Lately, I hear the melody of a lullaby my mother sang to me when I was young a lot. I think, what I am hearing, is the beginning of a version of “Santa Clause is coming to town” but it reminds me of the German lullaby. The German words of the lullaby are
Oh, I just found out that it is a song composed by Brahms called “Wiegenlied“. Well, I never knew my mother brought me up that sophisticated ;-). It is a lovely song but when I sing the words today, I feel a bit awkward because the last two lines mean: Tomorrow if God pleases you will wake up again!
That I find a bit harsh and scary for a child to hear every night. No wonder children are afraid to sleep. I am, however, also aware that this “if God pleases” was rather a knowing in the olden days that you do not have everything in your power and that lots of things can happen. It was not meant to scare children. I cannot remember that I was scared at those words when I was young. I just always wondered why I should be picked by nails.
“Naeglein” is an old-fashioned word for “Cloves” which I did not know as a child. I thought it meant the diminutive of “Naegel” which means “nails”. Never mind.
To cut a long story short: When listening to the Christmas song that starts with Brahms’ melody I was inspired to write a poem to the song:
video source: Fledermaus1990 via YouTube