Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Dark Lullabies

GUEST,PAT GUYTON 15 Dec 03 - 09:56 AM
SINSULL 15 Dec 03 - 10:19 AM
Emma B 15 Dec 03 - 01:49 PM
Willa 15 Dec 03 - 01:53 PM
KathWestra 15 Dec 03 - 10:47 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Dec 03 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,becca 30 Jan 11 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM
Taconicus 31 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Jan 11 - 12:22 AM
Taconicus 31 Jan 11 - 12:45 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Jan 11 - 12:54 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Jan 11 - 12:58 AM
Taconicus 31 Jan 11 - 01:02 AM
Taconicus 31 Jan 11 - 01:05 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jan 11 - 06:24 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jan 11 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 31 Jan 11 - 01:58 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: DARK LULLABIES
From: GUEST,PAT GUYTON
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:56 AM

Compiling list of 'Dark Lullabies,' such as "Liverpool Lullaby" ("if he finds out what you did, you'll get a belt from your dad...") or "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby" ([Momma's] long gone with her red shoes on, gonna need another lovin' Babe"). More than just sad; lullabies with an edge to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DARK LULLABIES
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 10:19 AM

Sleep Kentucky Babe

"Bogey Man will get unless you close your eyes.
Waitin' just outside your door to catch you by surprise..."

All the Pretty Little Horses
second verse
"Bees and butterflies
Plucking out his eyes
And poor little baby cries 'Mammy'"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DARK LULLABIES
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 01:49 PM

This is my "favourite" a great tune- but I have never felt able to sing it! Taken from the singing of Mrs Currie in Lochboisdale and described as - "a mother curses her rival who has taken away the father of her child"

Literally translated from the Gaelic:-
O ba o i, o my babe, ba o i, o my darling,
Thou hast slept, my dearest,
Healthy thy waking be.

Miserable, wretched, tearful disease between her shirt and coat
On the one who lured the young man to whom I had better right.

Black disease on the pillow and (it) always attacking
The one who lured my chosen one whom I chose for seven years.

The disease that affects pigs when they are full of fat,
May that affect the wife of my lover, and she far away in a strange land.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DARK LULLABIES
From: Willa
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 01:53 PM

Crow on the Cradle (Sydney Carter),
Threats Medley,(Trad)
The Sun and the Moon, (Trad), all sung beautifully by Judy Dunlop on 'My Arms are a Cradle' HTD CD 106


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DARK LULLABIES
From: KathWestra
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 10:47 PM

Can Ye Sew Cushions--I imagine this frustrated mom, with too many kids and too many bills to pay but still needing to sing the kids to sleep, so singing this as a way to vent her frustration at the same time she gets the putting-to-sleep job done. The chorus goes:

Hee-oh, wee-oh, What'll I do with you?
Black's the life that I lead with you.
O'er many o' you, little for to gie you,
Hee-oh, wee-oh, What'll I do with you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DARK LULLABIES
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 11:03 PM

Pretty damn dark---

MAMA SINGS
(Samuel Hoffenstein)

Go to sleep, my little oaf
Mama's darling sugarloaf.
Go to sleep and stay that way
For, perhaps, a night and day.

I'm no angel up above
Don't abuse my motherlove.
I can stand so much. And then
Mama seeks maturer men.

And papa's friend is waiting now
To plant a horn on papa's brow.
So sleep, my darling. Sleep, my own
For if you bawl, you bawl alone.

Sings well to Aura Lee (Love Me Tender, to the Philistines) RG
@sex @baby @infidelity
filename[ MAMASNG
RG


or, better yet,

ROCKABYE BABY

Rockabye baby, on the tree top, When you grow up, you'll work in a shop, When you get married, your wife will work, too So that the rich will have nothing to do.

Rockaby baby, on the tree top When you grow old, your paycheck will stop. After you've spent the little you save, First to the poorhouse, then to the grave.

