Warning: Explicit Lyrics

I believe music is good for babies, so I often turn on the stereo when we’re hanging out in Cami’s room. One of my favorite CDs is a compilation of 30 lullabies. Several are well-known, many others are new to me. But recently, as I listened more closely to the lyrics, I was shocked at what I heard. These lullabies may be contributing to the degredation of society by corrupting our children with their innocent-sounding tunes which mask the disturbing lyrical content.
For example, the second track on the CD is a lullaby called, “Billy Boy.” It begins like this:
Oh where have you been Billy Boy, Billy Boy/ Oh where have you been, charming Billy?/ I have been to seek a wife/ She’s the idol of my life/ She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.
Wait a minute! How young is this young thing? What kind of song is this anyway? For all I know, Billy Boy is some craddle-robbing pedophile. The song goes on for several verses, each ending with the disturbing phrase, “She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.”
Finally, on the last verse the song asks the question we’ve all been wondering, “How old may she be, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?”
The reply is an evasive “Three times six and four times seven/ Twenty eight and eleven/ She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.”
The very next song is about an owl and a pussycat who are in love and get married, and the owl likes to call the cat a shortened version of pussycat that is too explicit for me to write here. Enough said.
The CD includes Rock A Bye, which is a very well-known song. But if I were a child, I think the song would scare me to death. The lyrics practically tell the child, “try to close your eyes and take a nap, but realize that at the moment you do, your cradle is going to plummet to earth and you’re sure to be injured in the fall.”
And what am I teaching Cami when I sing “Hush Little Baby,” to her? It’s a song all about consumerism. I’m teaching her that if she’ll stop crying, I’ll buy her all sorts of things. And if each thing doesn’t please her, I’ll buy her something else. And the things the song suggests I’ll buy are ridiculous and I’m sure they don’t meet Consumer Product Safety Commission safety standards! They are:
Hush little baby don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you:
a mocking bird
a diamond ring
a looking glass
a billy goat
(just what any baby needs)
a cart and bull
a dog named Rover
a horse and cart

The thing is – despite my concern about the lyrics, these songs are perpetually stuck in my head. That’s how they get you. The catchy hooks make it easier for the subliminal messages to seep through. Sneaky. Very sneaky.