Brahm’s Lullaby (Cradle Song) is perhaps the most recognizable children’s song in the world today.
Brahms Lullaby was originally written, so it seems, for Brahms’ good friend, Bertha Faber, after her second child was born. A variety of musical settings and lyrics exist for this lullaby which derives it’s name from Johannes Brahms’ own 1868 publication Wiegenlied – Guten Abend, gute Nacht, Opus 49 (tranlated “Good evening, good night). A German folk poem is the source for the opening lyric.
Mr. Brahm’s truculent personality might be best personified by his oft-quoted statement “If there is anyone here I have NOT offended, I apologize!” An ironic statement from the man who composed the most famous and soothing of lullabies! Though a lover of fine wines, he was not a drunkard, and worked exceptionally hard at his craft. “Brahms’ Lullaby” as it is fondly known, was his primary legacy worldwide.
The beloved Kermit the Frog warbled Brahm’s Lullaby in his own imitable style for a Target commericial in 2005.
No matter where on God’s green earth you were born, the chances are quite good that your mother sang a lullaby when you needed a nap or it was time for night-night, and for millions of us, Brahm’s Lullaby is the most memorable of those tunes. As it turns out, we were all rather young at the time, so few of us actually ‘remember’ the actual event. (My mom used to sing “My Boat Is So Little” but I only know that from later conversations with her).
*Point of interest to musicians – in almost every baby mobile or stuffed animal/toy that I have heard playing Brahm’s Lullaby over the last 30 years, there is an unnatural “pause” between the 5th and 6th notes of the melody – between “good” and “night”; that is to say, some manufacturer somewhere completely messed up in the production of thousands if not millions of the sound sources for this lovely “Cradle Song.”
To hear our soothing, sleep-inducing version of this most famous of lullabies, along with 10 other gentle songs for babies, toddlers, children, adults, and animals, click here.