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Making It Up and Packing it with Cheese
May 2, 2012 11:03 am | by

I didn’t spend much time around babies and kids in my younger years. I never babysat (well, I did once and it ended with me on the couch sobbing because I had NO idea what I was doing) and most of my friends were only children or the youngest of their brothers and sisters. So when I finally had my own babies I didn’t have a taste for children’s music and I most certainly didn’t know the words.

So I made them up.

Part of me has always lived in fear that my oldest would sing our family version of ‘Patty Cake’ in a crowd only to realize we’ve been lying to her for YEARS on what the proper words are. In fact we even have a book with ‘Patty Cake’ in it and she looked at me and said “Why did the book write the song wrong?” Subtle brainwashing, one children’s song at a time.

Patty cake patty cake baker’s man!
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it and smash it and PACK IT WITH CHEESE! (This part is always shouted)
Put it in the oven for Vivi and meeeee!

Another family classic is ‘Hush Little Baby’, I can remember my mom singing this one to me when I was little and I kind of wonder if she didn’t make up the words as well.

Hush little baby don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy you an angry bird.
If that angry bird won’t fly, mama’s gonna buy you a cherry pie.
If that cherry pie gets eaten, mama’s gonna buy you an egg that’s beaten.
If that beaten egg falls down, mama’s gonna buy you goat that frowns.
If that goat that frowns gets gruff, mama’s gonna be done buying you stuff.

Obviously I don’t have much of a career in children’s songwriting.

Do you have any made up lyrics to classic songs? (If so, please tell me it’s because you couldn’t remember the real ones.)

About the Author

Casey Mullins is a writer, photographer and chocolate cake lover living in Indianapolis, IN. She’s an attorney’s wife, mom to a very opinionated seven year old (Addie) as well as a very happy cloth diaper wearing baby girl born in May 2011 (Vivi.) She taps out tales at her own blog, moosh in indy, and more on her baby and big kid over at Babble.



  • Kelly said...
    May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This isn’t mine, but a friend’s (to the tune of three blind mice):

    Farts, farts, farts.
    Farts, farts, farts.
    Smell how they stink.
    Smell how they stink.
    They all come out of the baby’s butt.
    And sometimes out of the spotted mutt.
    I’m pretty sure that they start in your gut.
    They’re farts, farts, farts.

  • Jill said...
    May 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I guess my big fail is that in the wee hours with a newborn, the only song I can reliably remember is ‘7 spanish angels’ by Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. Beautiful, sad, song, not really in the realm of lullaby.

    We actually bought some kids cd’s and play them as background noise for nap and nighttime, good way to learn the songs, as you hear them over and over again all night long! ‘ Alice the camel has 5 humps…’

  • anastasiadenton said...
    May 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    When they got bored of their songs, yes I made up new ones. Also works for teaching preschoolers and toddlers manners. Just sing songing “Holding hands while crossing the street” to a familiar tune gets them in action better then shrieking…

  • lizabell said...
    May 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    My husband and his siblings had no clue they were taught the “Italian” version of “This Little Piggy” until his oldest sister got married and had her first child, and her husband introduced them to the actual words!

    This little piggy went to the market
    This little piggy stayed home
    This little piggy had spaghetti
    This little piggy had none
    And this little piggy yelled “wee! wee! wee! I want some spaghetti!”

    Hahahaha we have scared our poor little son several times, because when we get to the third little piggy, hubby YELLS spaghetti and I YELL roast beef — we’ve learned to tone down the competition. 🙂

  • Laura Lou said...
    May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Nothing beats the classic Brahms lullabye tune(sung in the wee hours, of course)
    Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep little a**hole.
    Mama’s tired and wants to sleep,
    But you will not close your eyes.
    If we don’t get some sleep
    I am going to scream.
    If we don’t get some sleep
    I am going to scream.

    • Anonymous said...
      May 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Too funny…my babe is only 3 weeks old a little soon to sing that song

  • Amanda said...
    May 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    My daughter has a stuffed lamb that plays “Jesus Loves Me”. One night in my sleep deprived state, I couldn’t remember the lyrics, so I made up my own. Now everytime I sing it to her, she beams from ear to ear. It goes:
    Won’t you go to sleep for me?
    Won’t you please, little Avonlea?
    It’s not hard, just close your eyes.
    Won’t you please give it a try?

  • Karin said...
    May 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    My dad used to sing “Mary had a little lamb, slice of cheese, piece of ham” to us. Didn’t get it until I was older.

    I stole old songs and made them about my kids. My oldest’s goes to the tune of the GummiBears theme (oddly enough I never liked the show, just it’s theme song) and my youngest is the Flinstones theme.

  • Anonymous said...
    May 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I’ve been singing “Oh, I wash I was an Oscar Mayer Ethan….” (yes, the hot dog song with his name in place of the word wiener) to my now 5 year old for years. He LOVES it and often comes back with his own chorus of “I wish I was an Oscar Mayer mommy…” Oh the shame when he finds out I have been comparing him to processed meat all these years!!!