Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Search for the Right Lullaby

I have come to the conclusion that we need a new lullaby for Peanut.

When she started, I mean, when she was born, we discovered that she liked this one song called Aicha. Actually, since I was very keen on the name Ayesha for her initially, I sort of fancied this as a 'Theme Song' for her. ( A theme song for a baby. What can I say. New parent) and played it over and over for her - so it's no wonder she grew to recognize and like it. She favoured the Khaled version , and rightly so because the newer version by Outlandish doesn't even come close, in my humble opinion. However, since Khaled, has for some obscure reason chosen to sing this song in French, and my French is a bit rusty nowadays, I have some trouble with remembering and singing the words. The only part I can sing properly is 'Aicha! Aicha! Ecoutez moi' and I'm not even sure I've spelt that right. If you've not heard this song, I have only one thing to say to you - you should hear this song.

Well, anyway, soon after, I moved onto rocking her to the tune ( if you can call it a tune) of 'Give it away, now ' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I really like that song, always have. Also, it starts with 'What I got, you gotta give it to your MAMMAA'...so I vaguely felt some sort of baby-and-Mama connect. Of course, I then came to realize that this is perhaps not the most appropriate song to be singing to your baby, and so started to look for another. If you've not heard this song...come on, everyone's heard this song. ( Dipali? Have you? Sorry!)

Peanut did not show much interest in the Mozart CDs that Vijay bought for her, and anyway, as Vijay astutely informed me subsequently 'You can't sing Mozart', that was no help.

I then remembered the wonderful song 'Kitni Sundar Pyaari Chidiyan', and it worked nicely until, as I wrote before, Vijay ruined it for me - forever.

I then tried making up a song by myself for her - rocking her back and forth to a monotonous poem, made up as I went along - I had to stop when I realized I was singing stuff like 'Tu hai meri Rani...', followed by, because I couldn't think of a better rhyme 'Tu hai meri Naani'. Not only is this terrible poetry - so bad that you would probably be shot for it in a less liberal country - it is factually untrue and you don't want to be confusing your Peanut. So I gave up trying to do-it-myself. (Hey, that spells 'Dim'. Sounds about right.)

Nowadays, we've been trying the 'Cuppycake song': ( Yes, Sue, I know you put this down once in my comments section and I didn't acknowledge it, soweee!)

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear.

Very sweet, but it's getting too repititive now. Plus, Vijay insists on ruining it by either singing along with me or singing it by himself, but saying 'Shnookum shnookum shnookum' instead of Snoogums-Boogums. This is exactly the kind of thing that can put you off any song for good.

So that's pretty much it. But yesterday, Vijay discovered that she likes the 'chhk chhk chhk chhk...' part in that old Hindi song 'Dil ka haal sune dilwaala', so we are transitioning from the Cuppycake song to this one...

Peanut must be thinking 'What the hell is with you people!?'

Any suggestions for a good one?

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that Vijay has also started trying that funny song 'Girl, where didja get your body from? Tell me, where didja get your body from.....I got it from my Mama! I got it from my Mama!'. This is quite frighteningly inappropriate, especially when he starts feeling insecure and starts singing it, instead, as 'I got it from my Papa! I got it from my Papa!'


  1. Hmmm... there's an old one, "Nanhi pari sone chali", very sweet song but its strictly a lullaby.

    In a more general sense though, there's a great one by Amy Grant "Baby Baby"... and the lyrics can suit the mommy-daughter duo as well. happy song.

    "Baby Baby I'm taken with the notion / to love you with the sweetest of devotion / baby baby my tender love will flow from / the blue skies to the deepest ocean "

    Yeah, soppy. But nice tune to it. lilting. And almost everybody can sing it nicely.

  2. Hmmm.. try "You are my sunshine"..that one works for singing as well as tuneless humming.

  3. I'd say take your chance now and give her the whole range of songs you'd like to sing but couldn't find an audience for before :-)

    You only have a few months left before you'll either get a specific request or get rudely shushed. These days, the ONLY song Moppet wants at bedtime is 'jiyal bells' - which I try to sing as soporifically (?) as possible, but it's hard, especially because Moppet likes to join in with an enthusiastic 'Hey' every time.

