A few months ago I started singing to my baby, but my singing is mostly either humming or stuff with made up lyrics like “you’ve got funny hair, yes you do, you look like Jackie Mason, yes you do”.
I don’t really know many actual songs. The only songs I remember from when I was in a band are Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”, Dead Milkmen’s “The Beach Song” and the classic “Surfin’ On Heroin” from The Forgotten Rebels.
“I’m so fucked up I can’t remember my name / Tried it once, I’ll never feel the same. / I’m swimming in a sea of puke. / Lend me a quarter play myself on the juke. / Got my kid brother hooked yesterday. / Pimping him pays for my habit today.”
Forgotten Rebels; “Surfin’ on Heroin”, ‘The Pride and Disgrace’ (1986)
I used to know a bunch of camp songs… but the only ones I remember now need responses from the crowd to make any sense, like the “flee / flee fly / flee fly flow” song. And — as much as he thinks he is — my baby’s not really talking full time yet.
The only song I remember from childhood is “Farewell To Nova Scotia”, because it was deemed to be an acceptable socialist ballad by the Communist Party of Canada, so all the kids got to learn it: “…I grieve to leave my native land / I grieve to leave my comrades all…”.
From what I remember the lyrics where changed slightly from the original, but I can’t remember which ones. I have the CPC songbook somewhere, but I don’t really feel up to digging through that pile right now.
There weren’t many traditional lullabies in the collective I grew up in, and most of the children’s books we read came directly from the People’s Republic of China… so there wasn’t a lot of Dr. Seuss either.
Basically, I don’t know any lullabies. At least nothing suitable for a baby while out in public.
So… what lullabies do you sing to your kids, and which ones did your parents sing to you?