A Goodnight to Lullabies

This post may be more for myself than for anything else.  Still, you’re welcome to read it if you want to.

A couple of months back, my youngest son climbed into bed and announced that he would quite like to read this new book he got until he was ready to fall asleep.  This seemed like a very good idea and so we ran with it.

And so ended my fourteen-year-long career of singing to my children.

In fairness, it went on much longer than I thought it could.  With the youngest, it was going on so long that you’d have to wonder where and how it would end.  As with all these lovely childhood things, it finally just fizzled and died in a sweet moment and that was fine,.  It was how it should be.

But, while my memory still holds a little of this, I thought I better set down something about it, for myself, before it slips away.

When my elder son stopped requiring his bedtime song, after his bedtime story, I let it go without a mention but now I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it was I sang for all those years.  It is gone from me, which is kind of sad.

So here, for my own benefit, is a record of the two songs I sang each night for Sam for over eight years.  You’d think I would never forget them but, if I don't write them down, I will.  I’ve done it before.

So, after a chapter or two of the current book (God, how many books have I read aloud?) there would be ‘turning ‘round’ and ‘cosying up’ and then we would have two of the oddest, most inexplicable lullaby choices in the history of tucking-in.

First up, a song hijacked from a ‘Barney’ video tape:  “If All The Raindrops Were Lemon Drops and Gum Drops’.  God knows why.  None of us ever liked Barney all that much and we only had this one video.  I think that early on a large variety of songs were tried out and that one seemed to stick.  I hasten to add it was a reflective slow version of the song, of my own devising, rather than the sickly-sweet panderings of Barney’s eclectic crew.

Then, bringing at least a tad more ‘Street Cred’, came a little Bob Dylan… or not, as the case may be.  You see it was that first song off Dylan’s album ‘Self Portrait’ where he didn’t really sing on it at all.  You know the one?  ‘All the Tired Horses in the Sun, How’m I s’posed to get any Riding Done?   Hmmmm Hmmmm mm hmm hmmmmmm…”

Two choruses of that and that’s it.  A little spiel about doors being left open and teddy being in place - never changing, a set routine for all those years – and off to sleep with satisfying ease.  I often wished I could do it on myself.

So an era passes… and, as I think about it, it wasn’t just bedtime that brought opportunities for songs and fun.  Guys who aren’t dad’s won’t believe this but one of the great opportunities for a bit of banter was at changing time.  Think about it – once the ‘offending material’ was bagged and tagged and everybody cleaned up, you had a wide awake little feller just itching for a bit of fun.  I can’t remember what songs came out in those sessions but the bits I remember, I remember them fondly.

The song that sticks in my head from the baby-fun era is actually the ‘Baby Rice’ song.  When the guys were moving from milk onto solid foods, they were both subjected to the ‘Baby Rice’ song on a regular basis.  It may have scarred them for life.

Sung to the tune of ‘Baby Love’, lyrics by yours truly, it went something like… this:

Baby Rice, Oh Baby Rice
I eat you, oh how I eat you.
When I eat you like I do.
Then I go and do a poo.
Then I feel as good as new.
Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby...

(and around again until all the food was gone)

Yes, yes, I know…

… but they were simpler times.