    So enjoy while you can... :-)

  4. We're bringing up Adi on a steady diet of Bollywood numbers as heard on the various FM stations. So all I got is -

    Welcome, welcome from the movie...no surprise here...WELCOME

    Aaja nach le, nach le, mere yaar tu nach le predictably from...AAJA NACH LE

    Ankhon mein teri ajab si not from ANKHON MEIN TERI but OM SHANTI OM

    I can let you know the frequency to tune in to...??

  5. "Goodnight Sleep Child
    Wake up bright in the morning light
    To do what's right
    With all your might
    Good Night, Sleep Child"

    Howzzat? :)

    Any soft song from any movie usually works. In fact my niece sleeps to 'Sweet Child O'Mine' at halfway volume!

  6. If Cheb Khaled worked(oh my god, I love "Aicha". Nearly made me cry the first times I heard it), try more stuff of his, possibly "Tamally maak".
    Trance is what I personally leave on when I go to sleep(yeah, Envo-conscious folks, I'm a huge power-waster that way). You could try some Robert Miles, though - "Children", "Fable", "23 am" etc from the "Dreamland" album. ATB is very soothing - "Ocean Trance", "Marrakech". "Sleep" by Conjure One, or even "Can't sleep" by Above and Beyond... electronica is good sleep music at low volume. Oh yeah, HOW did I forget Air - "Moon Safari" is the album.

    Ahem. Enough with the electronica. "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins is awesome if you don't start giggling while singing it. And I was lulled to sleep with "Nanhi Pari" myself. I love it, and will possibly use it when my time comes IF I can still sing! :P

  7. I am boring so Ayaan gets all the traditional lullabies - Little Bo Beep, Rock-a-Bye-baby, Wee Willie Winkie, Hush Little Baby... when in doubt, turn to good old Mother Goose

  8. Hmmm - I've noticed an alarming trend. You only respond to comments on a post where I haven't commented. Why why why? 'Why did you do that one?' Or in the extremely mortal words of the overly emotional Shah Rukh Khan in the overly soppy Devdas - 'I object'.

    Oh and as far as a lullaby is concerned try Scatman's world. All the scatting should be fun.


  9. (delurking - hi Y)
    Been ages since I've heard Khaled's Aicha (perhaps the fact that he's Algerian and lived in France might lessen the obscurity of the french, and a dash of arabic, in the song)

    I recommend "Don't Cry" by Guns n' Roses. Axel's howling can be strangely soothing sometimes.

  10. dunno what works with kids.. but i love "santa baby"... or maybe, that's jut the x'mas spirit at work.. u cud also try amr diab's "el lilady".. it's arabic.. and some of the tracks are really kewl!

  11. He sings THAT song to Peanut?! Man, you guys are nuts!! lol!

    I love Aicha, and you spelt it right! And Khaled sings it in French coz that's what his country's national language is! lol!

  12. Stuti: 'Baby, baby' is one my old faves...will try that. haven't heard the other, will do so

  13. Mala: cool, thanks :-)

    Moppet's Mom: Okay, I will, then! :-)
    Jiyal bells? Hey!

    Parul: that's very kind. No, thanks!

    Cuckoo: Very sweet! What tune, but?

    Suki: Yessss...but I need something I can siiiing...how do you sing 'Children' by Robert Miles...i don't remember 'stay awake'...why don't i remember it? i love that movie! will check.

    Ro: but i remember a really pretty song you wrote about some time back..just don't know the tune!

    Ganju: Shhhhh!

    Thelastbyte: Good idea! I can try and howl like Axel too! aiii..yaiii..yaiii.

    As far as Khaled singing in French being understandable - it is this kind of liberal attitude on our part that makes India great.

    Rayshma: Amr diab? Will try it. Thanks

    Still Searching: What do you mean 'you guys are nuts?'. HE is nuts. See comment to thelastbyte on the Khaled thing.

  14. There were some wonderful cassettes called Disney Hits, which had lovely songs, including some lullabies, and classics like Waltzing Matilda, My Grandfather's Clock, Loch Lomond and many lovely kiddie songs. I'd got these maybe ten years ago, when my youngest was about seven or so. Would have loved them when he was an infant!
    I love 'Dil ka Haal'. Peanut has good taste:)
    There was a classic lullaby which I think I'd read about in one of Paul Scott's novels-
    Ninni baba ninni,,
    Roti makhan cheeni,
    Roti makhan ho gaya,
    Hamara baba so gaya.

    You can cook up your own tune and change the word to suit!

  15. Dipali: that is so cute...I really feel like having roti-makhan-cheeni now. Remember having that as a kid.

    It's hard to stick to the point when food is involved, especially sweetened food. Sigh.

