Reinventing Classics: A Modern Rewrite for an Old Favorite Lullaby

Traditional lullabies are terrifying, right? Thankfully, standards for lullabies have changed drastically in the last century or so. We’ve moved from Brahms Lullaby (beautiful but impossible to memorize, thanks to its practically Shakespearean verses) and Hush Little Baby (about a parent who gives horrible, age-inappropriate gifts that all get destroyed) to lullaby renditions of The Rolling Stones, Beyonce hits, and the Hamilton soundtrack. Personally, I’m thankful to have modern options.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. To learn more, view my disclosure page.)

Unfortunately, when I am wracking my brain for a song to sing at 2 am, I do not remember the words to any. decent. song. Not one. You know what I remember? Rock-a-bye Baby.

The worst offender

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

This song was clearly written by a child-hating lunatic. Nightmares should NOT be the goal of a lullaby. So why have parents sung it to their bundles of joy for so many years? Ya got me.

So while some rich genius is busy reinventing classics of the 20th/21st Century into lullaby versions, I’m over here rewriting ancient lullabies to be less…horrid.

Call me irreverent, but I’m all about reinventing classics

If, like me, your brain shuts off at 10 pm and you can only recall the simplest of lyrics, try this version of Rock-a-bye Baby that I wrote – sans falling baby.

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
Safe and secure in her cradle so strong
Baby sleeps sweetly all the night long

SCORE! You can even insert your baby’s own gender and name in there for an extra-sweet bonding moment.Classic lullabies are terrible. I've reinvented rock-a-bye baby to be less nightmare-inducing, on Nine days a week I accidentally refer to Enzo as “her”, so if I can remember these two new lines, so can you.

What other classic lullabies or children’s songs scare the bajeebers out of you? Have you tried rewriting them? If so, Share! Share!


About The Author


Mom to two little ones who are way cuter than they have any right to be. Locavore, bibliophile, ambivert. Lover of architecture, the desert, and raisins. Caffeine free. Probably hangry right now.
I wrote about desert landscaping and urban water conservation in my former life.