General Question

kwso's avatar

Why do we sing "Rock a bye baby" to lull our little ones to sleep when the song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle to the ground?

Asked by kwso (29points) April 11th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

live_rose's avatar

. . .same reason we sing ring around the Rosie which is about the plague i think? It’s just something that has stuck and now has a new implication.

CasketDance's avatar

Because people are subconsciously satiated with morbid undertones and thoughts.

They need a negation to the usual nursery ryhme and/or bedtime story. That’s why for example, you have childrens books like Hegedy Peg and The Piped Piper of Hamilton; they serve as a facet of sub evil inclinations.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@CasketDance lets not forget the ever classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Cinderella

CasketDance's avatar

Yes indeed. Or Alice in Wonderland. That’s quite a long story though. Akin, still to the maldict of the dark fairy tales. You know the legend has it that faeries pinch and steal babies back to their lands. Some people need that wavering chance of the mysterious and unexplained to pop in to their own forbidden landscapes of fantasy.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Don’t forget halloween.. dress your little ones up like dead things and witches.. pass out tooth rotting candy and promise a trick if you aren’t treated…

Some things just aren’t today what they were yesterday.

CasketDance's avatar

Or like they were in 88’

I was only 2 years old back then.

poofandmook's avatar

I took a Children’s Lit class once… we spent a considerable amount of time on the dark fairy tales. You’d be surprised how many innocent ones really were about dark things, and if you think Rock A Bye Baby is bad, you should read some of the older, less-known ones. Sheesh!

CasketDance's avatar

Great! Love to hear some of those. I’m pretty keen on faeries and Mythology and Childrens stories! Lol.

Any recommended stories from you Childrens Literature class?

poofandmook's avatar

@Casket: I’d have to dig up my book… I had a bunch that I liked marked, but there were so many of them and it was several years ago, I can’t remember them off the top of my head heh

casheroo's avatar

I don’t know. Guess we’re making dark things more innocent for our children.
My son loves “ring around the rosies” but, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be “roses” Thats what it says in my nursery rhyme book. Sounds weird when I say it that way.

Harp's avatar

Then there’s this little gem:

All the Pretty Little Horses

There is a lamby down in the meadow,
poor thing cries mammy,
the bees and the butterflies pecking at its eyes,
poor thing cries mammy.
Go to sleep, go to sleep,

Maybe this is parental frustration bubbling up to the surface as Mommy’s putting the kid down for the third time that night.

MissAusten's avatar

I used to sing “Rock A Bye Baby” to my kids because it’s fun to pretend to drop them when you sing the line, “Down comes baby, cradle and all!” They’d laugh so hard—not really good for getting a baby to sleep, but entertaining all the same.

desiree333's avatar

@Harp is that really a song!?

Dutchess12's avatar

I’ve wondered that myself! And I used to pray with the kids, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” HOW TERRIBLE!! I’m surprised they weren’t totally traumatized! :)

Mamradpivo's avatar

Wishful thinking?

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’m not sure if this is true but here you have it:

“The author of this well-loved lullaby was reportedly a pilgrim who sailed on the Mayflower. The Wampanoag Indians, who befriended the colonists, carried their infants in cradleboards on their backs. In temperate weather, they suspended the cradles from tree limbs so that passing breezes could rock the babies while their mothers tended the maize and beans. With typical motherly indulgence, the cradles were decorated with shells, beads and porcupine quills. For sober-minded puritans, the sight of a birch tree festooned with such cradles must have been very memorable indeed.
– The Great American Baby Almanac ”

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