  16. Stay awake, don't nod your head
    Don't lie down upon your bed
    Though the moon drifts in the skies
    Stay awake, don't close your eyes.

    Though the world is fast asleep
    Though your pillow's soft and deep
    You're not sleepy as you seem
    Stay awake, don't drift and dream.

    Do remember though that it worked for Mary Poppins because she's well, magic! :-D

  17. Edel weiss does it for my baby ! And so does " Nanhi pari sone chali".

  18. Rockabye baby on the tree top
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock
    When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
    Down will come baby and cradle and all.

    After having slept to this all through his infancy, I should wonder why the brat is so damn destructive...

  19. chanda hai tu mera sona hai tu
    haan meri aankhon ka taara hai tu

    Works like honey sauce..always

  20. Let me see if I can transfer the mp3 of that and send it to you...

  21. I can see why you say Peanut has more common sense than the two of you -- it's hard not to!

    On the singing front, I know how it feels. Since I can't remember the words (or at best the first two lines) to anything, The Bhablet gets a lot of humming.

  22. Moppet's Mom: Yes, that's nice! I will watch the DVD now for the tune :-)

    Anon: Edelweiss is beautiful, yes. But it has to match the rocking rhythm, so it may be a bit slow. Thanks though. Who are you?

    Kiran: Err...maybe not. I did a post on how horrible nursery rhymes are, last year. This featured as a star, I think.

    Svety: Yes, that's a sweet one.

    Ro: Wow, thanks, that would be lovely!

    Sue: Young lady, don't be rude. Contribute. Nicely!

  23. Young lady indeed -- aren't you younger than me??

    The Bhablet got some Bengali stuff, usual suspects, and yes, the Mary Poppins song, as well as "Come Feed the Birds", also from Poppins.

    You know, my problem was getting my son to calm down enough to give in to his tiredness. So at Peanut's age I used to sit, hold him facing towards, tummy-tummy, on my lap, and hum to him. Some 'om' chanting also helped. What worked best was a combination of vigorous thumping -- I was accused of beating him to sleep -- and Carnatic vocal exercises. That's basically Sa and her brothers, held on as long as my breath allowed.

    You did ask.

  24. Hi Y,
    I have been reading your blog for the past two months(and am delurking now)... I started reading mommy blogs when I found out that I was expecting... I love your style of writing and you have a great sense of humor.. Sorry to hear about the phone and P's pics... But pls, pls, do post occasional pictures, 'cuz shez such a cutie... Keep writing, you rock!

    - PR

  25. The Beatles classic words of wisdom
    'Let it Be'.
    Soothing to all ages:)
    I will do a related post soon.

  26. Hi Y,
    U have a gr8 blog. So enjoyed reading the post.
    Going by our experience, my son decided he will have his own song after we all had exhausted our quota ;-) So, these days we end uo singing a sequence of random words he likes into a tune he has come up with :-))So, maybe Peanut will solve this question for you :))

  27. Sue: Thanks. And no, you're younger than me. You are but a child.

    PR: Thanks and congrats! Do keep us posted on when the little one arrives. All the best!

    Dipali: Yes, I have yet to imbibe those wise words into my own system!

    Anu: True, true - the way Peanut is going, that day may be pretty close!

  28. Precisely my point. It is indeed horrible. But the only damn rhyme that got the critter to sleep.

  29. Oh, yeah.. forgot. The singing part. Oops. Although I hum the vocals all the time, it isn't nearly the same. I really don't think you want to sing "Maybe this world is a broken mirror"(Robert Miles, "Everyday Life") while lulling Peanut to sleep! :|

    As for "Stay Awake", I absolutely love it. Priceless! If she's excited, you could start with "Raindrops on roses", couldn't you?

    oooh, and Happy Thathaday!

  30. 'sapno ki dor bandhe palko ka paalna..' is lovely too, as is 'nanhi pari sone chali'.

    but how do you make very post so funny?!

  31. I lurked successfully upto this point for three whole days (yes, I discovered your blog three days ago and got to this post only today :P) And I wish I had discovered this 7 years ago, so I could have provided you with the perfect song. Not that I discovered it, but since Ross and Rachel figured that "I like big butts" was their perfect baby song, it wouldn't have hurt to try it, no?

    Did I also tell you that I loved your blog? No? Well, I do :)


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