Lullaby Litmus

When I was very young my Grandpa sang “Go Tell Aunt Rhode” to me at bed time.

I can’t say for sure that this hampered my singing ability in the opposite way that one says playing classical music to infants will enhance theirs. All I can tell you is that not even my Granny’s lullabies could outweigh the effects of the rest of the family’s singing and my innate lack of musical ability.

Well meaning people try to convince me that I exaggerate and that I must be a fine singer.

They are wrong.

All that being said, I also have children.

Which means that, they have been, or are, babies. Babies require lullabies, which means that I, their mother, need to sing.

So I sing.

The songs I choose to sing to my kids have one criteria – they must fall into my lowish, five note range. A range, that I have discovered, could be named the “drunken, dying range.”

I sing songs about, dying of sickness, and drunkenness, horses falling through the ice, dying at war, drinking whiskey, drowning, and people who have gout. Not your average nursery themes.

Unorthodox as the songs may be my singing, like my Grandpa’s, puts the kids to sleep. Whether it’s the soothing sounds of our voices or self defense is still a subject up for debate.

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless – Episode 8 The Litmus hosted by Rarasaur and accidentally published before final editing due to a slip of the thumb -sorry!

10 comments on “Lullaby Litmus

  1. thinkbigmuch says:

    Well- whenever I try to sing to Liberty she says “No!” And covers my mouth. At least your girls peacefully go to sleep.

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  3. rarasaur says:

    Haha! I loved this! What specific songs do you sing? You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag and 15 Miles on the Eerie Canal?

    • Jessie says:

      I don’t sing those but maybe I should test them out. I’m a Great Big Sea fan. (http://www.greatbigsea.com/) And they have a pretty good supply of songs that work, they are also songs that involving drinking and dying but what can you do?! River Driver, Safe Upon the Shore, Tickle Cove Pond to name a few. Also I sing Clementine which is a fairly normal song to sing but no less disturbing with the drowning and Dad dying and love going off with her sister so that doesn’t really help my over all feel!

      • John says:

        A dirge. The kind of song you sing is a dirge. Which, I find hilarious to note, according to wikipedia is also a word that also describes singing in an un-tuneful manner. But the truth of the matter is you CAN keep a tune and stay in key (believe me, I lived with a shameless tone-deaf throughout college). It’s just in the above limited song selection…. you know dirges.

        • Jessie says:

          Dirge… yup, that’s what I sing… because they are in the aforementioned range. Come on home and I’ll sing you some Celine Dion if you forgot how I do with the high notes. 🙂

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