Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Now I lay me down to sleep...

This morning, in preparation for my class tomorrow, I was struck by just how many popular children's verses are rooted in humanity's morbid preoccupation with death. And how many of them are just plain violent or grotesque. And how many of them are bedtime prayers/lullabies. Because the last thing kids want to think about when they are laying their heads down on the pillows is their mortality. Consider the following examples:

Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the lord my soul to keep. 
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the lord my soul to take. 
Hush-a-bye don't you cry, go to sleep you little baby;
Way down yonder in the meadow lies a poor little lambie
The bees and butterflies peckin' out his eyes
The poor little thing cries 'Mammy.'
Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock; 
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all. 

I find it fitting that "Now I lay me down to sleep" has become something of a staple in the horror film. It's solemnity gives me the shivers. Dasvidaniya. ~Alice
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