A lullaby, or cradle song is a soothing and soft piece of music, which is often easy and repetitive. Many lullabies are folk songs, and the word ‘lullaby’ is derived from the Middle English lullen, “to lull or soothe,” and bye, as in “bye bye.”
Lullabies are sung for various purposes. In some societies, it is used to pass down and strengthen the cultural knowledge. Cradle song is also used to develop communication skills, regulation of behavior and maintain toddlers’ undivided attention. The purpose of cradle songs may vary but it is mostly used as a sleep aid for infants. Lullabies are sung in many parts of the world and have existed since ancient times.
Lullabies play a vital role in nurturing care-giving bond between mom and infant. Moreover, cradle songs have a great therapeutic effect as it can calm anxieties, especially in the premature and weak infants. So, if the wide eyes of your little ones are staring at you, sing a cradle song and lull him/her to sleep. Soothing tone of your voice will keep your infant happy and bring sweet dreams to the toddler.
Let’s learn about some popular lullabies, which have been sung for generations.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Most of us are very familiar with “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, which is sung by toddler’s parents, grandparents or babysitters. The lyrics of the cradle song are from an early 19th-century English rhyme, “The Star”, written by Jane Taylor. Although there are five stanzas in the lullaby, only the first is widely known. As you sing this soothing piece of melody, kids are transported to the magical land of stars.
Hush Little Baby
“Hush Little Baby” is a traditional cradle song, which is believed to have been written in the Southern United States. Date of origin and author of the this popular folk song is unknown till date. It is a delightful piece of melody, in which the lyrics promises exciting rewards to the toddler if he or she stays calm and doesn’t cry.
“Rock-a-bye Baby” is a well-known cradle song and nursery rhyme. Different theories exists explaining the origin of the rhyme. Some commentators believe that the poem was first written in the United States of America, by an English immigrant, who saw that native-American women rocked their little ones in birch-bark cradles. While, one of the theories relates its origin to Betty Kenny (Kate Kenyon), who survived with her husband, Luke, and their eight kids in a huge yew tree in Shining Cliff Woods, where a hollowed-out bough served as a cradle.
Source by Nisha Kaur