As much as I wanted to, lullabies in Spanish were not something I could give to my children. Lullabies are the quiet songs whispered in the middle of sleepless moonlit nights – songs that come from our hearts, somehow deeply remembered within us but never formally taught, songs our mothers sang to us as babies.

My mother would gently swipe the hair from my forehead and sing “You are my sunshine”, and this was always the song that came to my lips when my children needed comforting.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy, when skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take, my sunshine away.

That is the song I was raised hearing, and so that is the song that I sung. And sometimes I would inexplicably sing “Blackbird”, among a couple other Beatles songs. My father is a big fan of The Beatles, so maybe he listened to them while my mother tried to put me to sleep. ¿Quién sabe?

Lullabies in Spanish on the other hand, were provided to my children at times by Suegra, but I always found the lyrics puzzling, funny, frightening.

Duérmete, mi niño — (Go to sleep, my child)
Cabeza de ayote, — (Pumpkin/squash head)
Si no te duermes, — (If you don’t sleep)
Te come el coyote. — (The coyote will eat you.)

It loses some of its charm in English, no?

And another one she often sang was:

Qué bonito es mi niño — (How beautiful is is my child)
Se parece a su papá — (He looks like his Papa)
Qué bonito es mi niño — (How beautiful is my child)
Se parece a su mamá — (He looks like his Mama)

(Except when she was mad at me, she’d change the song to repeat the second line at the end.)

I wish I had known lullabies in Spanish to sing to my children, but I’m hoping I will know some for my future grandchildren… I will sing them the silly ones I learned from Suegra, but I want to sing them beautiful lullabies as well. Here is one I recently found que me encanta.

Lindo, ¿sí?

Which lullabies were sung to you? Which lullabies are sung to your children?


  1. Because I had such cranky little baby….

    Sweetly sings the donkey
    At the break of day,
    If you do not feed him
    This is what he’ll say,
    Hee haw, hee haw, hee haw, hee haw, hee haw!

    Otherwise I had the standards… Rock a Bye Baby, Frere Jacques (I’m not French but it’s a soothing melody)and I too loved You Are My Sunshine!

    It would have been wonderful to know more and share more with my little ones…

  2. I recently found out about Baby Abuelita and hope to use this to impart some of the songs that don’t come naturally for me either. We have 2 of the characters so far, and the DVD. “You are my Sunshine” is a favorite for me too. We also make up songs using whatever words we can remember, or whatever fits to the occasion. Music works wonders for calming and teaching too! :)

  3. Que linda canción y lindo video!

    I have some talk about lullabies prepared already LOL! I do sing them in spanish but I never know the complete words of the whole songs. I also sing songs that aren’t lullabies like you, they come to me inexplicable!

    The other day one of Derek’s aunts was visiting and sang this very nice lullaby to Maya in english and it was really long, had so many words, I should have asked her which one it is so I can learn it too, I want to have many words so I don’t get bored of singing! haha!

  4. My parents used to just sing me the itsy bitsy spider, or my favorite, old mcdonald had a farm. But my fiance sometimes sings a mexican lullaby from his childhood to our.. dog (we don’t have children yet lol) it goes like:

    Duermate mi nino
    si no, viene el coco
    y te comera

    apparently “el coco” is some sort of ghost/monster type thing. And his parents actually sang this to him as a child! I’m hoping that he has some more, nicer lullabies he’s saving for our human babies

  5. You are my Sunshine is also one I sing to my daughter. Like you, I really wanted to sing Spanish lullabyes to her, but I don’t know any (except for the coyote one and I refuse to sing that one to her because it’s scary! Yikes.) :-(

  6. I’m ‘mitad y mitad’, Anglo father, Honduran mother and raised my children on both You Are My Sunshine AND Arrurru Mi Niño. My granddaughter, who heard those songs from her mother, my daughter, when she was a child, asked me for the lyrics to Arrurru so she can sing them in turn to her two little girls! This culture will live on and on and on! ¡Que viva la lengua española! By the way, it’s the love in the voice of the mother when she sings “Arrurru” and not the words that the baby hears. I raised my kids on that song and they were never traumatized. Now that they are adults and understand the ‘words’, they think it’s funny.

  7. Oh, I know so many!! My mother sang them to me and I sing them to my daughter now…she knows all the english basics (rock-a-by baby, itsy bitsy spider, Mary had a little lamb) and the spanish basics!! Here are some spanish ones:

    Los Pollitos

    Los pollitos dicen pio pio pio
    Cuando tienen hambre
    Cuando tienen frio

    La gallina busca
    el maiz y el trigo
    les da la comida
    Y les da su abrigo

    Bajo sus dos alas
    duermen los pollitos
    hasta el otro dia

    Cuando se levantan
    dicen mamacita
    tengo mucha hambre
    dame lombricitas.

    Las Estrellitas

    Corre, corre niño
    Pajarito vuela
    Que las estrellitas, ya están en la escuela.

    La maestra luna dicta la lección
    Y una nube negra
    es el pizarron

    Una estrella chica se pinto de tiza
    Y todas las otrasd se mueren de risa

    Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja
    Ja ja ja ja
    ja ja ja ja ja ja

    Duermet Mi Nina

    Duermete mi nina
    duermet mi amor
    duermet pedazo de mi corazon

    esa nina linda,
    que nacio de dia
    quiere que la lleven a la dulceria

    esa nina linda
    que nacio de noche
    quiere que la lleven a pasiar en coche.

  8. Why would you say that singing in Spanish is something you could not have given your children? This is really idiotic. It’s not that hard. You’re acting like it’s some impossible feat. This post is really ridiculous.

    • Carmen, I couldn’t sing in Spanish because my Spanish was very basic at the time – I’m not a native speaker. How could I have? Can you sing in Arabic? Chinese? Korean? … I didn’t think so.

  9. My name is Carlos, from Zacatecoluca & if my kids who are 3,3 & 2 get to understand as enough as your boy at the aquarium…. then I will feel like I won. Just as you have. ¡¡Gracias por compartir!!

  10. Hello! I’m curious as to what ethnicity your suegra is? My Salvadoran grandma would sing me the same song and I’m trying to find the lyrics for the rest of it.

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