Songs we sing to Jamieson

I sing traditional lullabies to Jamieson, but also more modern stuff. The thing I’ve realized, in trying to find suitable songs to sing to him, is that traditional lullabies don’t have many breaks for instrumentation. You pretty much sing each line one right after the other. Not so with modern songs. If I take a break to wait for the instrumental parts to be over (even if it’s just half a measure), Jamie can get fussy. So I run all the lines together and it just sounds WEIRD.

I sure wish I could sing like Doc does. His voice, as I’ve mentioned before, is so rich and full and velvety smooth. I could listen to him ALL DAY LONG. Jamie finds it very comforting, I think, and so do I. My voice is not awful, and I can carry a tune rather well, but it’s not the same as when daddy sings to baby. I guess mommy’s softer higher voice has its merits in Jamie’s mind, though. 

Jamie’s favorite: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel. Always sung by his daddy, in that lovely deep rumbly voice. Often effective at calming a meltdown, especially when Doc sings it in full voice (read: awesomely powerful). Doc sang this to me, as well, when I was having awful labor pains. I love that the three of us have this connection to this song. Me peripherally, but still.

You Are My Sunshine. You are my sunshine, my Jamie sunshine (or my blue-eyed sunshine)…

Darling Clementine, such a sad song about a miner’s daughter who drowned. I think my mom sang it to me when I was little. It’s melancholy and I find it comforting. I looked up all the lyrics this morning, because I realized that I only know it phoenetically from when I was little. “Herring boxes without topses, sandals were for Clementine.” I was pretty dead-on, phoenetically, actually.

Birdhouse in Your Soul, They Might Be Giants. Another one Doc uses a lot. My name is blue canary, one note spelled L-I-T-E!

Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd (yes, I sing a song about shooting heroin to my child) (yes, I know it’s about much more than drugs 🙂

Alison, Elvis Costello. I change “Alison” to “Jamieson” and really I only sing the chorus.

Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

Help, The Beatles

Manamana, from The Muppet Show. I often substitute words, such as “Banana bread” or “Phenomenon” or “It’s Ramadan.” Kathryn suggests “Gulab jamun” (an Indian dessert, squishy little super-sweet cake balls floating in sugar syrup), and that works well too.

The theme song from Pinky and the Brain. By the dawning of the sun, they’ll take over the world!

Brainstem, from Pinky and the Brain. Nothing wrong with teaching cranial anatomy to a 5-week-old, right?

New this morning: Doc discovered that Nine to Five, by Dolly Parton, turned Mr. Cry-Cry Pants into Mr. Sleepy Pants, when accompanied by bouncing.


  1. Rachel

    Jamie must know instictively that 9 to 5 is sung by a woman with really big breasts and as a breast fed baby he must support that. 🙂 Love the song selections. Except now I have My Darling Clementine in my head. We used to sing it a lot when we were little too. I only know the first verse so it’s in a continual loop. Help!

  2. Carrie

    I loved Pinky and the Brain. The children watched it. They can sing the song to themselves now! We’re still waiting for them to take over the world – THEY ARE SO CLOSE THOUGH!

    Mark sang this song, that his mother sang to him, that has a delightful, bouncy tune and MORBID lyrics about a man eventing a grinding machine in which he grinds up the neighborhood cats and dogs until his wife accidentally knocks him into the machine. I remember how horrified I was when I realized what lyrics he was singing into my sweet baby’s ears but by then Mark could calm Anna down fairly well with the song.

    Can you get Doc to record and post his version of 9-5? That makes me laugh.

  3. seedub

    now, i’ve heard doc’s music and know he can really sing, so don’t think i’m being dismissive, but our experience was the same – my voice is pretty deep also, and that just seems to be better naturally for calming an upset baby, at least for a while. somewhere along the way, especially for breastfed babies, it can get to the point where they just flat-out want mom and all the deep-voice-singin’ in the world won’t work, but those deep, soothing tones really do the trick for a long, long time. bran was always a little jealous of that, i think.

    i think i put this on your FB update once, but 2 of 3 of our kids loved ‘ripple’ by the grateful dead. if you listen to it, it has a very lullaby/kid song value to it, and lyrically it’s really wonderful. and jane’s addiction has a very cool version from a cover album in the early 90’s (deadicated).

  4. Bonnie

    I mostly sing to Josephine at bedtime, so I pick slower songs. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Rainbow Connection” are awesome. “Love Me Tender” seems to make her sleepy right away. I just started singing “Desperado” – I don’t know if she likes it, but I’m enjoying it.

    Last night she was fussy, so I found random songs on YouTube and we bounced around to those. I did a ridiculous performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” for her, and she actually started “dancing” when it got to the head banging part!

  5. Katy

    I also have to add “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main.” Not sure where or when I first heard this, but it’s lovely and repetitive. And “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.

    Rachel: Check out all the lyrics to Darling Clementine here –
    I think the moral of the story is to always wear closed-toed shoes near bodies of water.

    Carrie: I would love to know what song that was about the meat grinder! Wow, talk about morbid!

    CW: Nope, you’re totally right, deep bass voices are probably more soothing to an upset baby (at least, one who doesn’t need nom-noms from mom). I’m sure it has to do with the physical vibrations. And, I’ll tell Doc you complimented his music; he’ll be really pleased!

    Bonnie: The rainbow songs are a great idea! I’ll have to try those. And I have this great mental image of you belting out “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango!” Awesome.

  6. Rich

    If you really want to get a jump on little Jamieson’s education, you can always sing him this little ditty:

    If you are concerned about the distracting musical/breathing breaks, you or Doc could always practice circular breathing or, as Jack Black calls it, “Inward Singing”.

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