AKA, songs I sing them at bedtime (mostly because I know all the words to them). Warning, some links are to youtube.
rock a bye baby--ok, this one is actually a lullaby. Creepy, yet still accepted by the rest of the world as a night-night song.
I've been working on the railroad--Trains. Always the trains. Always.
Dream a little dream--Arguably, yes, this one is a lullaby. I still have a hard time remembering the modulations in the last (repeated) verse though, and the tiny stubborn audience wants to hear it THAT WAY EVERY TIME, GODDAMNIT, MAMA.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow--Another sweet yet surprisingly sad. I linked to the Iz version, but I wind up singing a very dramatic Judy Garland imitation.
Yellow submarine--Slightly more rollicking that I'd prefer for a bedtime song, but I acquiesce to the demands of the tiny dictator. Interestingly, this was for years the biggest little's absolute favorite song. God help you if you skip the bridge. At least I no longer have to do the sound effects.
Blackbird--Beatles version. Again, pretty but sad. And featuring dismemberment and blinding of a bird! Sweet dreams! (And yes I know it was inspired by the Civil Rights struggles of the 60s, and is meant to be inspiring. It is, just also, sunken eyes.)
Bye Bye Blackbird--Joe Cocker version. Sad song where no one loves you, Narrator. And a song that will never fail to remind me of Sleepless in Seattle.
A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow--Let's all watch, this shall we? Ovbs, this is from the Christopher Guest movie A Mighty Wind! Who doesn't love A Mighty Wind? Joyless people with no soul, that's who. This is I adore this song, it's so lovely. My favorite part is the bridge, where Catherine O'Hara sings solo. Sadly, neither kid took to Potato's in the Paddy Wagon.
Man, I could link to every damn song in that movie, I love it so.
And now we come to what the littlest little calls "happy songs," which makes me think that he's a bit unclear on the meaning of "happy":
Leaving On a Jet Plane--Hey, I'm leaving, the taxi's waiting. Sorry I cheated on you all those times, those girls meant nothing, I promise. Maybe sometime soon I'll marry you and make you leave with me on the predawn flights! Oh hey, babe, who knew John Denver was such a jerky boyfriend? (I'm guessing his girlfriends, that's who.)
The Gambler--Learn to play cards then hang out on a train smokin' and drinkin', and die in the night! (but the video I linked to was when Kenny Rogers was on the Muppets!) Sweet dreams! Reason I know all the words? It was an unlikely party song at parties at Haverford in the 90s.
Daydream Believer--It has the word sleepy in it, that counts, right? I love the Monkees, and also, NEIL DIAMOND! Who doesn't love songs written and possibly also sung by Neil Diamond? People who are DEAD TO ME, that's who. If I could have gotten either kid into it, I totally would be singing them Thank the Lord for the Night Time or Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show (that link with Johnny Cash!) in a sparkly shirt every night.
You Are My Sunshine--I don't stop at the first verse, I sing all the stalker verses. If you leave me to love another, you'll regret it all someday. You've shattered all my dreams... I'm coming for you. You know, beloved heartwarming songs.
Long Black Veil--Straight up murder ballad. The Band's version was one of my paternal grandmother's favorite songs for my uncle to sing at family hymn sings (which, them's another set of stories). Oh my lord, there's a Springsteen version from the Seeger Sessions:
Down in the Willow Garden--Another straight up murder ballad! AKA the song Holly Hunter sings to the baby in Raising Arizona. I linked to my favorite version, by Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses). She has an album of all the murder ballads and creepy traditional songs her parents used to sing her as bedtime songs, called Murder, Misery and Then Goodnight, which is out of print but well worth finding.
The Rose--Hey kid, know what's fun? Stories of wildly talented blues rock singers who drink themselves to death! WHOO! That said, I love this song. First link was Bette. This one is Amy Poehler and Jack Black.