The nursery rhyme “Rock-A-Bye Baby” has a history that purportedly dates back to the 1600s. There are several different theories as to when the rhyme was written. However, it has been a very popular lullaby for hundreds of years, passed down from generation to generation. There is also a second stanza that was supposedly added at some point that was undoubtedly written by someone other than the original author because the energy imprints from the first and second are as different as night and day. I have not included it here, as it is not relative, in my opinion. The focus of this post is not about when Rock-A-Bye Baby was written or by whom. It is about the intention of the author.
What does this nursery rhyme mean?
In recent history it’s popularity has declined significantly. Why? Well, we have entered an age where tradition isn’t taken, simply at face value, and passed on as good anymore. People have started to question whether certain traditions are still valuable in the current day, including old time nursery rhymes, and whether or not they want to pass them on to their children. Some who have considered the rhyme and its wording have even said that its words are brutal and unloving, and questions why anyone would sing such a thing to their little ones.
What are your thoughts on this?
Again, there are several variations of this, but this is the one that I grew up with.
Rock a bye baby on the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, bough, cradle and all
When I connected with this nursery rhyme, I was drawn into an era in time where people attempted to put life’s complex lessons in short story forms, often times with a tune, like a nursery rhyme, to share its wisdom.
The tune itself was purposeful in a way that was akin to putting medicine in food. It helped to soften the blow of the bitter taste (Truth). Hence, most people were oblivious to the words and found themselves more resonant with the melody.
It feels like a warning lullaby; one that mother’s sang sweetly to their children to impress a deeper sense of knowing upon the subconscious of the child to prepare them for the world they would soon face.
The original words were said to be, ” Hush-A-Bye Baby”
Hush-A-Bye Baby: Quiet yourself now and listen (pay close attention)
On the Treetop: To be in or on the tree top is symbolic to being in high places far above the common world; to be in a state of grace
When the wind blows: When life happens; when the elements of life’s possibilities present, you will be challenged. ( The natural elements of life petitions us to change and threatens our false sense of security. This is a bittersweet reality. It is generally uncomfortable, but also necessary to grow and learn).
The cradle will rock: When we are cradled and in a state of grace we are presumed protected. Whilst this is true, it doesn’t mean that you will not be challenged. Therefore, never become so comfortable that you forget to examine what is before you and around you. Stay true to yourself and the path. Be mindful that even in high places we can become vulnerable to the nature of energies around us and our sense of security threatened. In the rocking (the ebbs & flows of life) we can become distracted by the hustle and bustle of the world and find ourselves mind numbingly comforted or complacent. We can fall asleep (mentally). What feels good and soothing is not always what is best for us. Remember, the rocking of the cradle is purposeful, but anything in excess brings danger.
When the bough breaks: The bough of the tree (branch) is symbolic to the tree of life and represents the physical (the natural world) and spiritual (the phenomenal world) and all its associative laws and elements. The breaking of the bough or the breaking of its relative laws is evidence that there is an imbalance. Our actions or lack thereof can weigh heavily on the boughs our life and weaken the grace (support of the bough) we once experienced.
The cradle will fall: When the bough (law or energy) that was supporting your experience is no longer available (has broken) and the grace (cradle) that was protecting you is now reduced, you will have entered a lesser realm of expression.
And down will come baby, bough, cradle and All: This line reemphasizes its overall warning to the little soul and the impact of the boomerang effect. How we respond to what is perceived as normal (natural world) life happenings impacts the way that the unseen (phenomenal world) responds to our choices. We must always be aware of our state of mind and being and considerate of what we have accepted as truth because every choice comes with burden or reward.
In Summary: Pay close attention little one and always take heart in rest, but never sleep (mentally). Whatever rocks the cradle induces sleep and whomever sleeps chooses behaviors that threatened the integrity of the bough. Remain true to yourself and the path of righteousness. The nature of life itself will challenge you, it is true. Be not weakened by what seems normal or threatening, to seduce you to make bad decisions. Too many mistakes can cause you to fall to low places and suffer much grief. The irony of this message is that it is a lullaby meant to put the child to sleep, but the main idea of the message is “Don’t Sleep! ”