Sheila Joynes's Musical Diary



Do people still sing lullabies to their babies?

When I was young (yep, that’s me and my Mum in 1956) my mother sang to me – the lullabye which is still with me is a hauntingly beautiful litlle song. She heard it on the radio and it made such an impression on her that she never forgot it. I’ve never met anyone outside our family who has heard it and I’ve searched the internet for it, in vain.

So if anybody out there knows who wrote this, please let me know. Obviously it is not really mine to publish but I feel it should be preserved for posterity. So here are the words. If this story finds out for me the original writer, of course, I’ll remove this or give whatever credit is required.

“When mother said
(snipped for copyright reasons – please see article above)
But now I think it’s time to say goodnight!”

My memory is that the last word was always whispered and followed with a gentle kiss. I must remember to tell her that! She is 84 now.

You may know that, although born in England, my childhood was spent in Scotland and when I had my two girls, most of the lullabies I knew were ones I learned in the music classroom at school. (Yes, children used to sing in school in those days!) Dream Angus was a favourite which Helen made me record for her to take with her when she left home! (sniff – so sweet!), I was troubled to find that the only English Lullaby I could think of was Rock-a-Bye Baby – which I find horrific. “Down will come baby, cradle and all” – I wouldn’t sing that to next door’s cat!!

Maybe we should have a Lullabye-writing competition to engender a revival of English bed-time melodies.