Go tell Aunt Rhody, go tell Aunt Rhody, Go tell Aunt Rhody, the old grey goose is dead.
The gander is weeping, the gander is weeping, the gander is weeping because his wife is dead.
The goslings are crying, the goslings are crying, the goslings are crying because their mother’s dead.
She died in the millpond, she died in the millpond, she died in the millpond because she wasn’t fed.
It has a lovely, soft melody that lends itself to crooning. (Never mind that I croon hopelessly off-key – small children aren’t supposed to know the difference.) It was my go-to song when any one of them were sick. Not sure why, but there you are.
My mother sang that song to my sister and me, and we’re not scarred for life, or even for a day. Clearly, we’re lots tougher than our children.
Meg insists if I sang it today, I would be subject to a visit from Children’s Protective Services and possibly executed. Meg always did exaggerate.
Wade, who was here last week from Los Angeles for a lovely visit, says his friends offered to pay for therapy for him after he regaled them with the Aunt Rhody lyrics. Wade always did exaggerate.
Heather and Amy also have smart-aleck things to say about my choice of lullaby.
Erin never seemed to mind quite as much. However, her husband once heard me singing it to then-baby-twins Hannah and Madeline and the look of horror on his face told me I best switch to another tune pronto.
In my defense, children’s songs and stories, early on before people became so fussy, often were a bit grim. In the original Cinderella tale, the wicked stepsisters cut off their toes and heels in an attempt to fit their big feet into the glass slipper. Hansel and Gretel killed an old lady – threw her into a fiery oven, for heaven’s sake. An ancient nursery rhyme, recited while bouncing a child on one’s knee, goes, “Trot, trot to Boston to buy a loaf of bread. Trot, trot home again, the old trot’s dead.”
I think I’ve made my point. Whatever it was – I kinda forget where I was going with this.
I think the moral, if not the elusive point, is that Bing and I produced wretched children who have no appreciation for a mother who dedicates herself to singing soothing lullabies when asked. Even when not asked.
They are also hopelessly prone to exaggeration.
Got that from their father, no doubt.