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Classic lullabies: Soothing baby bedtime songs (with video lyrics)

Singing may just be the easiest way to soothe your baby at bedtime. A study found that lullabies set the stage for a more restful night by lowering a baby’s heart and respiration rates.

Nested Bean is completely devoted to helping families get a good night’s sleep. 

We’ve rounded up the most beautiful lullabies for bedtime - complete with videos of each song so you can learn them faster.

Scroll to learn beloved classic lullabies to sing to your baby at bedtime:

  1. Brahms Lullaby (The Cradle Song)
  2. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  3. Rock-a-Bye Baby
  4. Day is Done
  5. Sleep, Baby Sleep
  6. Somewhere Over the Rainbow 
  7. All the Pretty Little Horses
  8. Hush LIttle Baby (Mockingbird)
  9. Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly Lyrics
  10. You are My Sunshine

Brahms Lullaby

Lullaby and goodnight, with roses bestride,

With lilies bedecked, ‘neath baby’s sweet bed.

May thou sleep, may thou rest,

May thy slumber be blest.

Lullaby and goodnight, thy Mother’s delight

Bright angels around, My darling, shall guard

They will guide thee from harm, Thou art safe in my arms.

They will guide thee form harm, Thou art safe in my arms

Song Origin: Song writer Johannes Brahms’s lullaby is actually named “Wiegenlied'' which means Lullaby in German. It is also referred to as “Cradle Song.” 

The song was published in 1868 and is said to be based on a song a former love used to sing to him. 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Song Origin: Twinkle, twinkle, little star is an English lullaby based on an 1806 poem by Jane Taylor. It is sung to the same melody as Baa, Baa, Black sheep. 

Rock a bye baby

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.

Song Origin: While the origin is not clear, it is believed that the lullaby first appeared in print was in Mother Goose’s Melody 1765 publication. However the lyrics were “hush-a-bye baby.”

The modern version we sing today, “rock-a-bye baby” was first recorded in Songs for the Nursery in 1805.

 

Day is Done

Day is done,

Gone the sun,

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.

All is well, safely rest,

God is nigh.

Song Origin: The melody to Day is Done is the famous bugle tune, Taps. Lyrics may be attributed to Rukard Hurd, Forrest W. Gaz or Horace Lorenzo Trim. The song Taps is now used by Boy and Girl Scout events in America to signal lights out.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep

Your father tends the sheep

Your mother shakes the dreamland tree

And from it fall sweet dreams for thee

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

Our cottage vale is deep

The little lamb is on the green

With snowy fleece so soft and clean

Sleep, baby, sleep

Sleep, baby, sleep

Song Origin: The first version of Sleep, Baby Sleep was printed in 1899. “A History of Nursery Rhymes.”

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high

And the dreams that you dream of

Once in a lullaby, oh

 

Somewhere over the rainbow

Bluebirds fly

And the dreams that you dream of

Dreams really do come true-ooh-ooh

Someday I'll wish upon a star

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney tops that's where

You'll find me, oh


Somewhere over the rainbow

Bluebirds fly

And the dream that you dare to

Oh why, oh why can't I? I


Someday I'll wish upon a star

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high

And the dream that you dare to

Why, oh why can't I? I


Ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Ooh-ah-ah-eh-ah

Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah

Song Origin: Somewhere Over the Rainbow was written for the movie, The Wizard of Oz by composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Yip Harburg. The song was originally recorded by Judy Garland

All the Pretty Little Horses

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby.

When you wake, you'll have cake,

And all the pretty little horses.


Blacks and bays, dapples and grays,

Coach and six-a-little horses,

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,

Go to sleepy little baby.

Song Origin: This lullaby has an oral tradition dating back to before the Civil War. The lyrics were first published in the 1925 book On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs by Dorothy Scarborough.

Hush, Little Baby

Hush little baby, don't say a word,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won't sing,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns to brass,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.


And if that looking glass gets broke,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a billy goat.


And if that billy goat won't pull,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.


And if that cart and bull turn over,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.


And if that dog named Rover won't bark,

Mama/papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.


And if that horse and cart fall down,

You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town!


Song Origin: The origin of this traditional American folk song is unknown but the version recorded in 1949 by musician Jean Ritchie is most similar to the version we sing and love today.

Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly Lyrics

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,

Lavender's green


When I am King, dilly dilly,

You shall be Queen


Who told you so, dilly dilly,

Who told you so?

'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly,

That told me so


Call up your friends, dilly, dilly

Set them to work


Some to the plough, dilly dilly,

Some to the fork


Some to the hay, dilly dilly,

Some to thresh corn


While you and I, dilly dilly,

Keep ourselves warm


Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,

Lavender's green


When I am King, dilly dilly,

You shall be Queen


Song Origin: This folk song dating back to the 17th century first appeared in Songs for the Nursery in 1805. The children’s nursery song version emerged in the Walt Disney movie, So Dear to My Heart in 1949.

You are My Sunshine

You are my sunshine,

My only sunshine.

You make me happy,

When skies are gray.

You’ll never know dear,

How much I love you.

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

The other night dear,

As I lay sleeping.

I dreamt I held you,

In my arms.

And now that you’re here,

My dreams are waking.

And I will keep you from all harm.

Song Origin: The song, you are my sunshine, was copyrighted and published in 1940 but its origins stem back to the early 1930’s.

Classic lullabies: Key takeaways

We know how hard it can be to get your little one to sleep - especially when they are going through a growth spurt or leaping into the next stage of development. 

Classic lullabies provide a sense of comfort and reduce baby's tension helping them to fall asleep with ease. 

To learn more about how to lull your little one to sleep read our top tips for getting your newborn to sleep.

Athena S.

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