I had trouble sleeping when I was younger. Well, not really. I slept just fine. But getting me to go to bed was tough. I didn’t ask for stories, hugs, or for someone to make sure that there weren’t monsters under my bed. I asked for songs. Lots of songs.
My mom always sang me to sleep as far back as I can remember. She would make up lullabies, sing songs she knew, or sometimes just hum familiar tunes. When I was able to talk, I would request songs or sing them with her. I always enjoyed learning and repeating lyrics.
Once my brother was born, he also got an earful of melodic tunes. When we were younger we would sleep in the same bed and I would sing to him in the dark. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was a random request that I had to sing over and over. Instead of the lyrics “So let’s root, root, root for the home team” I had to replace the word “home” with whatever color my brother suggested. So let’s root, root, root for the yellow team.
Eventually my parents had to start getting creative. You can only listen to “Old McDonald” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” so many times. I liked when my mom sang “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. The lyrics were so colorful and there were so many things to visualize! Best song ever!
In times of desperation, we would listen to ABBA or Disney soundtracks while falling asleep. Not always peaceful, but they did the trick.
I remember when my dad would sing theme songs from old TV shows that rescued him from his childhood. Gilligan’s Island was my favorite. Occasionally my mom or dad would sing The Brady Bunch intro as well. These songs were ideal because they told a story (of a lovely lady…). My mom couldn’t really sing The Partridge Family’s intro because there wasn’t much to it. And it doesn’t really do much in the relaxation department–Come on, get happy!–despite it being her favorite childhood show.
My parents would also sing us children’s church songs which were always very mellow and usually had a good message about God and Jesus loving us. That was always a comforting way to fall asleep.
I love that my parents took the time to sing us to sleep. I recognize that it wasn’t an easy task, especially when we didn’t drift off to a magical dreamland immediately and kept asking for them to sing another. I think I went through every baseball team color in the rainbow for my brother’s enjoyment. But that’s just what parents (and big sisters) do.
Did your parents or siblings ever sing to you before bed?
20 thoughts on “Little Lullabies”
Love your stories Lily. You’re a lucky girl. ( and your bro is lucky to have a big sis like you)
You have fun and loving folks.
My answer: No
Ahh thank you for reading my babblings. I am a lucky girl! I don’t know about my bro though…
Yeah, from what you’ve told me, I think your mom needed more lullabies in her life.
Ohh it’s all good. I’ve always had a song in my heart and that’s what counts.
Not that I remember, no. I probably had stories read to me, but a song would probably drive me potty.
Your childhood is as intriguing as your trips to Lush.
You probably did when you were a baby. Not many parents continue the singing into childhood..haha. I always got bored during stories.
Ahh thanks Michael. I wish we lived closer because then I could talk your ear off. You are my perfect audience!
I smiled when I read this. Believe it or not, Anne hated stories, but, loved being sung to at night. She’s doing the same with Joe. Lovely memories, Lily.
Oh I believe it. I knew that you were going to say that. There haven’t been many differences between Anne and I. I’m starting to think that I’m Anne or she is me. That’s good that Joe has music in his life. Thanks Addie 🙂
There a zillion differences, I assure you. That rather stung, so, I’m politely bowing out of commenting here, and going back to simply reading. Your writing voice is unique, and a pleasure to read. See? Anne doesn’t write a blog. 🙂
Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings! I think most kids born around my time are pretty much all the same anyway. We’re all rabbits and dragons in the chinese horoscope so there’s not too much to differentiate us.
I understand if you need to take a break, but I hope you feel safe enough to comment again soon. Thanks for the compliments. Catch ya on the flip side!
My grandma and mom used to sing to me all the time. I used to love it when they’d read me to sleep, too.
Aww yeah. Stories were always good too. I wish that adults could hire people to sing us to sleep and read us stories. But that would be creepy. Adulthood is the worst.
That’s a nice memory! It’s sweet.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember these kinds of things…I can barely remember what I ate yesterday, let alone things from 20 years ago. Sigh.
Haha I have a crazy weird memory in that I remember things from when I was 3! But I do have trouble remembering what I did on the weekend. Soo that’s not a good sign. Thanks Lily!
Lily, what a beautiful share!! You are so lucky to keep memories like this forever. I’m from a really big family which has some positive effects yet also is challenging. I love hearing stories like this because it gives me hope for having my own family that I can really bond with : )
Thank you Emily! That’s awesome that you come from a big family! I always wish I had more siblings. I think you will be a great mom and raise a good family! There will be lots of bonding, I assure you! 😀
Love this, Lily! My mom would sing to us as kids, and I used to sing to my dudes when they were really little. Now, they really aren’t into me singing to them before bedtime – “Mom, stop! You are embarrassing me!” Which makes me sing JT songs and annoying tunes from High School Musical. The best thing is that I would sing James Taylor and Beatles tunes to them when they were babies. I have heard my oldest humming them. 🙂
Hahah yes! I love when kids are embarrassed of their parents. So great. My mom would play a lot of James Taylor and Beatles for us in the car. “Sweet dreams and flying machines” was always a nice thing to hear before you drift off to sleep. That’s good that your oldest hums them–you planted the seeds 🙂
Being a lover of music, but not much of a singer, I used to turn pop songs into bedtime stories for my son. So after I’d exhausted all the usual bedtime stories, I told him about Tommy, the deaf, dumb and blind pinball player extraordinaire. I told him about Roland, the headless Thompson gunner and Johnny the fiddle player who wagered the devil, etc. I doubt that would be considered good parenting.
Lullabys would be better.
No, that’s awesome. I listened to all those songs in the car as a youngster. My mom gave us quite the musical education. I think that’s the best thing you can do for your child. Great parenting! Pat yourself on the back!