My little sister was born when I was a teenager. I was so excited to sing lullabies to her. However, once I began to sing the classic "Rockabye Baby," I was horrified at the words, which I'd never really noticed as a child. Since then, I've heard a lot of other people express amused horror that our favorite lullaby depicts a baby falling out of a tree. So I thought I'd share the alternate words I made up as a 15-year-old. The tune is the same, of course, although I did add a few more syllables. Sing it aloud a couple times, and I bet you'll get the gist.
Rockabye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
Hear the tree whisper in the soft breeze
Sunlight is falling through all the leaves
A brown birdy sings you a lullaby
Now fall asleep, out under the sky
The river, she dreams of oceans,
of shallow ancient seas,
Paleozoic, of losing herself
before she carved these cliffs
from yearning. Her river-dreams
rise up from the canyons
and hang here in the branches,
pearling the early world
with water, oceans in air.
Muttering in sleep,
she runs the red of an old wound,
returning to the sea.