Hush Little Baby

One of the top songs for babies is the endlessly mutable “Hush Little Baby,” which starts off like this

Hush little baby don’t say a word,
Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird,
And if that mockingbird don’t sing,
Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring…

After that, you can go in many directions. Will the diamond ring turn out to be brass, will it turn brown, will it lose it’s luster? And if it does, what will replace it?

It doesn’t even really need to be a diamond ring. I like the one that starts like this:

If that mockingbird don’t mock,
Daddy’s gonna buy you a cuckoo clock…

When you sing to your baby, you make it up as you go. It’s a test of your own ingenuity. How many times have I or my wife suggested that the baby get a very special present, then fail to come up with any contingency that rhymes with the next thing? For example, I might be singing…

Papa’s going to buy you a tricycle,
And if that tricycle, um, mumble mumble mumble…

Or I think of something, but it’s all wrong with the rhythm.

Hush little baby, don’t you fuss,
Daddy’s going to buy you an albatruss,
And if that albatruss turns out to be a pregnant symbol in an epic poem,
Daddy’s going to buy you a garden gnoem,
And if that garden gnoem is stolen by some pranksters to take on a trip and photograph it having more fun than you,
Daddy’s going to buy you a kangaroo,
And if that kangaroo turns out to be the boxing kind and beats you up,
Daddy’s going to buy you a baby pup,
And if that pup piddles on the floor and chews up the legs on your coffee table,
Daddy’s going buy you a coat of sable…

At that point my wife will exclaim because I’ve involved fur and helpfully put an end to my tunesmithing.

So I’m crowd sourcing this. What do you got? I’ll get it started, then you go.

Hush little baby, don’t say a word,
Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird,
And if that mockingbird don’t sing,
Daddy’s gonna buy you a piece of string,
And if that piece of string don’t knot,
Daddy’s going to buy you an ocelot,
And if that ocelot don’t growl,
Daddy’s going to buy you a snowy owl,
And if that owl won’t hunt mice,
Daddy’s going to buy you a ______

(this is where you come in)

4 thoughts on “Hush Little Baby

    • Whoops, posted too soon: this happens to us a lot, particularly when the Ants Go Marching Five By Five, and the Little One, um, is glad to be alive? stops to poke a hive? would rather drive?

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