@parody @work @political @lullaby filename[ ROCKBABY RG

or even What Will We Do With the Baby, Oh?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: GUEST,becca
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:14 PM

Mordreds lullaby is my favorite as of now, so odd, fits my fancy!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM

Hush, little baby, don't you cry.
You know your mama is bound to die.
ALL MY TRIALS, Lord, soon be over

etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM

Are these (above) mostly made up verses? (I'm supposing so.)

There are actually real lullabies with dark-ish verses.

Bring no ill will to hinder us—my helpless babe and me,
Dread spirits o' the Blackwater, Clan Eoghan's wild banshee...
A little rest, and then the world is full o' work to do....

- The Castle of Dromore

Sleep O babe, for the red bee hums the silent twilight's fall,
Aoibheall from the grey rock comes, to wrap the world in thrall....

- The Gartan Mother's Lullaby


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:22 AM

Dick gives parody variants on Rockabye Baby above: but nobody seems to have posted the pretty dark original which terrified me 75 years ago when my 7-y-older sister would sing it to me ~~

Rockabye (or Hushabye) baby in the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
Down will come baby cradle and all

Are there, in fact, any lullabies that are NOT dark {apart perhaps from Brahms, which is obviously not traditional}? And WHY do they all seem to be so? Seems an odd tradition to me, that babies should be lulled to sleep by being terrified?

And related thematically, & to which same ?s apply, may perhaps be adduced the well-known traditional children's prayer

Matthew Mark Luke and John
Bless the bed that I lie on
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take

Very cheering to a child last thing at night, to be sure...

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:45 AM

Are there, in fact, any lullabies that are NOT dark?

The "Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird" lullaby doesn't seem dark.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:54 AM

True, Taconicus ~~ but somewhat exceptional ∴, would you not agree?

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:58 AM

... & even then, the Mocking Bird lullaby is all about how the gifts provided will disappoint by refusing to function as required, isn't it?...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:02 AM

Hard to say, since as an adult I like the dark ones. Most babies can't understand the words anyway. I agree about the "bough breaks" one, though... always thought that was creepy.

When my kids were infants I sang them largely wordless lullabies, soothing in their monotony. Like, "Uh-uh, uh-uh, bay-bee" (over and over).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Taconicus
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:05 AM

the Mocking Bird lullaby is all about how the gifts provided will disappoint by refusing to function as required, isn't it?

Depends on how you look at it. Most would say it's all about how no matter what may disappoint there will always be something better, and anyway you're the sweetest baby in town.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 06:24 AM

A cante-fable recorded from a farmer in West Clare.
Jim Carroll

GO FROM MY WINDOW
Francie Kennelly Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Ireland

