I know Carin and I have mused a time or three about how the lullabies and nursery rhymes designed to send us peacefully off to dreamland are often scary as shit, but this is something else right here.

I was looking at an article from Mental Floss entitled 12 Creepy Lullabies From Around the World That Will Keep You Up at Night. Things were rolling cheerily along through the expected gaggle of monsters, hags and wild animals that are going to come and forcefully remove you from the area if you don’t close your eyes and shut the hell up when suddenly, this happened.

There’s also this Icelandic classic, which I haven’t been able to find the melody for:
Sofðu nú svínið þitt,
svartur í augum.
Farðu í fúlan pytt,
fullan af draugum
Which translates to
Sleep, you black-eyed pig.
Fall into a deep pit of ghosts.

I am the oldest child in my family, and growing up I was often tasked with taking care of the little ones. So yeah, I kind of understand the sentiment here. But as frustrated as I ever got with them, not once did I decide that the answer to my troubles was to take my inner monologue, replace all instances of “Jesus fucking Christ” with baseless insults and wishes that the little brats might fall into a hole full of dead dudes, write it all down and sing it to them with love. Not just because it borders on psychological torture, but because anybody who knows anything about kids knows that it wouldn’t work anyway. Instead of some much needed quiet time, all you’d get is a fresh barrage of questions.

How deep is the pit? Why are there ghosts in the pit? How did they get there? How many are there? Where is the pit? What’s at the bottom? Does it have a bottom? How do you dig a bottomless pit? Do I get to come out of the pit? What time? Do the ghosts get to come out of the pit? Are they nice ghosts? What do we do in the pit? Do you and dad go to the pit too? Will I see you there? Do you like ghosts?…

And before you know it, you’re hoping that one of the ghosts is named SID so you won’t have to have this conversation again.

So I guess what I’m getting at here is stop singing lullabies, everyone. It’s not good for anybody. And if anybody knows anything more about the Icelandic chestnut that started us down this path, I want to know…maybe…I think.

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  1. Wow. Makes that lullaby of Tom Lehrer’s and “Go to Sleep Little Leach” not far off the mark. I can’t remember what Tom’s is called. But you know what I mean.

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