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Lady Lullaby Blog

Lullabies for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Friday, April 15, 2011

How's By You?

While most of my blogs will be fact-based stories and advice about lullabies and music for babies, once in a while---like today---I’m going to share life stories with you, and will try to make a connection to the lullaby theme. This one is easy.

This week I would have celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary with my husband Barry. We were married on April 18, 1971, in a full-blown hippie wedding, with hand-made dress and matching embroidered shirt, cowboy boots and hundreds of daisies. We worked and traveled the world for five years, and then settled down to raise a family.

He knew only one lullaby to sing to our children, but did it with great patience and enthusiasm, and I highly recommend this one to all of you—an original and extremely free-form version of “Frere Jacque” that listed all the names of everyone the child knew:

“Jesse Pitt, Jesse Pitt, how’s by you? How’s by you?
How’s your mother Janie? How’s your father Barry? How’s by you? How’s by you?
Joanna Pitt, Joanna Pitt, how’s by you? How’s by you?
How’s your cousin Jeffrey? How’s your Auntie Ruthie? How’s by you? How’s by you?”

And on and on and on, sometimes for ten minutes, depending on how many people they could collectively think of, or how long it took any one of them to fall asleep.

Barry lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last May, and while I miss pretty much everything about our life together, probably the toughest part is realizing how much the grandchildren will miss out. And that silly song is part of it. I may try to make it through it sometime soon, because it’s such a perfect lullaby.

So on this particular day, if you have a person that you share your parenting or grand-parenting responsibilities and joys with, please give him/her a hug and say thanks. Teach him/her the “How’s By You?” song and cuddle up together with your baby and take your family history into the future.

Because I don’t have a recording of “How’s By You?” (I don’t know that the true spirit of it could be captured in a recording) I’ll share a beautiful song-made-into-lullaby by Linda Ronstadt—from her lullaby CD called “Dedicated To The One I Love” that is also appropriate right now.

Thank you for sharing this special day with me.

Listen to "Dedicated To The One I Love":

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