Sing me to sleep, sing me to sleep, I'm tired and I want to go to bed
April 6, 2016 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Baby Kitty is here and Baby Kitty is awesome. Baby Kitty is 7 weeks old and has his "witching hour" from 9pm-12am. Baby Kitty will fall asleep during his fussy time if Mommy is holding him and singing low songs. Mommy knows about 5 songs by heart that she is willing to sing. Please make a better juke box Mommy!

So Baby Kitty likes to hear me sing while holding him and power walking around the house at midnight. This helps put him to sleep. I am on board with this plan (we are working on other ways to move his bedtime earlier in the evening).

What I am not on board with - singing the same songs over and over and over again. Please help expand my playlist. I'm happy to learn any songs that fit the general criteria below.

Criteria for Juke Box Mommy:

1.) Must be a song that can be sung in a softer voice/low register.
2.) Preferably female vocalist, but not required.
3.) Must be relatively slow for desired soothing/calming effect.
4.) Preferably not kids songs - we have a lot of Raffi and what not during the day, and Mommy would like to keep her sanity.

Here are the current 5 songs that are part of Juke Box Mommy:

1.) Black Coffee - Ella Fitzgerald
2.) Bang Bang - Nancy Sinatra
3.) Criminal - Fiona Apple
4.) Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
5.) Love for Sale - Cole Porter

You Tube links are encouraged - as i can play the video a few times to learn the lyrics/general flow. Genre doesn't matter. Please make Baby Kitty an awesome playlist for his fussy time.
posted by Suffocating Kitty to Grab Bag (43 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
I sang After Hours by the Velvet Underground (sung by Moe Tucker) many many times in your circumstance.
posted by redfoxtail at 11:11 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dream A Little Dream was my go-to until our boy was about 3 and he burst into tears every time I sang it (I think because he began to understand the lyrics) (hopefully not because of my singing).

With #1, we got hooked on On Account-a I Love You because of a Shirley Temple video. It's a dumb song, but sweet.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:13 AM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Abigail Washburn came to mind. This song is easy to learn and easy to sing. Also check out her song Momma.
posted by hydra77 at 11:15 AM on April 6, 2016


I've always thought "California Song" was a good song to sing to babies.
posted by praemunire at 11:16 AM on April 6, 2016


I think Joel Mabus's Sea of Dreams is a perfect lullaby without being a children's song per se.
posted by drlith at 11:17 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anne Murray's "There's A Hippo In My Tub" is delightful.
posted by Carol Anne at 11:18 AM on April 6, 2016


Congratulations!

Carina Round - Please Don't Stop and For Everything a Reason
posted by pumpkinlatte at 11:20 AM on April 6, 2016


Gillian welch's version of Long Black Veil?
posted by bilabial at 11:23 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Congrats! These aren't all topically appropriate but they have the other parts....

Say a Little Prayer by Greg Brown (version by Shawn Colvin for women)
Rock me to Sleep - Jill Sobule
I wish my baby was born - be good tanyas
Falling by Patsy Grace
Way over Yonder - Billy Bragg (or Natalie Merchant)
Trouble - Cat Stevens
posted by jessamyn at 11:24 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I sang to my daughter at bedtime until she was 6 or 7 years old. Some of the ones she loved the best:

I Will - The Beatles
All I Have To Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers
A, You're Adorable - Perry Como
Toora-Loora-Loora - Bing Crosby
L-O-V-E - Nat King Cole
posted by briank at 11:30 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you know a lot of not-necessarily-calming-or-soothing songs by heart, consider singing them but slowing them way down. I sing a lot of punk songs to our 6 month old because that's most of what I know the words to.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:32 AM on April 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I found Little Brand New Baby in Rise up Singing. There's also Sweet Little Baby. Both work well for making up new lyrics.
posted by cubby at 11:34 AM on April 6, 2016


