Tuesday, June 21

My Do Not Playlist

The more songs I sing and books I read to Brock, the more I find myself actually paying attention to the lyrics and words. I guess having kids can make you a little more selective about the words you say or the things you listen to. The result of this is that I'm developing my own little Do Not Playlist. It is similar to an iTunes playlist except that it is comprised of the songs and stories I don't want to hear anymore. So far, I only have three items on the list, but I thought I'd share those items and why they have been banned to the playlist that shall not be played.

Track #1: "Rock-a-bye Baby"
I'm sure everyone knows this song. I'm pretty sure I, along with many other little girls, used to sing it to my baby dolls when I was young. Clearly I didn't care about my baby dolls like I care about my real live baby because the lyrics to this song never bothered me until I had that real live baby and sang it to him. It starts out harmless enough:
Rock-a-bye, baby
In the treetop
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
That's a nice, peaceful image: The wind gently blowing the cradle and rocking the little baby to sleep. Although, we might question why the baby's cradle is in the treetop in the first place. I mean they tell us not to even put a carseat on a tabletop when the baby is in it, so why (and for that matter how) did this mother put her baby's cradle in a treetop? But maybe she just had a baby with a bad case of colic and this was the only thing that would get him to sleep. Ok, we'll give her a break. But then the song takes a dark turn:

When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall
And down will come baby
Cradle and all

What?!? Excuse me?? The tree limb breaks and the cradle falls and they all come tumbling down? And I'm supposed to sing this to my baby to comfort him to sleep? I'm pretty sure there's no way I could get to sleep if you're singing to me about cradles crashing down from treetops with me in them! Poor kids. Who comes up with these lyrics? Blaine's theory is that the author was a mother suffering from postpartum depression. I must say that's a pretty good theory because honestly who makes up a song about their baby falling out of a treetop? That doesn't seem to be something a baby would recover from. So "Rock-a-bye Baby" has been banned to my Do Not Playlist and only occasionally makes an appearance when Brock is being extremely difficult or I'm extremely tired (haha just kidding... mostly).

Track #2: "Hush Little Baby"
Another well-known favorite of mine, or at least it formerly was. I remember my mom singing this to me and my sister many nights before bed, and I always loved it as a little girl. Now that I'm the mom singing the song to my child, it takes on a whole new perspective:

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Mama's going to buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Mama's going to buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's going to buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama's going to buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat won't pull,
Mama's going to buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama's going to buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won't bark,
Mama's going to buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

What a kind, patient, sweet, indulgent, ridiculous mother. What are all these things she's buying for this kid? Diamonds and billy goats and puppy dogs. Obviously you are not solving the original problem of the baby crying. You're just bribing him to sleep with all this stuff he doesn't need and apparently gets tired of quickly. How about, "Hush little baby don't say a word... because I said so!" I know that doesn't really rhyme and it's a much shorter song, but really that's just way too much stuff to be buying your baby. And I doubt very seriously that that baby will be the sweetest one in town after you've spoiled him rotten with all that stuff. I can't sing this song to Brock anymore because I don't want him getting any big ideas, thinking if he stops crying I'm going to get him all kinds of toys. That isn't how Blaine and I plan to run this ship. (I know you're thinking I'm probably going to be eating these words later on, but hopefully not). And if one of those toys breaks or gets a little old and less shiny that doesn't just automatically mean you get a new toy... toys cost money, and money doesn't grow on trees here. (When did I turn into my grandparents?) So "Hush Little Baby" is not one of my frequently sung songs anymore.

Track #3: Love You Forever
This last playlist item is not a song but a book. During my pre-child, pre-marriage days I worked at a daycare and came upon this book once and just thought it was so sweet. I bought it for my own bookshelf to read to my future children. Unfortunately, that only happened once and probably won't happen again. If you've never read or heard of the book, I found a particularly humorous reading of it on YouTube by the author who I don't think was attempting to be humorous in his depiction of the story.

One might ask how I could possibly find anything wrong with such a sweet story like this? Well, aside from the fact that it's a little creepy that the adult woman sneaks over to her grown son's house at night and climbs up into his window and picks him up to sing to him (can we say boundary issues?), my real problem with this book is that the ending is devastatingly sad. In case you haven't read the book and didn't want to listen to the crazy man's YouTube version of it, I'll quickly summarize. A mother has a little boy and he grows up and goes through different stages of boyhood. But regardless of how much the little boy drives her crazy, every night the mother picks up her sleeping son and sings this song to him, "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." That's a sweet little picture of a mother's enduring love and those are very sweet words. However, the author had to go too far with the ending. The mother has grown old and is dying in her bed so one day her son comes and scoops her up in his arms and sings the song back to her, "I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my mommy you'll be." Oh my gosh, I'm about to cry just typing those words out. What the heck?! I mean I know that's the life cycle and that everybody dies, but I don't want to read about that to my little baby or to my toddler or even to my teenager. That's just depressing! Why couldn't he have just stopped with the creepy mom sneaking into her adult son's house at night? Or better yet, end the story with the mom singing the song to her grandson/granddaughter. I could think of a thousand ways to rewrite the story so that I would actually be able to read it without having to choke back tears. However, that's not how the author decided to do things, so unfortunately Love You Forever is now on my Do Not Playlist.

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious! And true...In my death and aging class we talked about songs such as Rock-a-bye baby and Ring around the Rosie and the true meanings behind the words!