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Rowan doesn't like to go to sleep and will cry piteously when we won't let him thrash around to keep himself awake. Singing to him makes him calm down, though I don't have the best voice or range. One of the few songs that are in my range is "Hush Little Baby", but when I first employed it I couldn't remember the words. That's okay though, I made do:
Hush little baby, don't say a word
Daddy's going buy* you a mocking bird

And if that mocking bird don't sing
Daddy's going to buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass
Daddy's going to buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke
Daddy's going to buy you a telescope

And if that telescope won't look
Daddy's going to buy you and int'resting book

And if that int'resting book won't read
Daddy's going to buy you a submarine

And if that submarine won't dive
Daddy's going to buy you a wicked ride

And if that wicked ride won't start
Daddy's going to buy you a set of lawn darts

And if that set of lawn darts won't maim
Daddy's going to buy you a new board game

And if that new board game kinda sucks
Daddy's going to buy you a flock of ducks

And if that flock of ducks...

...and that's where I run out of ideas. It went a bit off the rails, yeah. Got any ideas for stanzas to continue? I'm not particularly concerned about ever getting around to the last canonical stanza.

* I'm going to trust in his 8-month-old brain's inability to grasp the concept of shopping therapy for now. I'm not sure what I'll do when he's a bit older.

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The original version ends with the idea that even without all this stuff you will "still be the sweetest little baby in town". So, really it is about the stuff not working out (coming and going) but the love holding strong.

It still presents consumer culture in an uncritical way, even if it undermines it at the end. The implication is that all these things are potential comfort sources that are only undermined by incidental flaws, rather than an overall flawed ideology.

Yes, I have been reading a lot of cultural studies material lately, why do you ask? :>

You don't think it all breaking down is uncritical? They are presented as potential comfort sources, I agree. Then again we are in a consumeristic society and it really is all around us.

I noticed when not living in the city that I am way less susceptible to it all. My kids have a hard time coming up with things they want for gifts and I ascribe that to not watching any commercial TV. In any case when we moved back to Vancouver was when I suddenly felt like a have-not in the land of haves. It'll be interesting to live in Gibsons with so much less advertising.

Back on track- something I love to do is pervert nursery rhymes which my kids adore. Sing a song of sixpence I change up so that the maid is in the counting house, queen is in the larder, and king is hanging up the clothes. I'll also switch up what was baked in the pie for the surprise element. That might work better when he is older though ;)

Our closing song every night is Taps but I change the last line to "peace is nigh". Another nice song I sing is Joan Armitrading's song "dry land". You are my sunshine is another fave but the second verse is incredibly sad so I change it up. Instead of "I awoke dear and was mistaken, so I hung my head and I cried" I sing "I awoke dear and wasn't mistaken, and I pulled you close and I sighed".

I suppose you could take the Hush Little Baby Song and change the stuff to other things. "Hush little baby don't say a word, Papa's gonna paint you a parrot bird, and if that parrot bird is grey, papa's still gonna be around to play, and if papa gets too tired...".

And if that flocks of ducks won't fly
Daddy's going to buy you some twenty sided die

And if those die only roll critical flunks
Daddy's going to buy you some treasure trunks


I like your version better than the original ;) If you want to broaden his horizon for cultural differences, here's the song my dad always sung for us at bedtime. (Legend has it that mom's singing voice is so horrible, that we would tug her sleeve and say "No singing please, mom".)

When I ran out out stuff to sing The Beatles' "Blackbird" worked pretty well for Cousin #24 on a stroll once (it was in my choir's repertoire at that time).

Hahaha... all my friends had one of those Sky Dancers. I remember we'd be so terrified while playing with them, because there was no way to launch them without making them rocketing towards the ceiling, where they would crash and bang all around the room.

I like the new lyrics! I don't remember any of the lullabies my parents used to sing to me, except for the one my dad would sing to my sister every Christmas eve before bed on his guitar. He'd sing the song "Old Toy Trains" except with the lyrics changed a little to make them less boy-centric. The main verse would go like this:

Old toy trains, little toy trucks
Little toy drums, coming from a sack
Carried by a man dressed in white and red
Little girl, don't you think it's time you were in bed?

Probably not very applicable, but I thought I'd share anyhow.

Oh, man. Don't ask me to help out with this one. It would be way too much fun.

(What rhymes with "Polish hooker"?)

Well, there could be the terribly offensive adult version, and the less-offensive but still demented kids' version.

(Maybe "a game of snooker"?)

If that flock of ducks won't fly,
Daddy's gonna buy you an apple pie [or some other type of pie, whatever sounds best]

Sounds good! And pie rhymes with rye, which suggests another scandalous stanza...

Hey - he's not allowed to have rye until he's 4.

I veer off into dangerous territory right at the beginning:

Hush little baby, don't say a word
Momma's gonna buy you a mocking bird
And if that mocking bird won't mock
Momma's gonna buy you a
... uhm ... ooops...

Sure, or a cute pet rock.

I just have such a dirty mind that it immediately leaps to the incredibly inappropriate.

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