The Mix Tape: Lullabies

Sweet dreams, songs for slumber

For centuries, mothers, fathers, nurses, aunts, and older siblings have all sung children to sleep. What makes a song fit for the task? Lullabies soothe and reassure, yes, but they also send children into the land of dreams—where anything can happen. Sometimes they can be scary (and perhaps more truthful than what we would say if we were not singing) but they are also full of love and mystery. However, the best kinds contain a wish or a promise. Here are a few of our favorites. Keep in mind that lullabies are meant to be sung and your voice is what matters most. So listen closely, strip the instruments, and choose one for tonight. Sing to your little one. By the end, you will both be dreaming. —Anna Pellicioli

The Beatles “Blackbird”
Tom Petty “Wildflowers”
The Frames “Star Star”
 “The Beginner”
Iron and Wine “Biting Your Tail”
For Stars “If I Could”
Joni Mitchell “Both Sides Now”

About The Mix Tape

Think you have to wait until your kids are 12 to share your favorite tunes with them? Think again. Kids’ music, as you may have noticed, can become a bit of a recurring nightmare. Sooner or later, you will find yourself humming songs about brushing your teeth or the nutritional values of broccoli—in the elevator. But there is no reason to succumb to this. Leave that to pre-school. Our music often has enough sing-along choruses, alliterative catchiness, and even teachable moments to hold your little ones’ attention during grocery runs, traffic jams or unruly birthday parties. I give you a song a week guaranteed to keep you sane—even after 5,000 listens. Parental Discretion Encouraged.