How odd are the sing-song lullabies we use to coax children to sleep? The "Itsy-bitsy Spider" is particularly scary in my mind as what ungodly arachnid can survive drowning!?!?
Growing up I can remember my Grandmother singing "Rock-a-bye Baby" to me ... but it also could have been an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, so don't quote me on it.
Being a former English major, I figured it was high time to deconstruct the go-to lullaby to each of its lines and analyze what is really going on there.
This whole scenario is far from relaxing. I don't care how soothing your voice is -- this is scary as all hell. Thus, I posit another explanation to the purpose of this so-called nursery rhyme: to instill crippling fear in the child to encourage obedience.
Hypothesis: babies cry for a variety of reasons, and by scaring them into submission, one may hope to curtail unnecessary crying by the implicit threat conveyed by the lullaby.
What could be worse than being put in a tree that inevitably will break and cause grievous bodily harm and emotional distress? I sure as hell would act right if my parents threatened to throw me out of a tree.