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The song is about putting your baby in a tree and letting the wind crash the cradle on the ground
laurie37 laurie37 18-21, F 10 Answers Jun 4, 2012

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If you look into the background of many nursery rhymes you will be amazed ; often they are political. In the case of "Rock-a-bye-baby", one possibility given on Wikipedia is :<br />
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"... The baby is supposed to be the son of James VII and II, who was widely believed to be someone else's child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Roman Catholic heir for James. The "wind" may be that Protestant "wind" or force "blowing" or coming from the Netherlands bringing James' nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution (the same "Protestant Wind" that had saved England from the Spanish Armada a century earlier). The "cradle" is the royal House of Stuart. The earliest recorded version of the words in print appeared with a footnote, "This may serve as a warning to the Proud and Ambitious, who climb so high that they generally fall at last", which may be read as supporting a satirical meaning. It would help to substantiate the suggestion of a specific political application for the words however if they and the 'Lilliburlero' tune could be shown to have been always associated"<br />
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There are, of course, other theories. But sung gently, it's a pleasant enough lullaby to lull a little one to sleep !

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Right! Something like "can't sleep, clowns will eat me" by Alice Cooper would be better.

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I never sang that to my babes....I always sang "you are my sunshine" and "Jesus Loves Me" (my youngest is 11, and I can still calm her with those songs)

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I never got that. Good point

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It is a bit scary, isn't it?

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Long ago native americans tied cradles atop tree branches so the wind will rock the babies to sleep, and if they didn't tie it strong enough the wind would blow the cradle out of the tree, and onto the ground. I suppose this song comforts the baby somehow, just knowing their in the comfort, and warmth of another human bein, and Not being hurt by a gust of wind crashing them to the ground. Also most young children don't really know what the song means, and the melody of the song is very relaxing although the story itself is not.

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