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Songs/poems our Mothers sang

(168 Posts)
Gally Sun 14-Apr-13 10:22:22

What memories do you have from your childhood?

My Mum was a great one for poetry which she had learnt at school and would recite reams from memory. Sadly my memory isn't half as good as hers, so I've forgotten most of them.
She also used to sing me to sleep, including the following, which in retrospect was a bit frightening - but I loved it!

"She sailed away on a lovely summer's day
On the back of a crocodile ;
You see said she, he's as tame as he could be
I'll sail him down the Nile.
The croc winked his eye as she waved them all goodbye
Wearing a happy smile,
By the end of the, ride the lady was inside,
And the smile on the crocodile!


Daisy, daisy give me your answer do
I'm half crazy all for the love of you,
It won't be a stylish marriage
I can't afford a carriage, but you'll looked sweet
Upon the seat of a bicycle made for two.

And when I was misbehaving ( me, misbehave? shock ) she'd recite this one:

"My mother said I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood
If I did, she would say
Naughty little girl to disobey"

baubles Sun 14-Apr-13 10:38:35

Gally I've sung Daisy, Daisy to my DGD since she was a baby as she has a Daisy Duck toy. I hear her singing it to herself now smile

My grandfather used to sing 'I'll tell me ma when I get home, the boys won't leave the girls alone.' Also 'Show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I want to go to bed, I had a little drink about an hour ago and it's gone right to my head'. An odd lullaby.

FlicketyB Sun 14-Apr-13 11:21:40

My mother had a beautiful voice and had had singing lessons in her teens. As a child I remember her singing me two lullabies; the Brahms lullaby 'Little baby, good night' and the one, once called the Mozart lullaby, that began 'Sleep thou my little one sleep'.

it has made me quite tearful to remember lying in bed as a child with just a night light in the room and my mother sitting beside me gently singing these lullabies to sooth me.

Eloethan Sun 14-Apr-13 11:24:11

When I was little, my mum used to sing this to me if I was tired or grumpy:

Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
Heavenly breezes blow
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
Faces all aglow
Turn, turn your back on sorrow
Look into the sky
Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
You and I.

I sang it to my children, to my grandson when he was a child, and now sing it to my granddaughter.

feetlebaum Sun 14-Apr-13 11:45:32

My memory is of my mother, taking a break from dusting, cleaning, ironing... to spend a few minutes playing the piano, and singing

I'll walk beside you through the world today
While dreams and songs and flowers bless your way
I'll look into your eyes and hold your hand
I'll walk beside you through the golden land

I'll walk beside you through the world tonight
Beneath the starry skies ablaze with light
Within your soul love's tender words I'll hide
I'll walk beside you through the eventide

I'll walk beside you through the passing years
Through days of cloud and sunshine, joys and tears
And when the great call comes, the sunset gleams
I'll walk beside you to the land of dreams

(Alan Murray/Edward Lockton)

As a child I thought it the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. Later, I realised that she liked to swoop rather than hit notes - portamento must have been the thing when she was a girl! I would still give a lot to hear it again...

shysal Sun 14-Apr-13 11:48:59

My father used to amuse me by singing 'Susanna's a Funniful Man', which had animal noises, also, because my skin tans really easily, 'Brown Skinned Girl Stay Home and Mind Baby'. My mother was profoundly deaf and could only remember a few hymns she had learnt before the childhood accident which damaged her ears. We used to laugh at her tuneless rendition of 'Itchy on earth hath union', (think it was meant to be 'yet ye' not 'itchy').

feetlebaum Sun 14-Apr-13 11:51:01

My father, on the other hand, rejoiced in old music hall songs and parodies... Does anyone know any more of one that has the couplet

"We sailed o'er the ocean like jolly gay tars
With a cargo of lightning and bottled cigars"?

It was sung to the tune of Sweet Betsy from Pike

His version of I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls went

"I dreamt that I tickled my grandfather's balls
With a little sweet oil, and a feather"

... and Mum pretended to be shocked, and we gioggled a lot!

annodomini Sun 14-Apr-13 12:09:16

My Dad used to sing a hymn to me at bed time. It was 'Jesus tender shepherd, hear me'.
I can still hear him and remember snuggling down in bed, feeling completely safe, much more because of Dad than because of Jesus.

Eloethan Sun 14-Apr-13 12:09:19

feetle My mum used to sing "I'll walk beside you" as well. The lady next door and she were great friends and one or other of them would play the piano while they both sang.

I went to a party just after New Year and a chap there played a wonderful selection of old and new songs. People joined in and it was a really lovely evening. I thought what a shame it was that these days not many people can play the piano, whereas when I was young lots of people could.

Mum, who is 92, has still got an electric organ which she played regularly until a few years ago, but now that her sight has deteriorated she very rarely does.

ginny Sun 14-Apr-13 12:24:49

The two song I associate with my Mum are one that started 'Lula lula lula lula bye byes, do you want the moon to play with, or the stars to run away with' and 'If I were the only Girl in the World.
When my DGS was a baby he had toy gifaffe that played Brahms Lullaby. I often used to sing the words along with it. He is now 10 but still asks me to sing the 'Giraffe song'.
I love singing and was always singing to my 3 DDs.

