Monday, November 12, 2007

Things I Have Been Know To Sing To My Lucky, Lucky Children

1) "Brahms' Lullaby." When Ellie was a newborn and we were very green (and somewhat incompetent) parents, my husband and I used to quietly sing this classic as we rocked her to sleep. Except, we didn't know the words, so the song went something like:

Lullaby and goodnight...
meow meow meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow...

2) "He's a Tramp" by Peggy Lee. Ellie adores this song; sometimes we sing it together, sometimes she does a solo, sometimes she asks me to sing it while she listens. Over and over and over. In the last two years, I have probably sung this song 978 times. No lie. Till the day I day, I will know this song cold, and if you buy me three drinks ( I'll sing it for you, too.

3) Theme songs to various PBS kids shows. On demand. Just try me. I can do obvious choices, like "Curious George", "Reading Rainbow", and "Arthur", but can really bring it home with lesser-known weirdos like "Jakers!" and "Sagwa." (For those of you without small children, I may as well be writing in Sanskrit, right?)

4) And, speaking of theme songs, at least weekly I serenade the kids with the theme song to "Webster". Yes, you read that correctly. (If their father is around, we sing it in harmony, but that's a story for another time.)

5) Let's cleanse the palette. This one is actually nice: "Blackbird" by the Beatles. I love singing this to our children, and I love when Ellie asks, in a tiny, sleepy voice, for me to sing Buh-lllackbird. If I'm feeling particularly hormonal, I can barely get through you were only waiting for this moment to arise without choking up.

6) "Bye-lo, Baby." If you need a lullaby for your repertoire, this one is achingly lovely, easy to memorize, and very sweet because you can insert all the names of your child's loved ones. "Bye-lo" is a winner. For a really great rendition, check out The Innocence Mission's Now the Day is Over.

7) Lastly, and I'm not proud of this, but if Ellie is whining in the car and generally making me grit my teeth, I sing "Suddenly Seymour." Really, really loudly, Merman-style. This results in either shocked silence (or is it awe?) or "Maaaaaaaamma! You're hurting my ears TOO much." Well, checkmate, pal.

So, what do you sing again and again to your lucky kids? And how long before they beg you to stop?

(Big, Mermania shout-out to Nora at Whopping Cornbread.)


Mrs. G. said...

I have to sing by myself kids don't enjoy their mother breaking into song like they used to. Especially if friends are around. At one time, I did a mean version of Down by the Bay.

Blackbird still chokes me up and Little Green (a favorite rocking song)by Joni Mitchell can throw me into full scale sobbing.

I want a video or audio of you and Ellie singing He's a Tramp...I'm not kidding.

Nora Bee said...

This is an awesome list!!! You have given me many ideas, and I love the links to the ones I didn't know so well. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in your house :-)

My Crazy Beautiful Life said...

When Gloria was little, I taught toddler music classes so I practiced on her!! When Zach was a baby I would sing the Lullaby-and-goodnight song (with made up words, of course) AND I knew most of the words to Hush Little Baby Don't Say A Word. . . Mockingbird. Now I belt out country songs with great gusto which makes Gloria laugh and makes Zach run for cover!!

Melanie said...

G.: I'm singing my heart out, anticipating that they'll tell me stop any day now. Honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to the day when I embarrass THEM for a change. And I love Little Green! And River. Lastly, the very thought of recording my voice and putting it on the Internet gave me hives. I have to go lie down now.

Nora: Glad you liked it! I hope you're memorizing and singing the "Webster" theme as I type this.

Tanya: See, your kids are ACTUALLY lucky because their mother has a gorgeous singing voice. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only doofus making up lullaby words.

Julie said...

Off the top of my head, Carson 7 and Joey 4 love to sing in the car with me "When I'm Sixty-Four" from the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I used to sing this song to my mom when I was little. 64 seemed really really old. My mom will be 64 in five years. Don't ask me my point!
"The Long Way Home" by Norah Jones always calms them down in the car at night on our way home.
Carson loves "Good Riddance" (Time of Your Life)by Green Day.
When I need a smile, he and I will sit together and he will sing it to me while he "plays" his acoustic guitar. He melts my heart.
Another fun one is (I told the Witch Doctor that I was In Love With You) by ooh ee ooh ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang. Ok, I don't know the title or artists, but maybe it sounds familiar?

Bynor FallSmell said...

After you have had your way with our children, I will graciously step in and teach them some quality tunes with which to retaliate against their Merman-mother. I cant wait to teach Ellie "21st Century Schizoid Man", and you will shudder when your son follows you around the house reciting an entire Alan Parsons Project album, (if you're lucky, it'll be Pyramid). They're gonna be so proggy, my baby.

Laura McIntyre said...

Just now thanks to playgroup we are in 3 way song land.

Its got to be "wind the bobbing up" followed by "twinkle twinkle" the "Incy Wincy Spider" . This goes on dozen and dozen of times all day long and drives me nuts

Professor J said...

No kids. But I do sing to my perfect , beautiful dog who is a gift from doggy heaven. I sing "Dinah," the theme song from the Dinah Shore show to my yellow lab named (just guess).

littlemisstrouble said...

i adore this list. my own kids are yet to come, but i sing to my niece and nephew all the time--my favorite is "you are my flower" (which elizabeth mitchell has immortalized in our house!), which i always tweak to fit the scenario. and my mother has always referred to singing lullabies in a rocking chair as "bye-lo"-ing--with three children and a grandchild, she has always said, "want to bye-low?" now i have to go buy that innocence mission cd for her! thanks for such a great blog.