I was thumbing through a very old song book I picked up at the thrift store for a quarter called "The New Blue Book of Favorite Songs" published in 1941. It's not very PC. Some of those Steven Foster songs have different words than I remember. You certainly wouldn't want to try to perform many of them now.
Eventually I came across a song that I had always sung like this: da da da da da da da da all through the night. Da da da da da da da da all through the night. etc
Not very interesting lyrics really, but it was all I knew. So I was glad to read the whole song and now I will share it with you. The title of the song is (surprise, surprise) All Through the Night by Harold Boulton and the melody is an Old Welsh Air
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.
For anyone who still happens to be reading here are some ideas for using this song with your family.
- Ask children to hold, or pretend to hold, a baby doll and rock it gently to sleep as you sing.
- Discuss whether the song should be sung loud or soft, fast or slow. (It is my experience that some smartalec will want to sing it loud and fast. Go ahead, it's kind of funny and illustrates the difference really well. After that you will have to sing the baby back to sleep again.)
- The ending phrase "All through the night," is repeated three times in each stanza with the same melodic line. Children will catch onto that section very quickly. Invite them to sing it with you each time it comes around. (Then they can sing the song just like I did for the last 30 years.)
- The first, second and last lines of each stanza have the exact same melody, but the third is different. To help children recognize which phrase is different create a long flowing movement for each phrase. Use the same movement for phrases that are the same and a contrasting movement for the one that is different.
So sing your baby a lullaby tonight and stay tuned for more fun songs to share with your family.