5 Nontraditional Lullabies for Parents Who Don’t Like Lullabies

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About Tom Burns

Tom Burns is a husband, a dad, and a veteran of the educational publishing industry, living just outside of Detroit Rock City. He’s also been a writer and contributing editor for a number of web sites, including 8BitDad, and founded BuildingaLibrary.com - a website devoted to helping parents find the right books for their kids. You can find him on Twitter at @buildalibrary.


  1. Ha! I love “Lydia the tattooed lady!” I just need to learn more of the words.
    My son loved/loves repetitive songs: Old MacDonald, Little White Duck, 5 Litttle Monkey, Bears in the Bed. But they also tend to put me to sleep too.

  2. Thanks for not making this a “kid’s music sucks” post. Not sure I could’ve handled another one of those. Anyway, my girls still love hearing me butcher “Million Dollar Bill” by Middle Brother (and also by Dawes) when they are falling asleep. I’d also submit Okee Dokee Brother’s “Coming Along For The Ride” and Justin Roberts’ “Easier To Do” which is a kid’s song, technically speaking, but could totally pass for a mid-70′s soft rock classic. Amazing song, even when I sing it.

    • Love Dawes, Jeff Bogle. Any folk makes for great bedtime songs. I just don’t know enough. There was a Woody Guthrie song that got turned into a book that the chirren loved, New Baby Train. “Remember the Mountain Bed” is a great song about love, family, loss and redemption, written by Woody with music by Jay Bennett and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

  3. Wasn’t “Lydia, The Tattooed Lady” also sung by the weird little sister in The Philadelphia Story?

  4. Kile Ozier says:

    “Everything Possible” – Fred Small
    We have cleared off the table, the leftovers saved,
    Washed the dishes and put them away
    I have told you a story and tucked you in tight
    At the end of your knockabout day
    As the moon sets it’s sails to carry you to sleep
    Over the midnight sea
    I will sing you a song no one sang to me
    May it keep you good company.
    You can be anybody you want to be,
    You can love whomever you will
    You can travel any country where your heart leads
    And know I will love you still
    You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around,
    You can choose one special one
    And the only measure of your words and your deeds
    Will be the love you leave behind when you’re done.
    There are girls who grow up strong and bold
    There are boys quiet and kind
    Some race on ahead, some follow behind
    Some go in their own way and time
    Some women love women, some men love men
    Some raise children, some never do
    You can dream all the day never reaching the end
    Of everything possible for you.
    Don’t be rattled by names, by taunts, by games
    But seek out spirits true
    If you give your friends the best part of yourself
    They will give the same back to you.

  5. Aaron seemed fond of The Eagles Desperado, Red Hot Chili Peppers Under the Bridge, What I Did for Love from Chorus Like (don’t judge me) and just about anything from the Great American Songbook(I’m a crooner, what can I say?).

  6. I had three songs: Wild Rover, as you mentioned, The Gnome by Pink Floyd, and Keep Right On which os the anthem for my football team Birmingham City. One evening I realised that I was singing about getting drunk, taking drugs and eternal sorrow because my team is next to useless.

  7. Love this.
    Tom Petty’s “Alright for Now”
    The Temptations “The Things You Do”
    are heavy in the rotation along with anything Beatles.
    When mine were babes I sung them Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash because it was one of the few I could remember all the way through without music. It became a favorite which was fine when they were two and the words meant nothing, but five years later they still ask for The Train Song. “I [saw] a man in Reno/ just to watch him [cry/fly/sigh]” has come under intense scrutiny.

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