Song Families

Listening now to music for small children it occurs to me again that songs or melodies occur families.  For instance, Mary Had a Little Lamb is very nearly the same melody as London Bridge is Falling Down.  Yes, they are different, but very similar.  They are related.  They are song siblings.

In the same way Skip To M’Lou and Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me are song siblings.  My wife thought it was funny and laughed when I sang to Seventy-Six, “Shoo Fly, Skip to M’Lou, Shoo Fly, Skip to M’Lou…”  I thought those were the song’s words.

Probably you can think of other tunes, melodies, songs that are so similar they’re very likely derived from the same ur-melody, a barbaric rhythmic grunting in Proto-Indo-European, a song from the fabled homeland of our people now only spoken of in fairy tales.