It’s a routine we’ve been in for over a decade now, me singing my children to sleep. From when they were wee ones to now, when my oldest is 11, they enjoy listening to me sing and it helps them easily drift off to dreamland.
What’s curious, however, is what they most like me to sing: The Beatles. Maybe it’s because I’m a boomer myself and so I am quite familiar with all their lyrics, but I also think that I have the same tonal range as Paul McCartney, so the songs are easy for me to sing.
I mix it up a bit with Elvis, James Taylor and even Jim Croce, but given a choice, we seem to migrate back to Lennon and McCartney.
And the song they most prefer?
In a way that’s now rather poignant, their favorite song is When I’m Sixty-Four. When I sing it I am always struck by the irony of my helping the children go to sleep by singing about how I hope to be in a relationship with someone who will “need me and feed me” when I’m 64.
Don’t remember the lyrics? It starts out:
When I get older,
losing my hair,
many years from now.
Will you still be
sending me a valentine,
bottle of wine?
if I stayed out
’til quarter to three,
would you lock the door?
In context of going through an amicable, yet still painful divorce, this is not my choice of best nighttime lullaby. Maybe James Taylors’ Shower the People (“Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel…”), or if I have to stick with The Beatles, Yellow Submarine (“And our friends are all on board, many more of them live next door…”)
Other Beatles songs the kids like include Penny Lane (“In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs…”), Blackbird (“Blackbird singing in the dead of night…”) and Ob-la-di Ob-la-da (“Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace, Molly is a singer in the band…”).
Special mention for our old favorites too: When you wish upon a star (all three kids like that one) and two more for K-, 4yo: Twinkle, twinkle little star and This old man came rolling home (“This old man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb…”)
Do you sing your children to sleep? What songs do they particularly enjoy??