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  • Sheena

Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top

What terrible words! That's often the reaction to our best-known traditional lullaby. But what if it's not a lullaby?

Imagine a rowdy, rollicking, laughing, baby game and the words take on a completely different meaning. Here's how.

Baby needs to be old enough, firm enough and well enough used to enjoying more energetic play like 'This is the way the lady rides', with its 'down in the ditch' ending as you 'drop' baby between your knees.

Stand and hold baby strongly above your head, rocking her side to side as you sing the first part. Swing baby down to the floor when the bough 'breaks' and drop down to the floor beside baby on 'cradle and all'.

Rock-a-bye baby

On the tree top,

When the wind blows,

The cradle will rock

When the bough breaks,

The cradle will fall,

and down will come baby,

Cradle and all.

words and melody: traditional


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