25 answers

Alternate Lyrics

Ok this might sound a little strange but has anyone actually heard the lyrics to Rock-a-Bye-Baby?? It's a morbid song! The baby falls out of a tree for crying out loud. So, does anyone know (or has anyone made up) alternate lyrics?? My daughters like to sing it, I'd like them to sing something that isn't about a baby falling from a tree. (who puts their baby in a tree anyway?)

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I think I like the "mama will catch you" version. Thanks for your help.

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I don't know of any alternate lyrics. I think this song is more about the melody anyway. I only hear people singing this to babies...not small children. Whereas babies cannot understand what the meaning is, they do get soothed by the melody of it.

This version came out of a precious moments book my daughter has.
Hush-a-bye baby
In the tree top
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock.
When the bough swings
So gently and sweet
Baby will safely and tenderly sleep.

While I might not know of any alternative lyrics, I must say that I feel the same way. My 17 month old daughter LOVES the song. She always asks for my husband and me to sing it to her. We sing it,but both of think it's just wrong. How can such a soothing melody have such terrifying words? Good luck.

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I was a child with a very active imagination and that song terrified me as a young child. I can't sing it to my daugther, but it does have a soothing melody. That is kind of what makes it even more twisted to me. A nice soothing song about a child plunging from a tree. Crazy. Anyway I made up a song to sing to my daughter to the same tune it goes like this:
Rock a bye baby, safe in your bed
Close your eyes, and rest your head
The sweetest of dreams are waiting for you
And always remember that mommy loves you

1 mom found this helpful

Wikipedia explains some possible origins of this very old song. The main theory refers to how Native American mothers would fashion a crib from bark and suspend it in the low boughs of a tree to rock their babies. The song could also have a political, metaphorical meaning that has to do with King James of England. You can check out all the theories and some alternative lyrics at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-a-bye_Baby.

Personally, I think the original lyrics have been sung to and by children for centuries. I don't think anyone has suffered too much from them, so I'd stick to the traditional. Have you ever analyzed old fairy tales? They're pretty twisted, too, but they're traditional. Have fun with whichever version your girls choose to sing!

I am laughing hysterically right now, not at you just at the fact that it's true.
I know and yes that Ring around the Rosie what were people thinking back then?
What about Jack and Jill? Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.
What about little Ms. Muffit got scared to death by a spider.
I don't think any of my kids sang those songs or was encouraged to listen to them.
There was a CD out that was just probably a freebie, it was put out by Baby Magic and was some of the nursery rhymes with just the music.

I actually had it and just gave it away on FreeCycle.
In regards to Elaine P. comments, I don't think that just because they are traditional we should except their twisted themes. Not saying that we should shelter our kids to a ridiculous state, but excepting a way just because it's traditional should not lend to you doing it.

rock a by baby in mommy's arms
gentle and sweet with all of your charms
i'll give you comfort
i'll give you love
cause your are my baby
sent from above

we sang these lyrics as a second part to the song once at the library and i loved it. i agree with you on the original version. when i come across lyrics i don't agree with, i just change it up to be more positive and loving :o) hope this helps!

Here are the 2nd and 3rd verses.... alot of children songs are about horrible things though... London Bridge is falling down.... Ring around the rosy pocket full of posy.. that's about the plague.... I don't know who writes this stuff most of it is unknown author.

Baby is drowsing
Cosy and fair
Mother sits near
In her rocking chair
Forward and back
The cradle she swings
And though baby sleeps
He hears what she sings

From the high rooftops
Down to the sea
No one's as dear
As baby to me
Wee little fingers
Eyeslink to a non-NIEHS site wide and bright
Now sound asleep
Until morning light

I always sang the last line:
But Mommy will catch baby, cradle and all.

Hi. Got these from Disney Baby book...

Rock a bye baby,
mommy's sweetheart
when the moon glows
the baby will rock
when the dawn breaks
may light from above
shine down upon baby
cradled in love.

Enjoy!
A.

I don't know of any alternate lyrics. I think this song is more about the melody anyway. I only hear people singing this to babies...not small children. Whereas babies cannot understand what the meaning is, they do get soothed by the melody of it.

How about:

Rock-a-bye baby here in my arms,
Clean and well fed, you're safe from all harm.
It's time to sleep now, you'll drift off so soon
With God up in Heaven, the stars and the moon.
(or if you're not religiously centered)
With the clouds in the sky, the stars and the moon.

I'm sure you'll have more to choose from!! Good Luck!!

J.

I think it was on an episode of Sister, Sister... the show also had Taj Mowry (their RL little brother) on it and he had to carry and egg for a school project and he said.. instead of "..down will come baby.." (replaced with) "and daddy will catch you..." which I have changed to "and Mommy will catch you cradle and all"

Hey C.

Yes I know that song is a bit disturbing...so I try not to sing it...Sometimes I find myself singing it but I immediately stop or finish the song like "but mommy with catch you, I won't let you fall"

Definitely try a new song, even if your little likes that one...

I don't know who came up with these songs all those years ago, definitely someone suffering from post-partum depression! LOL (that was a joke, no offense to those who have suffered from it-such as myself)

Good luck

I guess it depends how much you want to shelter your kids... stay away from Disney if you don't want them to see or hear anything morbid/sad! haha! Sorry- I swear I am not laughing at you! I'm just thinking of things like "Ring around the rosie"-- which is about the black plague... and...Did you ever see the episode of Friends when Phoebe found out Old Yeller was shot?? She said her mom sheltered her as a child and told her alternate endings to all of the sad movies. Then she grew up and found out the truth and was mortified! By the way, if you google the rock-a-bye-baby song, you'll see the next 2 versus are sweet so maybe you can sing them instead.

