Wednesday 10 March 2021

Singing to sleep

Someone on Twitter asked what lullabies we sang to our children, and I thought I'd copy my answers here for posterity. I deliberately chose songs that I liked very much, started singing them to my bump before Sasha was born, and kept to a limited number of songs, in the hopes of creating a Pavlovian response. 

My songs were: 'Grey Funnel Line' by Cyril Tawney, learned from the 'Silly Sisters' record made by Maddy Prior and June Tabor (I used to swing this in an abridged version at baby and toddler group, and Sasha was especially chuffed to always get the extended remix version with two extra verses).

And 'Morningtown Ride' by the Seekers. Learned from my grandmother's record. She had three singles: the Seekers with that and Georgy Girl, I think; Edith Piaf singing Exodus / Milord; and Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (what was the B side??). All her LPs were Slim Whitman albums. She was a strange woman. 

One of my fondest memories is of singing a carload of children to sleep. It's a powerful thing to do, isn't it? And sleeping children smell so lovely. 

Sasha, now 14, starts crying if I sing just the first four notes. "Don't mind the rain..." Actually, so do I. Sniff.

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