Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of The Ramones Review
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First-time moms to be might be surprised to find that, as soon as you announce your pregnancy, parents of older children (even total strangers) become remarkably generous. They’ll shower you with advice (for better or for worse), as well as all kinds of hand-me-down goodies, from toys and clothes to books on parenting. In one of my own hand-me-down goody bags, I was given a copy of Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of The Ramones, a collection of songs by The Ramones, performed in slower, instrumental, lullaby style. As a hip, music-loving mama-to-be, I couldn’t wait to give it a listen—and, once I approached my due date, I hauled out a CD player and placed it beside my bed, to help my particularly active little one learn about bedtime.

Rockabye Baby! is definitely a quirky little collection of tunes. Here, you’ll find everything from “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and the somewhat disturbing-sounding (at least in this context) “Beat on the Brat” to the rather appropriate “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Instead of the Ramones’ signature rapid beats and heavy drums, though, you’ll find an unexpected blend of instruments like vibraphone and glockenspiel (yep—I said glockenspiel).

This lullaby collection definitely takes some getting used to. The music is extremely unconventional—not exactly your typical soothing pianos and strings. And it isn’t as calm and soothing as you might expect. In fact, some of the sounds (like the ol’ glockenspiel) can sometimes seem a bit harsh and off-putting.

At the same time, moms and dads who are familiar with the music of The Ramones (and, really, if you’re not familiar with The Ramones, why buy the album?) might initially have a hard time getting to sleep after listening to these lullaby versions. For the first few nights, I found myself listening to the lullaby version of, say, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” and spending the night lying awake, rocking out to the real “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” in my head. Eventually, though, after a few nights of mental punk rock concerts, I got used to it—to the point that the slower tempo of the lullaby versions now seems totally natural.

Of course, only time will tell how my little rock star will react to the these Ramones lullabies once she’s born—though my friend tells me that she used to love listening to it during late-night feedings with her own kids. As for me, though, I’m still torn. I love the idea of the album. I love having slowed-down punk music to share with my little one from an early age. But many of the songs sound alike (which isn’t all that surprising, since many of The Ramones’ songs sound alike), which makes for a rather repetitive album. And although the music is slowly growing on me, I’m still not sold on the glockenspiel.

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