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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lullaby and Goodnight

Every one of my children have been sung to sleep by me.  I have a few songs I think I can sing well.  All of them are what I consider bedtime songs as they all have that lilt that makes little ones sleepy. And if they didn't have a lilt, I put one in there and created my own version.
I still sometimes sing to my 12 year old son as he is drifting off and I often sing to my 6 year old daughter still.  All four of my kids have had different songs they requested except for one.  They all have requested a song passed down from my great grandmother.  It's a good thing I just happen to love singing it.

I've never found a version exactly like the one I sing to my kids.  Creedence Clearwater sings it similar to the way I do with a bit of country twang and Leadbelly ( the original composer ) includes a verse CCR leaves out of their cover.  It is called Cotton Fields and this is how I have always sung it to not only my children, but also to my little sisters and kids I babysat both before and after I had my own children.


Cotton Fields


When I was an itty bitty baby
My mama rocked me in my cradle
In them old cotton fields back home.

Oh it was down in Louisiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home.

Oh, when them cotton bolls get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home.


Oh it was down in Louisiana,
Just about a mile from Texarkana,
In them old cotton fields back home.

Oh, when them cotton bolls get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton,
In them old cotton fields back home.

Oh, it may sound a little bit of funny
But we didn't make very much money
In them old cotton fields back home.

Oh, it was down in Louisiana,
Just about a mile from Texarkana,
In them old cotton fields back home.


Yes, it was down in Louisiana,
Just about a mile from Texarkana,
In them old cotton fields back home.

My eldest son loved to hear Raffi's version of Baby Beluga and a song called Señor Don Gato that we learned from his grandmother (everyone calls her Nanny).  When singing Baby Beluga to him I used to add in all the names of the people in our family where it says "Is your Mama home" so it went something like this "Is your Mama, Daddy, Grumpy, Nanny home".  Grumpy and Nanny are what we call his grandparents.

My eldest daughter requested Señor Don Gato as well.  She also loved Silent Night and When I First Came to This Land another song we learned from Nanny.  Silent Night is the one song I can not sing without yawning because I've been singing it while rocking babies for over 30 years and it nearly puts me to sleep at this point.

My youngest son often wanted to hear a song he called Odah.  It is actually called Yundah and is a Celtic song about a Selkie.  A Selkie is a mythical creature of Irish folklore that is a seal when in the ocean, but a woman when on land.  His second most oft requested song was Aba Daba Honeymoon.  I still love singing that one because it's so much fun.  My eldest daughter liked it too.

My youngest daughter still requests Blackbird by the Beatles the most.  She also loves to hear Hush Little Baby.  Her favourite part is where it says "Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover".  Nearly every time I sing it, she thinks I skipped "the Rover part" and I sing it again for her as I watch her eyes flutter in that falling asleep way.

I've always loved singing to my kids or anyone's kids, for that matter.  Kids always tell me they like my songs.  It's when someone pulls out a karaoke machine and asks me to do a duet of a song that is meant for dancing that I completely fail at singing.

My music just makes people fall asleep.  That's all there is to it.

Until Next Time,
Have fun; be safe, and don't do anything you can't tell your Mother about.



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