Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rock A Bye Baby

Why is it that I'm 22 years old and have never really listened to these lyrics??

I've sang this song so many times to babies as I'm rocking them... it's so wrong!!!

Excuse the language:

I was very disturbed and realized - wait, the rhyme originated from somewhere.... which is even more frightening.

So I looked it up.

Here are the lyrics:

Rock a bye baby on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

(horrible image, by the way, of a cradle falling out of a tree....)

Here is where famousquotes says this rhyme came from:

Origins in American history
The words and lyrics to this nursery rhyme are reputed to reflect the observations of a young pilgrim boy in America who had seen Native Indian mothers suspend a birch bark cradle from the branches of a tree enabling the wind to rock the cradle and the child to sleep. The rhyme also hold a warning on the choice of bough!


Why would any sane mother stick her child up in a tree?! In a cradle?! WITH THE WIND BLOWING?! There had to have been some casualties before they realized this was NOT a good idea.

I'm sure I realized how weird it was to sing about a falling out of a tree baby to another baby, but since it's such a common nursery rhyme I don't think I thought much of it.

Now I'm wondering what other rhymes I've been absently singing without realizing what I'm actually saying.

15 comments:

Abra said...

It is a weird lullaby but then look at the origin of Ring around the Rosy...

And I suppose if you didn't have anywhere to put the baby while doing stuff outdoors, a tree is a pretty safe spot considering they were out in the middle of nowhere privy to all sorts of bugs, reptiles, and other creatures...

Kate, Mike and Ellie said...

Look up the meaning of the Jack & Jill Rhyme; apparently it has something to do with being beheaded! lovely.

Strawberry Shortcake said...

Lots of that old stuff, if you pay attention, is weird and wrong. I don't ever sing that song to my kids. Too crazy.

Jo said...

Yeah, I guess a lot of nursery rhymes are not so nice. Kind of sick, huh?

Wendyburd1 said...

All beloved small child things seem to have darker tones or meanings, LOOK at fairy tales, but I always loved them...the happier ones. Do you KNOW how The Little Mermaid actually GOES??!! DARK!

Chad, Chelsea and Dawson Davis said...

Yeah, I never liked that one or a few of the others... I always change the words or cutomize it if you will. They are cuter that way anyway more personal.

ramsam said...

I totally have weird issues with negative lyrics and sayings, but I love this lullaby. I used to sing it to my kids
"rock a bye baby, in the tree tops
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
if the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and mommy will catch you,
cradle and all"

Now you know how crazy I am, but it worked for me!

Danger Cat said...

HA HA, theya re all warped, why do you think we turned out so twisted??

Kristal said...

All of them. Nearly all nursery rhymes were politcal/news satyre hidden in a children's rhyme so the author wouldn't be killed for his opinion.

*MARY* said...

I'm so glad your baby hunger pains have been satisfied, and now you're baby full!

Whenever I sing this song to my kids I do it in an evil voice and then laugh wickedly at the end.

*MARY* said...

I'm so glad your baby hunger pains have been satisfied, and now you're baby full!

Whenever I sing this song to my kids I do it in an evil voice and then laugh wickedly at the end.

*MARY* said...

sorry about the doublemment; I'm still a little rusty.

Victoria Gilbert said...

ya, most of the nursery rhymes are pretty messed up.... 3 blind mice... sing a song of six pence... ring around the rosy... oh there are a ton! And Josh is getting to the age where he will ask me "what does that mean?" and half the time I don't want to tell him because it's too morbid for little children, yet we still go about singing them. oh well, at least all the kids are being equally scarred from these morbid nursery rhymes, right? :)

Kayleigh said...

Creepy. But what other lullaby songs are there to sing? Hm.

Mariel said...

Weird, but really interesting! Cute blog!

Mariel
www.oneshetwoshe.com