Last night Aaron asked me to "sing something we never sang before" for his bedtime song. Of course, the only songs I could come up with were our old standbys -- Twinkle Star, I See the Moon, Little Boy Blue... and then I suddenly remembered a song that Granny Nina used to sing to us. As I started humming the tune, I momentarily wondered why I had never sung this song before, feeling almost guilty for neglecting that bit of my past. The words flooded back to me as I quietly began to sing:

Oh, don't you remember
A long time ago
Two poor little babes
Their names I don't know
Were strolling along
One bright summer day
Got lost in the woods
I've heard people say

They wandered around
Until it grew night
The sun went down
And the stars gave no light...

At which point I began doing my very best Bob Dillon impression for the remainder of the verse:

Dey sah an dey siii (They sobbed and they sighed)
An dey bi-er-ee crii (And they bitterly cried)
De da poe li ings (Then the poor little things)
De lay dow an ie (They laid down and died.)

Aaron didn't complain about the suddenly incomprehensible turn the song had taken, so I finished off the remaining lyrics similarly:

La-la-la-di-la (And when they were dead)
La-la-la-di-la (The robins so red)
La-la-la-di-la (Brought strawberry leaves)
La-la-la-di-la (And over them spread)
La-la-la-di-la (And sang them a song)
La-laaa-di-la (The whole day long)
La-la-di-la-la (Two poor little babes)
La-laaa-di-la (All dead and gone.)

Lovely little ditty, no?



Lora said...

so beautiful. makes me want to cry.

There are a lot of kiddie things that I was (we were?) exposed to that shock me to no end. Most about death and guns and fighting. Cartoons? HELLO! They are getting less violent, not more!

But let me tell you, my boy loves him some Tom and Jerry. It's terrifying what I'm letting him watch

Amy Jo said...

I love the old Bugs Bunny cartoons where he goes off to fight the 'Japs' and smokes and drinks. Great stuff!

Scary song, though!

Anonymous said...

That makes the lyrics to rock-a-bye-baby rather tame!

SheBear said...

ROFL! First time I sang that song to the kids, the words gave me pause, too....but I thought about how it affected me as a child, and decided it wasn't traumatic, but rather gave me (and hopefully my kids) a safe way to explore morbid concepts like death and abandonment.

Yeah. Or something. ;)