Songs to raise girls: lullaby

Just you wait: new stories. We visited my Aunt Pat, Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Joan, all in their 80s. I want more stories!

My Aunt Pat and Uncle Jim were married for two weeks and then took a newborn home: me. My mother was in a tuberculosis hospital for active tuberculosis and could not be around me. I would be infected and die. So I went with my father, my aunt and uncle, my paternal grandparents and my great grandfather Malcolm Kenyon Ottaway and Florence Henderson Ottaway, who were visiting from Lincoln, England for two weeks. My father, aunt and uncle were all in college at the University of Tennessee. My aunt says it was rather chaos.

My great grandfather Mal would walk up and down singing this lullaby: “With her head tucked underneath her arm.” It’s about Anne Boleyn as a ghost after being beheaded, haunting the Tower of London. So this was one of my lullabies. Some of the songs to raise me were fairly peculiar choices. This might explain some things about me. My Aunt Pat says that Great Grandfather Mal said “‘ead tucked underneath ‘er arm”.

Here are the lyrics:

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: just.

The photograph is Aunt Pat and Aunt Joan playing four hands Christmas songs. YouTube sometimes does not approve of my music choices. After finding these four versions of “With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm”, it plays this to try to mellow me out. Just stop that, YouTube.

4 thoughts on “Songs to raise girls: lullaby

  1. Cate says:

    The lyrics to “Rock-a-bye Baby” also are less than sanguine. (Freud would likely have a field day with nursery rhymes along the lines of feelings repressed by exhausted parents.) Good thing babies don’t understand the meaning of words!

  2. If you like lullabies like this, you might enjoy Rosalie Sorrels’ “hostile baby rocking songs” and Shel Silverstein’s “You’re Always Welcome at Our House” (which I also learned from Rosalie Sorrels).

    • drkottaway says:

      Ooooo, I will look them up. And yes, I like this weird dark humor. Also, rock a bye baby is dark too.

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