Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 2014 Challenge: A Lullaby Poem

The one lullaby I remember begging my mother to sing is “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,” (also spelled “Tura Lura Lural”) a song in which the adult is longing to hear his mother sing it to him again. Here is one version of the first verse and chorus”


Over In Killarney,
Many years ago,
My Mother sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low;
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good old Irish way,
And I'd give the world to hear her sing
That song of hers today.

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lul-la-by

According to Wikipedia, this song was written in 1914 by composer James Royce Shannon (1881–1946) and popularised by Bing Crosby in 1944's movie, Going My Way.

Here is a lullaby poem by Eugene Field:

Japanese Lullaby

Sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings, —
Little blue pigeon with velvet eyes;
Sleep to the singing of mother-bird swinging—
Swinging the nest where her little one lies.

Away out yonder I see a star, —
Silvery star with a tinkling song;
To the soft dew falling I hear it calling—
Calling and tinkling the night along.

In through the window a moonbeam comes, —
Little gold moonbeam with misty wings;
All silently creeping, it asks, "Is he sleeping—
Sleeping and dreaming while mother sings?"

Up from the sea there floats the sob
Of the waves that are breaking upon the shore,
As though they were groaning in anguish, and moaning—
Bemoaning the ship that shall come no more.

But sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings, —
Little blue pigeon with mournful eyes;
Am I not singing? —see, I am swinging—
Swinging the nest where my darling lies.

~ Eugene Field

Thanks to Jayne Jaudon Ferrer at for bringing this poem to my attention. If you subscribe to, you will find a poem in your email box every day.

You can find the lyrics of a number of lullabies (and songs used as lullabies) at

If my memory is correct, I learned “Lullaby and Good Night,” “Sleep, Baby Sleep”
and “All Through the Night” in elementary school. Or maybe I heard my mother and/or grandmother sing them to younger siblings and cousins. At any rate, they are all favorites of mine.

To my grandchildren, I sang such lullabies and songs as “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “All Through the Night,” “Don’t Fence Me In” and “Kumbayah.”

The March 2014 Poetry Challenge:

The challenge for March is to write either the words for a lullaby. Songs such as “Kumbayah,”  “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,”  “You Are My Sunshine” and “Don’t Fence Me In,” though used as lullabies belong to other categories. For purposes of this challenge, the song must mention either the baby (preferably encouraging sleep) or the parent singing to the baby.

Submit only one poem. The deadline is March 15. Poems submitted after the March 15 deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards, however winners are published on this blog.

Copyright on each poem is retained by the poet.

Poems published in books or on the Internet (including Facebook and other on-line social networks) are not eligible. If you poem has been published in a periodical, you may submit it if you retain copyright, but please include publication data.

The judges for this month will be young parents.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”. Be sure to provide your e-mail address. Include a brief bio which can be printed with your poem, if you are a winner this month.

Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner, so be sure that you put your name, exactly as you would like it to appear if you do win, at the end of the poem. Poems may be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment. Please do not indent the poem or center it on the page. It helps if you submit the poem in the format used on the blog (Title and poem left-justified; title in bold, and not all in capital letters; your name at the bottom of the poem). Also, please do not use spaces instead of commas in the middle of lines. I have no problem with poets using that technique; I sometimes do it myself. However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain extra spaces. Please include a short bio with your submission.

And Remember: The January challenge is still open, and will be until there are a few more submissions.