Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Long nights

After a few long and broken nights, I've been running through some lullabies. I've got a few I like- but it needs the right combination of tune and lyrics to work as a lullaby. Rock around the clock, for example, has great words (sing it through and you'll see what I mean) but is hard to sing soothingly. 

Amazing Grace is such a beautiful tune, but since hearing Bee, age two, sing the line 'saved a wretch like me', I've felt uneasy about the lyrics. Of course, there are plenty of lyrics in other nursery rhymes and traditional tunes that aren't particularly child-friendly (mice having their tails cut off in Three Blind Mice, for example) and I'm ok with that, but I'm really not keen on a toddler referring to herself as a wretch! So I've been singing my own.... here they are.....

Lie down my child, it's time to sleep
It's dark and cold outside
Lie down my child, don't make a peep
Curl up and close your eyes

You're tired and sleepy, don't fuss now
You're fed and clean and warm,
You need to rest, and so do I
Tomorrow starts at dawn.

When I sang this to her, she would melt in my arms and just listen. A beautiful melody.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Beans in a pod

There were broad beans at the greengrocer's this morning. The children fell on them with delight and demanded we bought handfuls of them. Back at home, they pulled them apart and devoured the plump raw beans like sweeties! There were a few left, which we ate (cooked!) for lunch. 

Of course, we had to do the peas in a pod rhyme- adapted- and Pip-squeak clapped his hands at the end for the very first time! What a clever bean!
Five broad beans in a bean pod pressed
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest.
They grew and grew and did not stop,
Until one day, the pod went POP!

Monday, 26 May 2008


With the rain pouring down outside, we're singing the wonderful chorus to the Flanders and Swann hippopotamus song...
 'Mud! mud! glorious mud! 
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood, 
So follow me follow, 
Down to the hollow, 
And there let us wallow in glorious mud.' 

Written in the 50s, and still going strong. The lyrics to the whole song are here..... 

In the original, this bit is sung by an amorous hippopotamus to his 'fair hippopotomi maid', while she sits and combs her hair.  Perhaps we should act that out while we sing, but we just like to just stomp about while singing it really loudly. 

For a modern, adult version on the hippopotamus theme, I love Flight of the Conchords, with their geeky cool rap Hiphopopotamas vs. Rhymenoceros on YouTube. So good, but NOT suitable for kids!