A lullaby is a song that is sung to put a child to sleep .It is also known as the Cradle song , when along with singing , the cradle in which the child is lying is moved gently forward and backward . The English poem “ The Lullaby ” by W.H. Auden is however cast in a different mould as the poet on looking at his lover, who is already asleep , indulges in some philosophical thinking and the poem, simply is an expression of his philosophical thoughts, which in my humble opinion hardly justifies the title .
There are lullabies in every known language or dialect of the world as the need to sing these in order to put young ones to sleep is a universal one. Hindi films have a lot of lullabies or lori songs, out of which two instantly come to mind. One is – Dheere se aa ja ri akhiyan mein , nindiya aa ja ri aa ja from the film Albela and the other – Chandan ka Palna , resham ki dori ; jhoola jhulaoon nindiya ko tori from the film Shabaab .In my view both have the potential to serve the purpose. I can safely vouch for the first one , which I have sung nth number of times to put my kids to sleep when they were growing up. Another song- Ek tha Gul aur ek thi bulbul , dono chaman mein rehte they – from the movie Jab Jab Phool Khiley- that I used to sing was not a lullaby but a composition of long duration - some 6-7 minutes - which was enough to put them to sleep, more so since I cannot lay any claim to being a singer of any merit. . Surprisingly, my kids asked me to sing this one more often. I often wonder, what is there in a lullaby, that makes one fall asleep , whether it is the lyrics, which invariably contain the words neend or nindiya , sapna (dream) or their equivalents in other languages or the lilting tune the lyrics are set to , the gentle forward & backward movement of the cradle or the gentle thumping of the chest called thapki .