Monday, August 01, 2005

Sunday's song: The Lullaby of London

One of my favorite too-rarely-performed musical forms is the lullaby. A soothing tone, a rhythm suitable for rocking a child, and hopes that the child sleep well are sufficient to mark a song as a lullaby -- after that, songwriters are free to play with the conventions of the genre as they wish, expressing their distinctive visions of the world as it relates to children and their hopes for how children will grow up. Any departure from the stereotypical lullaby-singer's persona will only make the singer's persona stand out more. One of my favorite contemporary lullabies is "The Lullaby of London," by The Pogues, which includes the following lines:

May the ghosts that howled
Round the house at night
Never keep you from your sleep
May they all sleep tight
Down in Hell tonight
Or wherever they may be


Anonymous said...

Does Richard Thompson's "The End of the Rainbow" count? Perhaps as an anti-lullaby?

"Life seems so rosy in the cradle
but I’ll be a friend, I’ll tell you what’s in store
There’s nothing at the end of the rainbow
There’s nothing to grow up for anymore"

Neil Sinhababu said...

Yeah, most definitely.