What, no photos of the little one??
Your post reminded me of how when my first child was born, I was rather shocked to realize I knew very few songs by heart except for Billy Joel's entire catalog. Pretty embarrassing! (Piano Man is a pretty good lullaby, btw).
We now sing the Woody Guthrie song "California Stars" quite often. Here's a link to Wilco's version. I know that tempo is really fast, but we slow it down quite a bit. The lyrics are lovely and there's something tricky about it that keeps me awake when I'm singing it.
My husband sings Dave Alvin "Fourth of July" to our kids and it makes a nice lullaby. video here
I also have luck with Johnny Cash because they're slow and easy to sing. Folsom Prison Blues (my daughter called this the train song & it was an early favorite). Long Black Veil works too, although when baby is older she/he might be scared of it. Sweetie Darling has a good point about lullabies and toddlers. A song that works for infants may not work later. I sang " Go to sleep little babe" from 0'Brother Where Art Thou for years, but had to stop after about age 2. Mamas gone away, devil makes 3 ... nightmare city for a kid!
Congratulations!
posted by areaperson at 11:39 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lullaby by Dixie Chicks.
Ines' Lullabye by Mario Mateolli

I used Nick Lachey's A Father's Lullabye, Kenny Chesney's Be As You Are, and Jack Johnson's Curious George albums a lot at that stage.
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:40 AM on April 6, 2016


Summertime (and the Living is Easy) by Sam Cooke (or check out Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Ella...). I taught my nephew to sing this when he was two or three.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:41 AM on April 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Elizabeth Mitchell pretty much owns this space. I'd recommend any of her CDs, but especially You Are My Little Bird and You Are My Sunshine.
posted by saladin at 11:54 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The songs I sang most often when my kids were babies:
Wild Mountain Thyme
Down to the River to Pray
Go to Sleep Little Baby
3 Little Birds
posted by belladonna at 11:58 AM on April 6, 2016


My kids got a lot of Rainbow Connection and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. And Blackbird, not from me, but they seemed to like it, ybmmv -- it got sung much slower than in this rendition.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I, too, used The Smiths "Asleep" for our daughter who was a colic monster for the first six months. The real winner was Elvis' "Blue Christmas" but the following songs sung in an out-of tune low-register yielded modest success:

Elvis Presley "Pocket Full of Rainbows"
Nick Cave "Into My Arms"
T. Rex "Cosmic Dancer"
Blossom Dearie "'Deed I Do"
David Bowie "Golden Years"

Finally, a lovely album is Holly Yarbrough's interpretations of Mister Rogers' Songbook. Beyond "Won't you be my neighbor?" are several down-tempo selections that might work now or when the baby is older. Standout track "Then Your Heart is Full of Love."
posted by thenewbrunette at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you know a lot of not-necessarily-calming-or-soothing songs by heart, consider singing them but slowing them way down. I sing a lot of punk songs to our 6 month old because that's most of what I know the words to.
This is so true and also why I often resort to singing 80s power ballads as lullabies. The surprise winner?
"Love Song" by Tesla. The lyrics totally work as a lullaby! Heck yeah I'll post a Tesla video.
posted by areaperson at 12:02 PM on April 6, 2016


The Cole Porter Singbook sung by Ella Fitzgerald. Those arrangements should work for you. C
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:15 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cowboy goodnight song from an old Mickey Mouse Club serial.
posted by JanetLand at 12:15 PM on April 6, 2016


Also if you do not know this song, Not Yet Three by Jonathan Richman, you should listen to it. Maybe not what you are looking for, but apropos.
posted by jessamyn at 12:18 PM on April 6, 2016


Fly Away by Poe
posted by xyzzy at 12:18 PM on April 6, 2016


The two songs I consistently sang to the baby were:

Beach Boys - Sloop John B
Weird Al Yankovic - The Saga Begins

They were the only ones that came to mind that I could remember all the lyrics to (and the Weird Al song was especially good because it was long and amused me). I probably would have also sang Royals if I'd remembered it existed.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:24 PM on April 6, 2016


I'd Do Anything
Moon River
posted by BoscosMom at 12:27 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