Just change "and down will come baby cradle and all" to "but Mommy will catch you cradle and all" It makes it alot less scary for kids.

Rock a bye baby, in the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
when the bough breaks, the baby will fall,
But Jesus will catch you, baby and all.

This is theology for your baby's life...Jesus will always be there for your baby, 'cause that bough will break again and again!

Here's another:
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Jesus watch me through the night, and wake me with the morning light.

Hope it helps!
Jann

The song isn't actually about a baby. The song is about a bird in a nest, and the nest falls out of the tree. Sorry, I don't know any "nice" lyrics for the nursery rhyme. Good luck.

I always make up the words to children's songs for the very same reason.
I had a mommy acquaintance -- supposedly "an elementary school teacher" who discouraged me from doing that -- saying that my children would not know the proper songs in school & they would feel sad/it would hurt their learning process.

PLEASSSSEEEEE.

One of the most ridiculous things I ever heard (NOW) -- at the time as a new mother -- I almost believed her. Thank goodness for my sleep deprived memory -- I could never even remember the real words to many of the children's songs.

rock a bye baby , in the tree top, when the wind blows, the cradle will rock, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, AND MAMA WILL CATCH YOU , cradle and all!

try that!

C.,

I have a lullaby CD with an alternate ending to this song:

Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bow breaks the cradle will fly
Up will drift baby into the sky

Here is the CD:
http://www.amazon.com/Lullaby-Favorites-Music-Little-Peop...

The artist has a beautiful voice. I bought it while I was pregnant and learned all the songs while driving to work every day. Unfortunately, my son does not appreciate the "unique" sound of my voice. Oh well. :)

-T. Q

While I might not know of any alternative lyrics, I must say that I feel the same way. My 17 month old daughter LOVES the song. She always asks for my husband and me to sing it to her. We sing it,but both of think it's just wrong. How can such a soothing melody have such terrifying words? Good luck.

The verson that I have used is
Rock-a-bye, baby
In the treetop
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
if the bough breaks
My baby won't fall
for I will catch baby
cradle and all

Our lyrics just change at: if the bough breaks, baby won't fall cause Mommy/Daddy will catch him cradle and all...

Hope this helps!

"Rock-a-bye Baby" may be an American nursery rhyme and lullaby, whose melody may be a variant of the English satirical ballad Lilliburlero. Originally titled "Hushabye Baby", this nursery rhyme was said to be the first poem written on American soil. Although there is no evidence as to when the lyrics were written, it may date from the 1600s. It is rumoured that it was written by a young pilgrim who sailed to America on the Mayflower. He was said to have observed the way native-American women rocked their babies in birch-bark cradles, which were suspended from the branches of trees, allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep. However, the branches holding the cradles sometimes had a habit of breaking, causing the cradle to fall and the baby in it to get hurt.[citation needed] Rock-a-bye as a phrase apparently was first recorded in 1805. The nursery rhyme suggests a falling, apparently related to a terrible accident in 1706 where the Earl of Sandwich's son was tossed without warning from his cradle. The cradle was later found in the Thames River empty and alone.

Another source reports that Effie Crockett, a relative of Davy Crockett, wrote the lyrics in 1872 while babysitting a restless child.[citation needed]

In Derbyshire, England, local legend has it that the song relates to a local character in the late 1700s, Betty Kenny (Kate Kenyon), who lived with her charcoal-burner husband, Luke, and their eight children in a huge yew tree in Shining Cliff Woods in the Derwent Valley, where a hollowed-out bough served as a cradle. [1]

Yet another theory has it that the song, like "Lilliburlero", refers to events immediately preceding the "Glorious Revolution". The baby is supposed to be the son of King James II of England, who was widely believed to be someone else's child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Catholic heir for James. The "wind" may be that political "wind" or force "blowing" or coming from the Netherlands bringing James' nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution. The "cradle" is the House of Stuart Stuart monarchy.[2]

The lyrics are:

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Only the words in the first four lines are supposed to be from the Pilgrim boy in America. Lines 5-12 are a later invention.

Alternate Lyrics as shown in The Real Mother Goose published in 1916:

Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green;
Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen;
And Betty's a lady, and wears a gold ring;
And Johnny's a drummer, and drums for the king.[3]

[edit] See also

Hi C.,

Here are some alternate endings I found:

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
"and momma will catch you cradle and all."

Alternate Lyrics as shown in The Real Mother Goose published in 1916:
Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green;
Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen;
And Betty's a lady, and wears a gold ring;

Rock a Bye Baby

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

Hush a bye baby up in the sky
On a soft cloud it’s easy to fly
When the cloud bursts the raindrops will pour
Baby comes down to mother once more.

Rock a bye baby safe in my arms
Mother will hold thee safe from all harm
Tree limbs may break and clouds disappear
Always and ever Mother is here.

(last verse written by Lois Duncan)

Sandra

Here's one I made up for my son while doing a breathing treatment. It kinda goes with the "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" music. But makes a good lullaby.

Swim little fishy, swimming in the ocean
Wiggle your tail and wiggle your fins

Swim little fishy, swimming in the ocean
Wiggle your tail and wiggle your fins

Bubbles come out and disappear
Fishy's little friends come to play when he's near

Swim little fishy, swimming in the ocean
Wiggle your tail and wiggle your fins

This version came out of a precious moments book my daughter has.
Hush-a-bye baby
In the tree top
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock.
When the bough swings
So gently and sweet
Baby will safely and tenderly sleep.

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