Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s Gonna Buy You a Mockingbird
“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
If that mockingbird don’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring turns to brass,
Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke,
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy-goat.
If that billy-goat won’t pull,
Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
If that cart and bull turns over,
Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
If that dog named Rover won’t bark,
Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
If that horse and cart falls down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town. ”
My Nanna used to sing this song to our son, as she rocked him to sleep. The simple melody and words of love would lull him to sleep.
There are a lot of promises in this lullaby, and I find it interesting that it is Mama who is doing the promising. Of course, Daddy, Grandpa, or Aunt Nell could also work, depending on who is singing,
The rewards will only come to the baby who will calm down, stop crying, and be quiet. Between the rocking motion and the soft singing, the goal of a sleeping baby happens.
No one knows the author or the origins, but perhaps the United States is the place. Mockingbirds originated here.
Artists have chosen to put their twist to this lullaby. Carly Simon and James Taylor were one pair, and Toby Keith and his daughter, Krystal, also shared their version. If you are interested in watching their performance , here it is on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9K12_3LeBM
I enjoy different kinds of music, but today I like the memories of Nanna’s version of this song. Her voice always took a more loving tone when she sang that last line, “you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.”
As I look back on past Mother’s Days, including this past one, mothers and grandmothers are still believing they have “the sweetest little baby in town.”