Nov. 16, 2012
This is my favorite lullaby to sing to my infant son, but the original version is only four verses long, which is much too short to put him to sleep.
I added eight new verses for any other parents who wish the song were longer:
Original words (in gray) by Rosalie Sorrels, with new verses in black.
There’s an island way out in the seas
where the babies they all grow on trees
and its jolly good fun
to swing in the sun
but you gotta watch out if you sneeze, sneeze.
You gotta watch out if you sneeze.
Yeah you gotta watch out if you sneeze
for swinging up there in the breeze
you’re liable to cough
you might very well fall off
and tumble down flop on your knees, knees.
Tumble down flop on your knees.
’Cause after the spring rains and flood
the baby trees all start to bud
and the babies they bloom
in the light of the moon
and drop their husks off in the mud, mud.
And drop their husks off in the mud.
And when the bright sun starts to rise
a glorious sight greets his eyes
’cause the trees are so green
and the babies so clean
and the forest it echoes with cries, cries.
The forest it echoes with cries.
And the babies they can’t help but think
that their bellies are starting to shrink
so the cowbirds fly down
from the green leafy crown
to give hungry babies a drink, drink.
To give hungry babies a drink.
And the cowbird’s milk is so sweet
from the berries and grasses and wheat
that the babies they hustle and bustle and tussle
to be the first ones on the teat, teat.
To be the first ones on the teat.
But listen up close if you please
’cause diapers, they don’t grow on trees
so the babies let fly
from their perch in the sky
and wipe themselves off with the leaves, leaves.
And wipe themselves off with the leaves.
And with sunscreen on nary a head
some babies turn frightfully red
so the green bottle flies
hide the light from their eyes
and keep them a pale pink instead, ’stead.
And keep them a pale pink instead.
And when the long day turns to night
the littlest babies take fright
so the sweet fireflies
form a ball in the skies
to act like a baby night light, light.
To act like a baby night light.
And the babies they whimper and cry
when the dark clouds cover the sky
cause the babies they know
how the stormy winds blow
and they know that babies can’t fly, fly.
And they know that babies can’t fly.
And when the stormy winds wail
and the breezes blow high in a gale
there’s a curious dropping
and flopping and plopping
as fat little babies just hail, hail.
Fat little babies just hail.
And the babies lie there in a pile
and the grownups they come after awhile
and they always pass by
all the babies that cry
and take only babies that smile, smile.
They take only babies that smile.
Even triplets and twins if they’ll smile.