One of the oldest children’s lullabies was found on an ancient Babylonian tablet, believed to be from around 2,000BC. Rather than being soothing, it instead has a menacing tone. In it, a baby being is threatened with punishment for disturbing the family god with its crying.
Here is the lyrics:
Little baby in the dark house
You have seen the sun rise
Why are you crying?
Why are you screaming?
You have disturbed the house god
“Who has disturbed me?” says the house god
It is the baby who has disturbed you
“Who scared me?” says the house god
The baby has disturbed you
The baby has scared you
Making noises like a drunkard
Who cannot sit still on his stool
He has disturbed your sleep
“Call the baby now,” says the house god