The Cradle May Fall

“Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine; it is stranger than we can imagine.” –Arthur Eddington

Well hell. As Lily Tomlin would say, “No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.” If you can top this … please don’t tell me, I can’t cope with much more just now. With all the absurdity in the world, I keep thinking nothing can possibly shock me any more. But apparently, that’s wishful thinking. All too often, weird shit still sneaks up on me. And this is weirder than most.

While looking for song downloads for a friend, I stumbled on this totally unexpected oddity. At least, I ** ASSUMED ** it must be an anomaly, a one-off lapse in taste and sanity. Perhaps it was a joke that somehow got out of hand. After all, who in their right mind would use Rolling Stones songs as lullabies for their babies? Okay, maybe ‘Ruby Tuesday’ or ‘Angie’ if someone had a gun to your head. But … ‘Beast of Burden’, ‘Under My Thumb’ or ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ … No way in hell, not for my kid!

But a quick Youtube search is not encouraging — apparently it’s a flourishing minor industry! There are (several!!) competing albums of this stuff, and pages of rock-lullaby playlists. Some of the videos have had thousands of views. Sigh. Guess I should be relieved it’s not millions! I can’t find it now, but one tagline read: “Rocking the baby takes on a whole new meaning with these lullaby versions of favorite rock songs.” Words fail me … one more time! And check out this sales pitch –

“Rockabye Baby transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. Guitars and drums are traded for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells, and the volume is turned down from an eleven to a two. Rockabye Baby is the perfect way to share the music you love with the littlest rocker in your life.”

If you don’t feel ill yet, read on, if you dare. I knew I’d regret it, but I just had to look through one lullaby list. Sure enough, now I may need trauma counseling!

Red Hot Chili Peppers … U2 … Green Day …
Van Halen … Metallica … Depeche Mode …
Led Zeppelin … Smashing Pumpkins … Aerosmith …
Radiohead … Madonna … Coldplay …
Pink Floyd … Guns n’ Roses … Pearl Jam …
Dave Matthews Band … The Cure … Flaming Lips …
The Smiths? Yipes. Couldn’t that alone induce crib deaths?
To say nothing of – Black Sabbath … AC/DC … or Nirvana …
And inevitably … The Ramones show up too!

I keep hoping there are limits to human silliness, if not to human stupidity. Things like this do make me wonder though. Someone had to dream up this shit in the first place. Then somebody liked the idea enough to fund the albums. And I ran across these ludicrous lullabies on a major commercial site, so people must actually buy them! All I can figure is it’s a popular gag gift for new parents. (It certainly makes me gag…) I couldn’t tell how many have been sold, and I found no customer reviews. Imagine that.

Personally, I’m not happy that listening to a few song samples, and my Youtube searches are now part of my online history. I can hardly wait to see the resulting targeted ads from Facebook and Google. What the NSA will make of it all, I dread to think. The one consolation is I’m no longer the least bit apologetic for the songs I use to sing babies to sleep. Rock on!


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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3 Responses to The Cradle May Fall

  1. I’d hate to speculate on how they came up with a name like “Flaming Lips?” Surely, it could not have been something so simple as ‘flaming red’ lipstick? And I thought that most of the above mentioned music was considered, ‘head banging’ music. Not exactly what you’d want your baby to do in order to get to sleep, bang head, bang head too hard, baby knocks himself out. And uh..’Beast of Burden’?, I’m not going to even touch THAT one!

    • Shelby – Thanks for commenting, and no, I don’t get it either! I’d still be happier if this was all a bad joke. What the hell are people thinking — if anything? Thought everyone was bundling their kids in cotton wool and bubble wrap so they never get hurt. Then they put them to sleep … with this maudlin shit? As I’ve said too often, I’m not sure most people have any damn business having children! – Linda

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