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

Lullabies and cradle songs


unter-dem-holunderbusch.jpg
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


Abendlied/Kveldssang


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)


Natt


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


Suliram


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


Vassråfela


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)





Resources



http://stthomas.ac.in/mrpanto.pdf
About lullabies


http://lullabies-of-europe.org/UK/DKLullabies/UKDKAboutLull.htm
http://lullabiesofeurope.wikifoundry.com/page/About+Danish+Lullabies