Saturday, February 05, 2011

Unorthodox, but effective

My granddaughter likes very much for me to dance around the room (or march, if we're doing Sousa) while singing to her, especially if she's unhappy about something. And I'm happy to do it. Tonight, she was a bit colicky and not very happy; so Grandpa took her dancing around the living room for a while and sang her to sleep.

But after I put her back in bed it struck me that a casual bystander might have found my choices of lullabies a little bit odd...effective (the first ones got her happy and got her to forget about the gas, and the later ones put her to sleep), but definitely odd...because after all I mostly just sing songs I think are fun. So for the sake of future reference, here was tonight's musical programme for my Angel girl...

  • "How Is My Little Angel Girl" (lyrics improvised to the tune of Kenneth Alford's "Colonel Bogey March")

  • "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" (first verse only because to my surprise and shame that was all I could remember)

  • "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena"

  • "Frankie and Johnny" (à la Jimmy Rodgers, not Elvis Presley)

  • "The Red-Headed Stranger" (à la my dad as remembered from my own childhood bedtimes, not Willie Nelson)

  • "Stay Awake, Don't Rest Your Head" from Mary Poppins

  • "Pie Jesu Domine" (Gregorian chant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, replacing "...dona nobis requiem" with "...dona Angel requiem" -- this is always my coup de grâce when it's time to get Angel's eyes to close; it's a perfect lullaby, even to the lyrics ("Holy Lord Jesus, give Angel peace"), as long as you leave out the part where you smack a board against your forehead in self-chastisement)

Hey, whatever works...


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