Lullabies are rhymed and harmonious words, in the form of poetry and prose according to a certain melody generally sung by mothers but sometimes also by relatives like grandma, aunt, elder sister etc. in order to soothe crying children or make them sleep. Lullabies, the first teller of which is anonymous, are usually sung by mothers in order to send their children to sleep. Mothers who are singing the lullabies in the form of ballads are thus transmitting them to their children by either rocking them in their bosom or on their legs via improvisation. A mother’s singing a lullaby while rocking her baby in a soft and harmonious tone is a tradition of our culture that has its roots in very ancient times. Within this tradition there is also the mother’s unique kind of managing her voice by softening, rising, hardening, fastening or slowing it just according to the situation of the child at that moment. In this way the mother is in fact directing her baby with the tone of her voice. Through the due direction the mother is providing for the baby a comfortable and compassionate condition in which it can fall asleep faster and more easily and she is also getting the baby soothed by minimizing the crying of it.
Besides the voice of the mother the harmonious words within the lullaby affect the baby as well. In the essence of the mother’s words, reflecting the feelings of herself just at that moment via improvisation, there are wishes of a mother’s heart for her baby like health, a good destiny, growing up fast, being not a crying child, being a bride or bridegroom in the future and of course happiness. In addition to all these wishes lullabies are including local facts, customs and traditions and many historical and social subjects and issues as well.
Lullabies are present in different countries under different names. But it is a reality though undesired that this unique source which has been in the residence of a culture of 1000 years and which possesses uncountable benefits for children, is unfortunately not in a position it in fact deserves. Besides it is another fact that it hasn’t been researched sufficiently and related to this the source of lullabies is disposed to be forgotten.
It has even been proved that at further ages children perceive more effectively owing to the lullabies they heard in their infancy. Our ancestors without being aware handled in a way with this consciousness and tried to raise their children with this sensitivity. However in the circumstances of today mothers aren’t able to spare enough time for their children owing to the hard working conditions in their business life. After a tiring business tempo mothers come home very exhausted and are not in a condition either physically or psychologically to spend time with their children. Because of the hard conditions in the business life babies grow up away from their mother. This situation causes children to grow up away from the lullabies that are in fact extremely effective means of communication and education.
As a matter of fact it shouldn’t be forgotten that babies born by listening to lullabies and the ones raised with them are more intelligent than the other children and comprehend events more easily. For this reason more importance should be given to lullabies and more efforts for their compilation, the benefits of the lullabies should be broadened by explaining them via different means of mass media, mothers should be instructed about the benefits of lullabies and encouraged to sing them permanently. Lullabies are cultural treasures so precious that we can’t afford ignoring them.