I was lucky enough to have a mother and other family members who sang to me at bedtime. Nightime lullabies are among my most tender childhood memories.
So of course I have tried to sing to my kids as much as possible. I haven't done it as consistently as I would like, but I think (hope!) they can all say that lullabies have been special to their childhoods too.
Several years ago my mother made a little booklet containing the words to all the family lullabies (my mother does things like that, which is one of the million reasons why she is the awesomest.) I was so glad to have the words to the songs she sang me when I was little. I recognized all of them except one, which the booklet said was a lullabye my grandmother used to sing to my father. That would be, like, 80 years ago. Literally. That's so crazy to think about.
Recently my sister stayed the night with us on her way back east and at bedtime the girls asked her to sing to them. I heard her sing this old lullabye to them. I had never heard the tune before; I had just read the words in my mom's little booklet. I immediately fell in love with this sweet little song and I have been singing it to my girls every night since then.
Here are the words.
A little fairy comes at night
Her eyes are blue, her hair is brown
With silver spots upon her wings
And from the moon she flutters down
She has a little silver wand
And when a good child goes to bed
She holds it high in her right hand
And waves it thrice around his head
And then he dreams of pleasant things
Of fountains filled with fairy fish
Of trees that bear delicious fruit
And bend their branches at a wish
My fairy-obsessed daughters love this song, and I love singing it to them. I love the line about fountains filled with fairy fish. What a fun thing to imagine.
And I love thinking that while this is a new lullabye for us, it's very old. I try to imagine my grandmother, whom I rather resemble in looks, singing it to my father. It's hard to imagine that, but it does make me feel closer to her. And that makes me happy.