Musical fun for the under 5's in and around Oxford, UK

Sometimes a song really strikes a chord, doesn’t it?

Twenty odd years ago the line ‘You’re a sleepy baby, I am tired too’ from the lullaby ‘Up the Wooden Hill’ in Playsongs was one of those moments.  I was struggling with DD1, who slept fitfully if at all, and going through that transition between the adult ‘hmm, shall I go shopping or have my hair done?’ world, and the parallel universe where the wild-eyed new parents live: an appalling time that felt like several centuries rather than months.  What brought me back was music, because singing a conversation doesn’t need a reply and because occasionally she stopped screaming to listen.

Dredging through my memory for childhood songs was always going to be a non-starter (what did happen to Humpty Dumpty after he fell off the wall anyway?) but kind people pushed me in the direction of This Little Puffin (which was a mainstay of preschools in MY youth!) and of course Playsongs.  This delightful little book, which came with a cassette tape then, contained all sorts of ideas for playing and singing to babies and young children.  I read it cover to cover. It really was the first songbook for the under 3’s and their parents.

Most lullabies are (rightly) so soothing and gentle that I, being wound up like a spring, was hardly able to sing them! If I was relaxed enough, they were more likely to send me off than DD1. But here was a lullaby that acknowledged my feelings, an anthem of solidarity for all new parents!  Wonderful.  I do know a couple more lullabies in a similar vein, but this is the best, and although it is written from the mother’s perspective, the great thing about the English language is that you can substitute ‘daddy’, ‘granny’, or ‘nanny’ as appropriate.

So for many years it has been the final lullaby at Baby Music. I hope you have enjoyed it too and if it has eased the occasional evening for you, then it and I have done our job together.