the camera was neatly wrapped up under the Christmas tree (along with about 100 other presents for the 8 people who were here), I wasn’t able to photograph the actual present-opening itself. I did take a photo of the Christmas Tree afterwards.

It’s not quite as impressive, really.

2. Christmas lunch with my parents, brother and sister.

It’s three years since we were all together at Christmas (or, in fact, at all) and last time we also had my husband and my sister’s boyfriend (now ex-) present as well. This time it was just the five of us, plus my two boys.

(My husband had to stay home to work over the holidays, my brother’s girlfriend was with her family in Norway, and my sister’s new boyfriend had his own plans.)

From an external point of view, our Christmas lunch conversation would have sounded argumentative, confrontational, and (possibly) boring as we heatedly debated the precise meaning and connotation of a variety of words and phrases and teased each other mercilessly about things that happened twenty to thirty years ago. But from an internal point of view, it was a great afternoon of intellectual sparring and debate. And food. And wine. All the best things in life.

3. Going into the toilet and opening the lid, only to find it was otherwise occupied by a green tree frog the size of my fist.

The more astute may notice this picture doesn’t actually contain a frog. That’s because, as I was about to take a photo, the frog jumped in my direction and I was too busy leaping backwards and shrieking like a girl to press the button.


4. Baby learning to wave on cue.

This doesn’t really need an explanation, but let me just say a quick thank you to my brother, who did the teaching.

5. Big Brother’s karaoke version of Ice Ice Baby

My Mum was given a Glee Karaoke game for the Wii for Christmas, and we’ve been making great use of it. (Well, when I say “we”, I mostly mean “I”…) 4-year-old Big Brother wanted to have a turn, of course, but since his song knowledge is mostly limited to nursery rhymes, The Wiggles and Scooby Doo, I didn’t think it would work out particularly well.

I was wrong.

My favourite part is the 30 seconds after the song finishes.


Filed under Life With Kids, Random Stuff

Sing a Song of… What?

Big Brother fancies himself a bit of a rock star. He was given this guitar/amp/microphone set by his grandparents last Christmas, and has been practicing* ever since. He’s recently started writing his own songs to go with his mad guitar skillz.

Dear <Baby>
I really love you
I love you so much
I really do
I really love to dance with you
But I can’t
Because you’re too little
But that’s okay
Because I like dinosaurs and racing cars

As you can see, his song-writing is almost at the same standard as many world-famous singer/songwriters.

Last week he came up with a gem. If you’ve ever wondered how little boys think… this won’t help at all. But I definitely think there’s something in this for everyone.

Dear Henry the Horse
I really love you
I love you so much
But my farmer’s wife doesn’t like horses
But that’s okay
I locked my wife in the shed I built for the cows
Now you can stay here for a hundred days

* Practicing (v): The act of strumming an out-of-tune toy guitar as hard and fast as possible, with the volume turned up to maximum.


Filed under Life With Kids