Sunday, 6 December 2009

Lullabies and Goodnight

When I was a kid, my grandmother (who lived too far away in England) would come about once a year for a visit. Those visits were so precious and I always looked forward for her coming. One of the things I remember so favourably were her lullabies. You see, bedtime routine was grown ups telling us it's bedtime and time to kiss everyone goodnight, and we would have to go round and kiss everyone and then take ourselves to bed. Yes, I was probably quite a big girl by then and I do vaguely remember earlier years when my mother would put my two younger sisters to sleep and I would join them for the Sh'ma (though I can't remember what happened next, did I now go to my room to sleep or what..), but I always yearned for my mother to come and kiss me goodnight and maybe sing a lullaby or two. Because one of the things I remember most favourably about my grandmother's visits were her lullabies. We would be sent to bed, 4 girls in two rooms, and as we were the older pair we would have to wait for her to finish the routine with my younger sisters, and then she would come.. and sing and her warm soft hand would pet us, such sweet moments (though with bunk-beds and going from one granddaughter to the other, it was also a somewhat limited joy). I have no idea how good (or bad) she was at singing. Unfortunately I can hardly remember her voice. But I do know how I absolutely loved her being there with us, singing to us, and so that is one thing which will be important for me to do with my kid/s [note - could very well be that mother did sing to us when we were little (very little), I just have no recall].
So step number one is recalling what she sang to us.. There was this song (well this one was more saying than singing) about this little doll that was lost and something about a cow and something about her (the doll) being in a bad state. That is what I remembered for years, and from time to time I tried asking, but no one could remember anymore, thanks to google and for being more than ever determined, I finally found my song! Oh, I was so so happy to find it! (The Lost Doll. And to know I was not imagining the cow. lol. Though I do also have a faint memory of doll on swing, but it might have been another song, or maybe how I visioned it while she sang, doll falling from swing to mad.. yeah, probably another song). And then there were some surprising discoveries, like Run Rabbit being a bit more than the chores she sang, and Golden Slumbers, the one that always finished her lullaby routine, not being Gold and Slumbers* [which who knew what it meant..], not to mention there is a second verse.. Unfortunately those are the three songs I remember, but I am pretty sure there were more, must have been! Hope maybe my cousins might be able to enlighten me as to those other songs (those lucky ones grew up with her close by..).

~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~ּ ~ּ~

And I read that my little one can now hear. Yes, it is the very early of hearing, and I think for start only deep voices, but now that she can hear I want to start singing to her. Funny how within about 24 hours I had sister telling me about having a special song you sing to baby in belly and the effects of that special song on baby later on after birth, and then I read the same thing in this book I happen to pick up, how the special song sang during pregnancy had calming effects on baby, and I will add that this is an old book of mine I never really got round to reading [was never relevant..], and then last night trying to do my library I came across it and started reading it...
So.. now I'm trying to come up with our special song. I started of with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, mainly because of the line: "How I wonder what you are" (and was even trying to make my own lyrics, not too successful, but also wondering if I should..), went on to - You Are My Sunshine, and well, it was a no for me. I very much do not want my grandmother's lullabies. Those I'm "keeping" for the time when I will actually be singing lullabies to her. Maybe Twinkle Twinkle was not such a bad choice after all?



* O.K must add her gobless which only years later I learnt was actually God Bless.. I am sure she said it right and all, it was just my childhood ears...

5 comments:

battynurse said...

Sounds like some wonderful memories.

Heather said...

I LOVE your idea of singing a special song to your baby in-utero! (I may just have to steal that idea...:) But I have no idea what "our" song might be--I'll have to work on that one! I'm glad you have such special memories with your grandmother! My mom used to sing all the time when we were kids, and I loved it. Great post!

Genkicat said...

What lovely memories of you and your grandmother. I was looking for lullabies and nursery rhymes as well since I don't really know any. Usually I only know the chorus, but not the song. Thankfully there are online resources to help us out.

rachelbk said...

My grandma didn't sing, but she had some odd little rhymes, most of them inappropriate, that I still remember. I've used a few on my kids too.

Yay for sprouting ears!

DRMOMOFTWO said...

Such sweet memories of your grandmother! And great that you are starting to sing to your baby, too. I used to sing Mama's gonna bring you a mockingbird to my kids...still do once in awhile.