Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Origins of a Lullaby

Effie Crockett was born in Rockland Massachusetts in 1856 and was a descendant of frontiersman and Tennessean David Crockett. While babysitting at the age of 15 in 1872 she wrote and composed the following song. Rock-a-bye baby, on 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. She received a banjo for Christmas that year and learned to play her song on it. Her music teacher was so pleased with her that he recommended her to to a Boston music publisher. Crockett composed three additional verses for her song and it became a smash hit. Fearful of how her family would react she didn't tell them until the song was sweeping the nation. She later became a stage actress and besides the millions of children who have been lulled to sleep by this song it has been featured in 100 films. She died in Boston on January 7, 1940.

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