Galen Sun 14-Apr-13 12:54:09

My fater used to sing la Donna mobile and your tiny hand is frozen. He liked opera!

nanaej Sun 14-Apr-13 13:01:28

Mum used to sing lots of songs but in particular I remember 'Twas on a Monday morning' 'Where will the Baby's dimple be' Cockles and Mussels' &
Que sera sera!

She loved poetry too: Old Meg, she was a gypsy, The Listeners, Up the Airy mountain & many more

I passed them onto my girls and in turn they have passed them on to their kiddies too!

Dad sang Sinatra, Bing Crosby etc so those are always popular and 'sentimental' for me!

Elegran Sun 14-Apr-13 13:03:21

feetlebaum My grandfather had a repertoire of Music Hall songs too,

"She is only a bird in a gilded cage ....."
"My grandfather's clock..."
"She was poor but she was honest...."

Sometimes granny would hear him start one that she felt was not suitable for our delicate ears and cut him short with a sharp "George!"

nightowl Sun 14-Apr-13 13:19:19

Elegran my mum used to sing 'she's only a bird in a gilded cage' to my children and I now sing it to my grandson. Probably not very appropriate but a lovely soothing tune. She also sang 'I'll walk beside you'.

'My grandfather's clock' was one of my dad's favourites and one he would always sing, centre stage, at family gatherings. He usually co-opted a family member to sing in harmony and provide the 'tick tocks'. My dad sang from the moment he got up till the moment he went to bed. It's 30 years since I heard his voice but it's as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday.

Galen Sun 14-Apr-13 13:21:32

My gran used to sing Gracie Field songs all yhe time and also Marie Lloyd.

POGS Sun 14-Apr-13 13:23:08


I read your post and I coundn't remember my dear mother ever reciting a poem, not only to me, ever.

I can only slightly remember seeing myself with her maybe saying nursery rhymes and singing little ditties of the same ilk.

I am not saddened by this in any way as I had the love of a wonderful mother with whom I remember sharing so much love and laughter.

I have reflected on your thread and sat back and thought to myself, was my mothers education and family life as a child such that she would have had the same experience with her mother too. I think that is probably the case. This does not cause me sadness as such but I have now remembered how hard her life had been and I can't help shedding a tear for her.

It is nice to have this thread as I am sure we will all probably take a moment to remember our mothers. smile

LullyDully Sun 14-Apr-13 13:52:56

How sad pogs, I have fond memories of my mother playing the piano and me singing the words from the sheet music. Let him go let him tarry and Welsh songs....Bells of Aberdovy in Welsh. Also a lullaby , Lulla Lulla Lulla.

my cousin didn't get on well with her mother due to a war time split at a young age. She said she cried when she heard my aunt sing that to her GD as a baby as it brought back memories she had forgot. They made up their life time of disagreements

Music is a strong force. We always sang The boy I love is up in the gallery, Daisy Daisy and Tiddley Winkey Woo to our DSs and G ch. the little ones still love to hear them if they are upset.

I remember singing Twinkle twinkle to GD when she was barely a year old after a strop and she couldn't stop herself opening and shutting her tiny hand like they did in nursery {coo that thread got me going.. sorry.} blush

Tegan Sun 14-Apr-13 13:58:39

My dad and I used to laugh at mum when she sang, and it made her cry; how awful do I feel about that now sad. She used to sing Que sera sera a lot, which was probably the best advice she ever gave me.

Ella46 Sun 14-Apr-13 14:39:30

My mum sang from morning til night, all those old songs, but this used to upset me a bit;

Oh won't you please come down and finish the baby, finish the baby, do
He's got two eyes and one little nose,
Ten little fingers and ten little toes,
Got no hair, got no teeth
and the poor little thing can't chew.....
So, will you please come down and finish the baby, finish the baby, do.

It still brings a tear to my eyes smile

Sook Sun 14-Apr-13 14:43:24

My lovely dad used to sing Scarlet Ribbons to me and Oh Mein Papa. Mum was less sentimental and had a collection of rude songs which she sang with great gusto. Here is my favourite

Aunty Mary, had a canary,

Up the leg of her drawers,

When she farted, down it darted,

Like a racing horse.

Grannylin Sun 14-Apr-13 15:00:55

This is a lovely thread Gally My Mum was a talented pianist but never sang.My Dad used to sing me to sleep with. ...Oh Danny Boy...and Some enchanted evening (South Pacific?). He thought he could sing, he couldn't really, but I loved it!

Bags Sun 14-Apr-13 15:12:27

I have realised, reading this, that I don't remember my mother ever singing! My dad did, all the time. Made songs up (well, ditties) all the time too. DD1 sings to her children a lot smile

Bags Sun 14-Apr-13 15:13:14

I used to go to sleep to the sound of my dad picking out classic tunes on his guitar too.

GillieB Sun 14-Apr-13 16:29:44

I sm digressing a little here, but I do remember going on Sunday School outings (and mum always came too) and we used to sing all the time on the coach going home (never going, though). I am sure many of you will remember "Underneath the spreading chestnut tree", and how about "One man went to mow", "Ten green bottles" etc. Yesterday when my DGS was here I was trying to remember "I'm a pink toothbrush, you're a blue toothbrush" (Maz Bygraves, I think).

I find it quite interesting that years later those things you used to say, hear or do as a child still come back to you.

Eloethan Sun 14-Apr-13 16:48:25

You can get the words from "I'm a Pink Toothbrush" on the internet. Just put in something like "lyrics I'm a Pink Toothbrush".