There was this man and he had no land, you know, and away back that time, landless men and labourers, there was now, very little work; they used be very badly off. This feller ... man, was married and he had five or six children, but he used cut a lot of turf and bog deal and he'd be selling them with an ass and baskets, d'you see. You know what bog deal is now? It was the roots of the deal tree that stayed hi the ground, maybe thousands of years ago. 'Tis hard to cut it but 'tis terrible firing.
Well, he had an ass and baskets, like, and what he'd get for dealing, an ass and baskets and two baskets was called a load, like; he'd go intae town, he'd gel seven or eight old pence, like, for the two, for the load of turf or bog deal; he might get a little more for bog deal. But, you know, at that time bread was only tuppence a loaf and all that, but he was managing away anyway, he was managing away; he was keepin' the wolf from the door, says the person. But, you know, there was tunes then, d'you see, he'd sell this turf in Miltown and Lahinch now, and places, and Ennistymon, d'you see, he was midway between the three of them, like, he'd sell it in them towns. But there was a lot in the same racket as himself, d'you see, and there was times when 'twould get very hard to sell it; there'd be everyone trying to make a few shillings and 'twas very hard to sell it. But times like that, d'you see, he'd have to borrow a neighbour's mule and he'd have to go to Ennis. He'd bring a good load of turf to Ennis, you know, he might bring twenty bags of turf and sell it. He might get thruppence or fourpence a bag in Ennis for 'tis limestone country, you know; turfd be scarcer there than 'twould be in this side of the country, d'you see.
But when he'd be gone, d'you see, there was a man living down the road that he used borrow the mule from, d'you see. He was a bachelor and he was what's known in West Clare as a rake. You see, they might have a better name for him now with sex being taught in the schools and priests off of the altar; they might call him a sex ...sex maniac or something like that. But he would be known in West Clare as a rake, anyway. But he used to come up and all round to the feller's wife when he'd be gone, d'you see. He'd know when he'd borrow the mule that he'd be gone to Ennis, d'you see, with turf and he'd come up and look after the wife that night, d'you see.
But this night, anyway, the man had brought the mule the evening before,
and car, and he filled a good load of turf anyway. He started off for Ennis but the sky opened with rain. He was gone about two or three miles anyway and "course there was no overcoats at the time or no nothing like that; he was drowned to the skin. By God, sooner than lose his health entirely, he said he'd turn back. But he did anyway. But the rake hadn't the man I'm talking about hadn't arrived anyway. But he went intae bed, anyway, along with the wife, anyway; took off the old, wet clothes and threw them on the fire, threw them on the fire and he went intae bed. But he was no length in the bed anyway, when the knock came to the window (knocks table). Of course, the wife was in terrible hot water, she was expecting this man. Well, someone belonging to her must be a poet anyway, but she had nothing to do and she had to think and think quick. The knock came to the window, anyway, (knocks table) like that, and she took up her child out of the cradle, that was about ten or eleven months, and you know yourself, when you take up a child, they cry. And she had to start... she started singing for the child. She had to make up this quick now; as I said before, someone belonging to her must be a poet.

(Sung:) "The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again, Go away from the window, you big bogey-man."

'Course, the whole time the husband thought 'twas for the child she was singing.
But the knock came to the window again (knocks table) and she sung it again:

(Sung:) "The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again Go away from the window, you big bogey-man."

And the child crying the whole tune. But that way himself, the man outside didn't ... he didn't catch on, he didn't catch on. He was knocking again (knocks table) and she had to put a few more lines to it; quick she had to do it and do it quick.

(Sung:) "The wind and the rain brought your daddy home again
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man.
For you are a thundering fool, go round and see your mule,
Go away from the window, you big bogey-man,"

He went around and he saw the mule and he knew well there was something wrong, that the man had turned. He went home anyway. But the following night was a grand fine night and he had no trouble at all when he came up.

Recorded by Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie, 1987

(Tale type 1419H) This story dates back at least to the 14th century when it was included in Boccaccio's 'Decameron'. Harry Adams' version was learned from a local entertainer who had a large repertoire of stories and recitations, while Francie Kennelly's comes from a neighbour.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 07:25 AM

Sorry about the errors in the story - scanning typos, but should be self-explanatory.
Another, an American lullaby - not dark, but not for children.

Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top,
When you grow up you'll work in a shop,
When you get married your kids will work too,
So that the rich will have nothing to do.

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dark Lullabies
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:58 PM

The Unappeasable Host

The Danaan children laugh, in cradles of wrought gold,
And clap their hands together, and half close their eyes,
For they will ride the North when the ger-eagle flies,
With heavy whitening wings, and a heart fallen cold:
I kiss my wailing child and press it to my breast,
And hear the narrow graves calling my child and me.
Desolate winds that cry over the wandering sea;
Desolate winds that hover in the flaming West;
Desolate winds that beat the doors of Heaven, and beat
The doors of Hell and blow there many a whimpering ghost;
O heart the winds have shaken, the unappeasable host
Is comelier than candles at Mother Mary's feet.

W B Yeats

The "Host" are the wee people. The mother, presumably out of fear of them, is pandering to secure their favor. She has more faith in them than in the promise of the Church. My version of this is on www.CDBABY.com.
DOug Saum


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 June 9:19 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.