Scary songs for children

We’re still learning how to put Kai to bed, or simply to calm him down. Talking and singing softly is one of the things we find works.

We’ve been singing to Kai some of the songs we know from when we were kids. And yes, we already knew that ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep‘ and The Alphabet Song all have the same tune.

But it’s the lyrics of some of the songs that can be scary. Take the Chinese version of Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping Brother John) for instance.

For one, it’s got nothing to do with a sleeping brother John, but two tigers with what insurance companies call total disabilities. It goes something like:

Two tigers
Two tigers
Running fast
Running fast
One has no eye(s)
One has no tail
How odd
How odd

Don’t bluff lah, what odd? You ate the tail and eyes for medicinal reasons, you Chinese children’s song composer! That’s why the poor cats are running!

Kai might sleep well after, but I’m more afraid of myself going to bed having nightmares of deformed tigers.

So I’ve taken to humming instead, but Naomi thinks that’s copping out. She’s chosen to make up nonsense lyrics which are not scary like Chinese songs are, and which incorporate Kai’s name somewhere, so they could go:

Something something Baby Kai, something something Baby Kai.

But she also found what someone called ‘the best and worst song I’ve? ever heard in my life’, and what’s probably gonna be the song we sing to Kai for until we get sick of it: