This popular traditional French song may have appeared as early as 1604 with first French settlement in Quebec. The song features in the 2006 film ‘’The Painted Veil,” performed by a children’s choir. It speaks of lost love. It’s long since I loved you, I will never forget you, goes the chorus.
Lebanese lullaby - يالله تنام ريما
The lullaby is thought to be one of the most famous children's rhymes across the Levantine area of the Middle East -- namely in Syria, Palestine and Lebanon -- and was popularized by Fairouz, one of the region's most well-known singers. In the lullaby, the mother sings that she wishes to put her baby -- a little girl named Rima -- to sleep.
Ukrainian lullaby - Ой Ходить Сон Коло Вiкон
As Dream and Slumber walk past windows and fences, looking for a place to stay for the night, they come upon a warm house with a little baby. This song is said to have inspired George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’. A Ukrainian composer suggested that Gershwin was influenced by the performance of the Koshetz Ukrainian National Choir at Carnegie Hall in 1929.
The baby is crying, giving his mother no peace. Sleep, my beautiful baby, or I will give you to a wicked witch (La Befana) and she will keep you for a week. If a bogeyman (l'uomo nero) comes, he will steal the baby away for a year. Where is my patience?
There are a number of theories about the origin of this song. One suggests it was written in the 17th сentury by an English immigrant in the American colonies, who watched native American women rock their babies in cradles hanging from the trees. The wind helped rock them to sleep.
Polish lullaby - Wróżki
The lyrics for this lullaby were written by Dorota Gellner, a contemporary Polish writer of children books, songs and poems. It was recorded by Grzegorz Turnau on his bestselling album of lullabies Kołysanki – Utulanki.
Russian lullaby - Умка
A polar bear sings a lullaby to its cub, Umka, in a much-loved 1969 Soviet cartoon. Umka (a male polar bear in the language of the Chukchi, a people of Russia’s far north) meets a Chukcha boy, and they become friends. Umka goes on a journey to look for his new friend when people move on. Umka will be guided by his brothers in the sky.
Georgian lullaby - იავნანა
This is an old traditional Georgian lullaby, originally sung to sick children to help them recover. It appeals to the spirits afflicting the child with smallpox, measles or scarlet fever, asking for their release. The song also refers to roses, which feature prominently in the national folklore and literature and are a symbol of Georgia.
Turkish lullaby - Dandini Dastana
The mother sings about calves straying into the garden and asks God to protect her baby son from the evil eye, wishing for a good and happy future for her children.
Scottish lullaby - Ally Bally Bee
Also known as Coulter’s Candy, the song was written by a Galashiels weaver, Robert Coltard, in the 19th Century. He used the song as an advertising jingle for aniseed-flavoured sweets manufactured in Melrose in the Scottish borders. All you need is a wee bawbee (halfpenny) for Coulter’s candy!
Russian lullaby - Сверчок
The lullaby was written by the Latvian poet Aspazija and put to music by her compatriot, the composer Raimonds Pauls. A cricket sings behind the hearth, see the starlit frosty night outside the window, be calm and sleep, my little son. The song was performed by one of the main characters in the Soviet film ‘’Long road in the dunes’’ (Долгая дорога в дюнах), about a post-war romance.
Yiddish lullaby - מאַנדלען מיט ראזשינקעס
Rozhinkes mit Mandlen is a Jewish lullaby, which featured in Abraham Goldfaden’s Yiddish musical ‘’Shulamith.’’ Goldfaden, a Ukrainian-born Jewish poet, is considered one of the fathers of modern Jewish theater. In the song, a widowed mother rocks her baby son Yidele to sleep, telling him one day he will be trading in raisins and almonds and become a merchant who will earn a lot of money.
Lullabies of the World Unite!
Nigerian lullaby - Iya ni wura
This lullaby is an ode to motherhood. My mother is like a diamond that no money can buy. You carried me for nine months in your womb and nursed me for three years. Thank you! The track also features parts from poem ‘My Mother’, by 19th century English poet Ann Taylor.