Lullabies to Sing

Bach to Babies - Lullabies to Sing

If you're having trouble getting baby to bed you need our selection of easy lullabies, chosen especially to ease both babies and kids off to sleep in no time.

Baby bedtime songs don't have to be lullabies, but we love the tradition of passing your favourites down to your children, and them down to theirs. While some of the older tunes can be harder to sing, we've chosen a wide range with options for even the most hesitant of singers.

So give it a go - these famous bedtime lullabies will be the magical memories you look back on with your little one.

Our favourite lullabies to sing to your baby:

1. Rock-a-bye Baby

Perhaps one of the most famous English lullabies, Rock-a-bye Baby is a classic tune that many people overlook. We love the memorable simplicity of this song, and there's no quicker way to send your baby to sleep than by singing this lullaby to them and rocking them along to the lyrics.

You're sure to already to know the words, but we've popped them below in case you need a reminder of that often forgotten second verse!

Rock-a-bye, baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

Baby is drowsing, cozy and fair
Mother sits near in her rocking chair
Forward and back, the cradle, she swings
And though baby sleeps, he hears what she sings

2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Anyone who has been to one of our concerts will know that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a favourite of our nursery rhyme sing along. While at our concerts we like to get everyone up and dancing around, this lullaby can just as easily be used to calm even the most excitable of children.

We've found that very small babies are able to open and close their hands to the tune of the lullaby, while older ones can make star shapes and develop their own more involved actions.

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!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

3. Frere Jacques

Many people will have memories of parents or grandparents singing the classic French lullaby Frere Jacques to them as they were put to sleep as a child. We've also provided an English translation, which has the added benefit that as your little one grows up they can appreciate the message as well as the beautiful tune.

If you go with the original, don't be afraid of needing correct pronunciation – the lilting rhythm of this lullaby and a bit of confidence will see you through any shaky vocals.

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

4. You Are My Sunshine

The chorus to this song is much cheerier than the verses, so we suggest you stick to this well-trodden path. What baby doesn't want to be put to sleep to the sound of their parents telling them how much they love them, and who's little one doesn't make then happy 'when skies are grey'?

Full of love and conjuring pictures of blue summer skies, this lullaby is the perfect choice if you want to spend those last few moments before bed sharing a quiet, sentimental moment with your tot.

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

5. Danny Boy

This traditional Irish melody is easier than you might think, so there's no reason you can't sing your baby to sleep every night to this wonderful tune.

Despite this lullaby's complicated history, its popularity is no question and we're sure your little one will love it too. Older ones might be interested in the Irish history behind the song, while babies and toddlers alike will be soothed off to sleep in no time!

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling,
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow,
It's I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh, Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so!

6. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Less of a traditional lullaby and more of a modern classic, Somewhere Over The Rainbow is still a brilliant bedtime song for children of all ages. Sing your little one off to sleep with visions of stars, bluebirds and lemon drops; the perfect concoction for sweet dreams and certain to soothe any night-time worries.

Although it was made famous by the ever-popular film The Wizard Of Oz, you don't have to be Judy Garland to give this beautiful lullaby a go!

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

7. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

This traditional Scottish song has mysterious origins, but its lasting popularity is much less of a surprise. There are several verses but we've popped the most popular below, and there's more than enough there to sing a baby or two fast asleep!

This is one of the easier lullabies for nervous singers so it's a good place to start if you're high on enthusiasm but lower on experience – your little one will love this special time together just as much in either case!

My Bonnie lies over the ocean,
My Bonnie lies over the sea,
My Bonnie lies over the ocean,
O bring back my Bonnie to me.

Bring back, bring back, O bring back my Bonnie to me, to me:
Bring back, bring back, O bring back my Bonnie to me.

O blow ye winds over the ocean,
O blow ye winds over the sea.
O blow ye winds over the ocean,
And bring back my Bonnie to me.

8. Hush Little Baby

There's no right way to sing this song, making it ideal to customise to your little one and their favourite things! As long as it rhymes, you can keep on adding verses of rhyming couplets onto the end of the lullaby until your tot is fast asleep.

We've given you a few verses of the lullaby below to start you off, but be adventurous and you'll end up with a special version just for you and your family. If you don't feel comfortable bribing your child to sleep, perhaps save this for when they're too little to understand the full meaning!

Hush, little Baby, don't say a word,
Mama's gonna buy you a Mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town

9. Sleep Baby Sleep

This German lullaby was original called 'Schlaf Kindlein, Schlaf' and remains just as popular in Germany as it is in the UK. You might not be able to 'shake the dreamland tree' for your tot, but you can soothe them off to peaceful and happy dreams with this comforting lullaby.

Wrap them in a warm blanket as you sing so they can imagine cuddling up to the 'little lamb' with their 'snowy fleece so soft and clean' and you're sure to have them off to sleep in no time!

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

10. Brahms' Lullaby

You might not remember Brahms' Lullaby from your own childhood, but as soon as you hear this beautiful tune you'll be singing it to your little one in no time. What better way for your tot to drift off to sleep than listing to you wish them a blissful time on the 'paradise' of their dreams?

Brahms dedicated the lullaby to a great friend and you can feel the love in the song – show your baby how much you love them by passing this traditional lullaby onto them.

Good evening, good night,
With roses covered,
With cloves adorned,
Slip under the covers.
Tomorrow morning, if God wills, you will wake once again.

Good evening, good night.
By angels watched,
Who show you in your dream the Christ-child's tree.
Sleep now blissfully and sweetly, see the paradise in your dream.

11. Little Boy Blue

This cute lullaby for babies dates all the way back to the early eighteenth century, so there's a good chance you've definitely heard it before! With only one verse It's one of the easiest to learn, and we think you little one with love the old-fashioned tune – perfect if you want to take a more traditional approach.

Slightly older children will love imagining the pastoral scene, and there's even sheep to count if they can't sleep!

Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn.
Where is that boy who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack, fast asleep.
Will you wake him? Oh no, not I,
For if I do, he'll surely cry.

12. Star Light, Star Bright

Who doesn't look up at the sky and hope for a shooting star to wish upon? Babies and toddlers will love gazing up at the stars with you as you sing this popular lullaby together.

If you can't get the little one off to sleep, try counting the first stars instead of sheep as the song suggests – this moment of calm watching the sky darken and the stars come out is a wonderful memory together you'll cherish in years to come.

Star light, star bright
The first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

13. All Through The Night (Welsh Translation)

This old Welsh lullaby is as beautiful in English as it is in the original Welsh so there's no reason not to give it a go. Appearing in everything from film to video games, it's likely a tune you know already even if you don't recognise the name, and it's easy to pick up in any case.

Your child will be reassured by the 'loving vigil' you keep over them during their 'drowsy hours' – the perfect message to rock them to sleep with. If your little one doesn't sleep soundly 'all through the night' once you've sung this lullaby together we'll be very surprised!

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and vale in slumber steeping,
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night.

While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
O'er thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling
All through the night.

14. Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is one of the most popular songs in the English language, and it's perfectly suited to use as a lullaby! While some people will think of this song as a hymn, what better message to send a baby off to sleep than joy, peace and forgiveness?

We all want to keep our little ones safe from 'dangers, toils and snares', so cuddle them close and remind them how special they are with this beautiful lullaby.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

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