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When “Twinkle, Twinkle” Just Doesn’t Cut It Anymore…

For all of you parents who are looking to flip the script when it comes to bedtime, I have two words for you: Rockabye Baby.

Rockabye Baby albums are lullaby renditions of classic rock songs, and they are phenomenal. Who knew that you could replace a Fender Stratocaster with a Glockenspiel and still find your favorite 80’s hair band worthy of some gentle pillow head-banging?

Now, there’s a decent chance that you’ve have seen these Rockabye Baby albums in stores… but that’s going to be hit-and-miss proposition. Because, as you can imagine, a full disc of AC-DC lullabies might just result in a call to child services. I don’t really need my daughter falling asleep to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap followed by Highway to Hell. At the same time, you better believe that You Shook Me All Night Long is in heavy lullaby rotation. So, get ready to invest in that custom playlist.

What makes some classic rock songs suitable lullabies and others not? Here are a few clues: a killer opening guitar riff, a strong chorus/melody/hook, and memorable lyrics, because Rockabye jams are instrumentals – and you’re going to want to sing.

Without further ado, here’s a top ten, in no particular order, from my personal Rockabye Baby playlist.

  1. When I Come Around, Green Day – Junior High flashbacks from when the Dookie album dropped.
  2. Ants Marching, DMB – Relive your earliest concert-going days with a little Dave.
  3. Sweet Child O’ Mine, G&R – My first tape, awesome opening riff, and killer lyrics to serenade your little girl.
  4. Alive, Pearl jam – Another instantly recognizable opening. I find myself singing like Eddie for the rest of the night.
  5. You Shook Me All Night Long, AC-DC – Mentioned above. She was a fast machine.
  6. Like A Prayer, Madonna – Bet I surprised you with that one. Just check it out.
  7. 1999, Prince – The only one that actually makes me laugh every time.
  8. Under the Bridge, Chili Peppers – Very, very singable.
  9. Cryin’, Aerosmith – Another wild card. But, I know you remember that video.
  10. With or Without You, U2 – I love U2 and this is the best of the bunch, but the Dublin Boys don't always translate.

Now, what songs have not been turned into lullabies, but need the Rockabye treatment? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few that I think needed yesterday:

  1. Down On the Corner, CCR – Like Jeff Lebowski, I’m a Creedence fan, and I know that opening riff would kill on the xylophone.
  2. Thunder Road, Boss – It’s criminal that there’s not a Rockabye Bruce Springsteen out already.
  3. All These Things That I’ve Done, The Killers – Especially the “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” part.
  4. Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve – One-Hit-Wonders don’t typically get the Rockabye treatment, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.
  5. This Must Be the Place, Talking Heads – This one is halfway there already and I think it would absolutely redefine the lullaby game.

A few parting thoughts… Don’t sleep on the album covers. As you can see, they are spoofs on some of the bands’ originals, and they’re hysterical.

And, finally, these Rockabye jams can also serve as a great party game for adults. Just knock out a few chords on the glock, and guess that lullaby. Thank me later.

UPDATE - 12/6

Our prayers have been answered.  There is now a Bruce Springsteen Rockabye Baby album.  Check it out over at www.rockabyebabymusic.com.  Our request for Thunder Road has been heard.  Is a Tenth Avenue Freezeout encore too much to ask?  BRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCEEEEEEE!

September 04, 2014 by Ted Flanagan
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