11 All-Time Greatest Lullabies, With Lyrics

Moon, Moon, Moon

Moon moon moon, shining bright

Moon moon moon, my nightlight

Moon moon moon, I can see

Moon moon moon, you’re taking care of me

Look up, it’s the moon

Look up, it’s the moon

Look up, it’s the moon up in the sky

It’s big and round, and I have found

That it looks just like a pizza pie (repeat entire song but end with “lemon pie”)

Laurie Berkner, the beloved songstress whom People magazine called “The Queen of Children’s Music,” has written a contemporary lullaby that holds its own with the classics. “Moon, Moon, Moon” reassures minis that even in the darkest night, the moon shines brightly and watches over them.

Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far

Behind me

Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Away above the chimney tops

That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly

Birds fly over the rainbow.

Why then, oh, why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly

Beyond the rainbow.

Why, oh, why can’t I?

Right after Dorothy sings “Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz, she sleeps so deeply that she dreams in technicolor! The reassuring lyrics (“troubles melt like lemon drops”) make it a fantastic lullaby — just remember to start in a low key or you might have trouble hitting the high notes.

Great Big Stars

Great big stars, way up a yonder

Great big stars, way up a yonder

Great big stars, way up a yonder

All around the world, gonna shine, shine

All around the world, gonna shine, shine

Sometimes you’re just too tired to sing anything complicated. This lovely lullaby is simple and can repeat in a loop until baby finally falls asleep.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.

Then the traveler in the dark

Thanks you for your tiny spark;

He could not see where to go,

If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,

And often through my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye

Till the sun is in the sky.

Most of us only know the first verse of this baby favorite, but if you want to mix it up, these extra lyrics will keep you twinkling for many moons.

Rock-a-Bye Baby

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall

And down will come baby, cradle and all

There are many theories on the meaning behind this slightly terrifying (but very popular) baby lullaby, so here’s a take that should calm any fears: The “cradle” is mama’s arms, rocking the baby. The “fall” is just mama placing baby into the crib, ever so gently.

Hush Little Baby

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.

Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,

Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass,

Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke,

Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat won’t pull,

Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull turn over,

Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover

Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart

And if that horse and cart fall down,

You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

So hush little baby, don’t you cry

Daddy/(Mommy) loves you and so do I.

When I bribe my kids, it’s usually just with ice cream, but this well-loved lullaby takes it to a whole new level. Be quiet and you will get a diamond ring or a billy goat! Who could say no to that?

Goodnight Daniel

Goodnight, Daniel, goodnight

Goodnight goodnight to you

Goodnight, Daniel, goodnight

It’s Tigey’s bedtime too

It’s time to go to sleep

And when you awake

The sun will greet you with

Its bright and sunny face

Goodnight goodnight

Goodnight goodnight to you

Goodnight goodnight

It’s your bedtime too

Close your tired eyes

Tomorrow will be new

Dream a dream of all of us

And remember we love you

Goodnight, Daniel, goodnight

Goodnight goodnight to you

A great modern lullaby has come from an unlikely source: the PBS Kids show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Just swap out “Daniel” for your own kid’s name (and replace “Tigey” with your child’s stuffed animal of choice) and you’ll have a personalized night-night song to round out your lullaby repertoire.

Photo: Getty