Friday, December 19, 2008

Go to sleep, little creep, meep meep meep meep meep meep meep

When Jamie was born, Edward, the fiddler we keep company with, gave us a book of lullabies from different countries. We were leafing through it the other night, looking for something to harmonize on, and the Fool started reading lyrics out loud.

Some of them are poetic, like this Welsh one:

Sleep my baby, rest my loved one,
Softly slumber now with me
Clasped in mother's arms so tender,
Warm in mother's love for thee.

Others are a little weird:

Out on a gorse bush, dark and wide,
Dark and wide, dark and wide,
Swift rain was falling on every side,
O hard was my sleep last night.

And some of them, we agreed, were made up by very desperate parents, such as this one from Belgium:

Sleep, baby sleep
baby go to sleep quite quickly
Sleep, baby sleep
Baby go to sleep at once.

Don't you think the second verse probably goes, "Sleep, baby sleep, dammit, go to sleep right now! Sleep, baby sleep, why the hell won't you sleep?"

The title lullaby in the post comes from my friend David. It's sung to Brahms' Lullaby, and it goes exactly as written: "Go to sleep, little creep, meep meep meep meep ... etc." It works pretty well. So do three verses of Kum Ba Yah, although by the end of that, I'm ready to go to sleep too.

All this is to say that Jamie has been fighting sleep all morning, and he has just now crashed in his sling, which means my plans to mail presents at the post office, buy some boots (I know, I know, I live in Chicago and I have no boots. What the heck?) and get the Fool's oil changed for him have been pushed back. Sigh.
However, it does mean I can do a little secret Christmas knitting and perhaps some freelance calls.
I leave you with a photo of the kind of thing I have to put up with now. That's Jamie, sleeping in my lap after nursing and Angus insisting I pet him that very minute. Don't worry; we snapped the picture and evicted the cat from my lap. There are no cat bottoms allowed on heads around here.


Julie said...

My mother, who wasn't particularly the lullaby type, would desperately say, "Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!" when we refused to sleep. We knew she was at the end of her rope. It wasn't until we were older that we found out it was from Alexander Anderson's poem "Cuddle Doon" about a mother begging her children to go to sleep. It's another good charmer.

e said...

Glad it's come in handy. Hurrah.