My nephew loves Puff the Magic Dragon , Stay Awake from Mary Poppins, and Go to Sleep Little Baby (song starts at 0:40).
posted by ananci at 12:31 PM on April 6, 2016


OMG, I can't believe that no one has suggested this little ditty!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 12:38 PM on April 6, 2016




Currently singing the theme song of the Outlander series to my baby in an endless loop. Skye boat song
posted by meijusa at 12:58 PM on April 6, 2016


I remember that horrible moment where you couldn't think of any songs - I usually reverted to singing christmas carols. Later, I discovered a lot of quieter indie rock works very well to help my little guy relax:

Mirah - Million Miles
Belle and Sebastian - The Fox in the Snow
Weakerthans - My Favorite Chords
posted by galvanized unicorn at 12:59 PM on April 6, 2016


My go-to song to sing to little ones is Twilight Time by the Platters. Congratulations, and enjoy!
posted by dinofuzz at 1:33 PM on April 6, 2016


My mother used a lot of Joni Mitchell on me. Circle Game and Little Green are the ones I remember the most from when I was a toddler. I remember the lyrics so well and they will always remind me of her (although thinking about it, now I also have some questions for my mom!).
posted by epanalepsis at 1:51 PM on April 6, 2016


We met our little grandson for the first time at the age of 2 months, and I sang many old Irish songs and ballads to him, Wild Mountain Thyme is one that someone else mentioned, The Selkie Song, Barbara Allen, The Foggy Dew, and of course Toora Loora Loora that my Irish-American Dad sang to me as a baby. He couldn't carry a tune, but that did not stop him. My mother was in a choir and had a beautiful voice, but it is my dad singing that I most remember. I sang to my kids until they told me to stop singing along with the radio in the car, it was embarrassing.
posted by mermayd at 3:07 PM on April 6, 2016


Que Sera Sera
Hallelujah
Fields of Gold
Songbird
Scarborough Fair Wow, I did not know the words at all.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:33 PM on April 6, 2016


Beatles I Will
http://www.metrolyrics.com/i-will-lyrics-beatles.html

James Taylor - Sweet Baby Dean (my grandbaby)

mazel tov
posted by theora55 at 3:56 PM on April 6, 2016


So many wonderful suggestions here. Just want to add Sea Of Love. Low and dreamy, and the perfect lyrics "Do you remember when we met? That was the day I knew you were my pet. I want to tell you oh how much I love you."
posted by Neeuq Nus at 6:52 PM on April 6, 2016


Seconding Summertime - here's one version by Ella Fitzgerald but she has a bunch of them.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:58 PM on April 6, 2016


Oops! wrong link (but the baby tigers are cute.) Sorry! Here's Sea Of Love.
posted by Neeuq Nus at 7:03 PM on April 6, 2016


You are my sunshine

Soft kitty!
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:07 AM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I used to do this, too, in the first few months of my son's life. I started with Sabbath and Maiden, but eventually, I found it easier to just improvise instead of thinking of songs to sing. Just start with "doo-doo-doo dant-dant-dant-dant" etc. and see where it takes you. It can be more entertaining for you, too!
posted by ignignokt at 6:07 AM on April 7, 2016


We now sing the Woody Guthrie song "California Stars" quite often. Here's a link to Wilco's yt version. I know that tempo is really fast, but we slow it down quite a bit. The lyrics are lovely and there's something tricky about it that keeps me awake when I'm singing it.

Way over Yonder yt - Billy Bragg (or Natalie Merchant yt )

Both of these are from 'Mermaid Avenue' which is unpublished(?) Woody Guthrie songs sung by Wilco and Billy Bragg. I feel like a lot of those songs are very singable as lullibies & highly recommend the album.
posted by maryr at 7:43 AM on April 7, 2016


Not what you asked for by you should probably have it in your repertoire.
The Hostile Baby Rocking Song.
Here are the lyrics.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:04 PM on April 7, 2016


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