When you’re the parents of a young child, there is almost nothing as powerful or important to you than something that helps your child fall asleep. Sleep is magic and you’ll cling to anything that works, like the right soothing lullaby, for example.
For as long as there have been babies and parents, there have been lullabies sung at bedtimes. Every culture has its own favorites, passed down from generation to generation, melodies that are full of warm, comforting memories of our own childhoods.
But which are the most popular lullabies from all around the world? Mornings.co.uk did the research to find out and shared the results with us.
The World’s Most Popular Lullabies
Say the word ‘lullaby’ and the tune to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is likely to be the first thing to come to mind. The soothing music has been around since 1761, with the English lyrics added in 1806 from a poem called The Star.
With 1,600,000,000 views on YouTube, it’s popular around the world and has almost 1 billion more views than its nearest rival, Chanda Mama Door Ke from India, making it the undisputed champion of the lullabies.
North America’s Most Popular Lullabies
While Hush Little Baby (Mama’s Gonna Buy You a Mockingbird) might have ‘only’ 35 million views on YouTube, it’s a song that will be familiar to almost everyone, whether they’ve had it sung to them as a child or heard the thousands of versions of it in popular music. Even Eminem has done a version.
So it’s no wonder that it’s the most popular lullaby from North America, the only one to make it into the global top ten. In second place here is A la Rorro Niño from Mexico, a lovely lullaby with more than 10 million views.
South America’s Most Popular Lullabies
Not all lullabies are about twinkling stars or promises of bird-related gifts. The most popular lullaby in South America – with over 21 million views – is the Brazilian Nana Nenem, which sounds nice and relaxing until you realize it’s full of dire warnings about crocodiles, ox-monsters and bogeymen who are on their way to get any child up past its bedtime. Terrifying.
Europe’s Most Popular Lullabies
Clearly there’s no competing with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but there’s lots of very popular European lullabies, with three others making it into the global top ten. Ninna Nanna, Ninnah Oh from Italy once featured in a memorable episode of The Sopranos and is another song designed to scare little kids to sleep with the mention of being given to a witch. What were people thinking when they made these songs up?
Middle East & Central Asia’s Most Popular Lullabies
There’s no witches in Turkey’s favorite lullaby Dandini Dandini Dastana because it’s all about gardening and cows eating cabbages. It’s a gripping story so it’s no wonder it’s had over 271 million views on YouTube well ahead of the similarly-garden-themed Lala Lala, Tulip Flower from Iran.
The Rest of Asia & Oceania’s Most Popular Lullabies
India’s Chanda Mama Door Ke is the second most popular lullaby in the world with 661 million views and it’s a delightful song about a ‘moon uncle’ coming and giving sweet treats to good children, who also seem to have access to some kind of flying saucer.
Africa’s Most Popular Lullabies
The essence of a great lullaby is a relaxing melody with soothing words designed to calm a fussy baby, which is exactly what Malian lullaby Makun does. It translates to Don’t Cry and has over 2.9 million views, which means that it’s helped wipe away lots of baby tears on the way to dreamland.
So, what have we learned? That twinkling stars are the world’s most popular bedtime lullaby, for sure, but also that it’s possible to scare kids to sleep as long as there’s a nice relaxing tune to go along with the witches and crocodiles. Why not check out the rest of the world’s favorite lullabies and see which you remember?