Sjysje roe barnegull (Norwegian)
Fate la nanna (Italian)
Norwegian Mirror Page

Lullabies and cradle songs

Hans Thoma (1839 – 1924)
Did you know that the Romans in Antiquity sang "Lalla, lalla, aut dormi, aut lacte" for their little ones? That lullaby was found in a manuscript by Aulus Persius Flaccus, from around the year 60 A.D. It was sung almost 2000 years ago. It contains the words lalla, and encourages the baby to either drink milk (lacte - breastfeed) or go to sleep (dormi). This song may be one of the oldest lullabies ever noted, or found in written form. Maybe this also is the reason we still call cradle songs for "lullabies" in the English language?

In Norwegian the word lalle or bysselalle is often used as a synonym for going to sleep (for children). Similar are perhaps the words lully and lullay in English. The English term lullaby is thought to come from the "lu, lu" or "la la" sound made by mothers or nurses to calm children, and "by by" or "bye bye", either another lulling sound, or a term for good night.

In Norwegian we may say lalle, byssan lull, or lullan, by, by (pronounced like bee with lips puckered) or bua (boo-ah). Here's how you pronounce it:

Older Norwegian lullabies often use the words bissam, sullam or so, ro (sleep, calmly/peacefully) and sori rori, nonsense words derived from sov i ro, i.e. "sleep peacefully". Here's an example:

Bissam sullam låver i lull

Bånsuller (lullabies) are cradle songs, sung for children when they lie in their parents' arms being rocked to sleep or are put to bed. The name is derived from barn (bån - child) og sulle which means hum-singing, sometimes without words, while rocking the baby. There is a belief built on practice, that says that children fall asleep much faster when listening to lullabies than otherwise. Some people feel that these songs mimic the rhythm of their mother's heart beat while in the womb. Kids feel safe and loved when we sing to them, anyhow.

Several of the Norwegian lullabies are old folk melodies. The melodic span is often small in these melodies, and they are often repetitive, with an almost hypnotic effect. They often run with 3/4 or 6/8-beats.The words and lyrics are close to home; connected to everyday life, the animals on the farm, the people in the household, mom, dad, sister brother, milk, the cooking of the porrigde and the enclosing night with stars shining bright.

Some of the songs on this page are evening songs, others are hymns or art songs. The latter often have larger melodic leaps, and may not be as easy to sing plainly and effortlessly as the presumably much older ond "simpler" lullabies from the folk tradition (see for instance Margrethes vuggesang by Edward Grieg ).

Several of these songs are translated to Norwegian from other languages. Behind the links you'll find lyrics, sheet music (mostly single melodies) and sound clips of varying quality. They are mainly made for learning purposes. The recordings often appear as they are in the moment of singing, quite often without any accompaniment, other than my own breathing noises, breaks in the wrong places, clicks and white noise. Sometimes I sing the wrong word and present the listener with doubtful intonation and a sloppy pronunciation. Sometimes I lack pulse and mess up the rhythm. In spite of these apparent lacks in quality compared to professional recordings by professional singers, I hope you can use them as they are; a means of accessing old or new songs in a fairly easy way.

On my web site musikkrom you may find some of these songs, as well as a large collection of canons and rounds.

A la nanita nana


Alvenes vuggevise/Fairy lullaby/Skotsk vuggevise

All night all day (gospel)

All the pretty little horses/Alt det som du drømmer om

All through the night/Sov godt i natt

Allunde alluya

Armensk vuggesang/Armenian lullaby

Baka kaka søte /Pat a cake

Barges/Hver dag fra mitt vindu jeg kan se

Barnet sover nå /Gaelic lullaby

Baskisk vuggesang (Basque lullaby)

Bissam sullam låver i lull

Brahms vuggesang/Gute Abend, gut' Nacht

Baad'n laat/Bissam bissam ba'net/Lullaby little child

Bånsull from Norway

Christ Child Lullaby/Jesusbarnets vuggesang

Coventry Carol

Cradle song av Carl Maria von Weber/ Sov, hjertevennen min

Cradle hymn av Jean Jaques Rousseau/Hysj, mitt barn sov søtt og stille

Do do l'enfant do/Sov, sov barn sov./Sleep, infant, sleep

Dormi dormi bel bambin

Duerme mi tesoro - Sov, min lille søte

Duva settø se/The dove sat down on a lily twig

En mors bønn

Fate la nanna/Hør vugge sangen som nynnes så stille

Gaelisk vuggevise/Barnet sover nå/Gaelic lullaby

Go to sleepy, baby/Lukk ditt øye, du

Golden slumbers/Gyldne drømmer

Gjendines bånsull/Gjendine's lullaby (Grieg)

Hjuringjenta gjalar

Ho, ho watanay/Sleep little one

Hush little baby

Hver dag fra mitt vindu jeg kan se /Barges

Hvite seil

Inuit vuggesang

Jeg synger for min lille venn

Kall på lammene /Ca' the yowes (Robert Burns)

Kjære lille gutten min

Kom skal vi seile over hav

Lalla, lalla, aut dormi, aut lacte (Roman lullabye in latin)

Limu limu lima Swedish shepherd's song

Livets melodi / Life's melody

Lugn vilar sjön

Marias voggevise

Mit elskte barn (Weyse)

Murucututu - Barnet sover trygt (Brazilian lullaby)


No lyt Boa sove

Noen sover inne

Nå lukker seg mitt øye

Nå lukker solen sitt øye

Nå ska en liten få sova så søtt/ Now the little one shall sleep so sweetly

Når månen seiler over (Hvem har de vakreste lam?)

Når solen ganger til hvile

Ro ro til Relteland

Roe roe barnet

Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top

Round and round the earth is turning/Rundt og rundt

Scotch lullaby/Scottish lullaby/Highland lullaby/Lullaby of an infant chief/Så tyss da, min lille

Sjysje roe barnegull Shush, be quiet golden child

Skumring (Glück)

Sleep baby sleep/Schlaf Kindlein schlaf/ Sov baby sov

Sleep sleep my darling/Sov, sov min lille

Slumber boat (Baby's boat)/Babys månebåt

So ro godt barn

Sol går ned

Sola synker

Sorgene skal fly bort - vuggevise

Sov, min lille engel/Sleep, my lttle angel

Sov min lille søte

Sov mitt lilla hjärta

Sov nu godt

Sov nå søtt

Sov sødt barnlille

Sov vesle prinsen/B. Fliess/W.A. Mozart

Sove sove sov mitt lille hjerte

Stille hjerte sol går ned /Heart be still

Stille natt o senk deg blid/Quiet night oh smilingly descend

Sul lul leia


Sull fra Elverum

Sulla meg litt du mamma mi/ Rock me a little, you mummy of mine

Sulli lulli, Gjertrue mi

Suo gan/Hør min vuggesang så stille

Suze naanje (søte barnet)

Såri såri liten tull

Till till tara

To smaa Spikke (Two little Sparrows)

Trollmors vuggesang

Ute blåser sommervind


Veslegut skal sova no/Vesletull' skal sova no

Voggevise/Byssan lulla lite barn

Vuggesang fra Thailand

Vuggevise fra Acadia

Vyssa lulla litet barn (Swedish lullaby)

Walisisk vuggesang (Welsh lullaby)

About lullabies