Children songs or nursery rhymes, as they are more popularly known, have been passed down from generation to generation. Lullabies have soothed babies around the world. A lullaby’s words and rhythm may be specific to a particular culture. But with today’s modern technologies, it is easy to find the best baby songs on YouTube.
Here is a list of classic lullabies, kid songs, and baby animal songs that are popularly searched by parents on YouTube and elsewhere online.
1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star originated as a poem written by English author, Jane Taylor in 1806. The earliest known appearance of music and words combined is 1838. It remains a favorite lullaby sung to put their children to sleep. Its mellow lyrics help soothe children and babies. It is one of the most effective early education music. A part of the song lyrics includes:
“Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are; Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky.”
2. You Are My Sunshine
This old-time lullaby has been sung by various artists such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Johnny Cash. It was written by former Louisiana State Governor Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. You Are My Sunshine is one of the official songs for Louisiana. It is a favorite baby song. The lovely lyrics include:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.”
3. The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Itsy Bitsy Spider is a fun baby song that uses accompanying hand actions. Most babies and young children find this very entertaining and funny, especially when paired with silly effects. This baby animal song is popular across many countries and languages. Children sing this classic kid song throughout the world. Published versions of the song can be found as early as 1910. The song has also found its way into mainstream media. The lyrics of this baby animal song describe the adventures of a spider:
“The Itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout, Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the Itsy, bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.”
4. Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty originated in England. However, its author is not known, but the earliest version was published in 1797. Humpty Dumpty’s human characteristics have made it easy for songwriters and poets to create different versions of this nursery song. Humpty Dumpty has been an essential character in many movies and children’s books. In this song, he is favored by the king, yet it was not enough to save him from the great fall. The lyrics of this nursery rhyme tells his unfortunate story:
“Humpty Dumpty sat in a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”
5. Rock A Bye Baby
Perhaps, Rock A Bye Baby is the most famous nursery song that still exists today. Its author is unknown but was printed in Mother Goose’s Melody in London in 1765. Several theories exist as to its meaning. In England, it’s thought the song may refer to a family with 8 children who lived in a huge hollowed-out tree. In the U.S, it’s believed to refer to Native American children who would rock their babies in birch-bark cradles. Today, it’s often used as a reading tool.
The song goes:
“Rock a Bye Baby on the treetop, when the wind blows, the cradle will rock.”
6. Old MacDonald Had a Farm
The origin of this song is not known. Perhaps, the earliest record of the song is from a 1719 English opera called “The Kingdom of the Birds.” In 1917, it appeared in a collection of World War I songs. Both versions have different wording than the song that is sung today. This baby animal song is very entertaining and educational at the same time. Children learn about animals and the sounds they make. It sings of a tolerant man and his barn with lots of animals. The song is filled with animal sounds such as cows that go:
“Moo” and ducks that go “Quack quack quack.”
7. Hush Little Baby
This song is very soothing and calming for babies. It sings of a mother promising rewards to her little one like a diamond ring, horse and cart, and others. Like many lullabies, the author is unknown. The song is thought to originate in the Southern U.S. It’s been covered by everyone from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to James Taylor. Part of the song goes:
“Hush little baby don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.” The fun part about this song is that parents can add personal lines that fit the rhyming pattern.
8. Hickory Dickory Dock
The first version of this baby song was titled “Hickere, Dickere Dock.” It was recorded in 1744. It’s thought to refer to the astronomical clock at Exeter Cathedral. The clock has a small hole in the door for the resident cat to hunt mice. Mother Goose’s Melody’s recorded this song in 1765 using:
“Dickery, Dickery, Clock.”
9. Mary Had A Little Lamb
This popular English nursery rhyme was adapted from the poem written by Sara Joseph Hale in 1830. The baby song is believed to be based on an actual girl named Mary Sawyer. It tells the story of a girl with her beloved white lamb who can’t bear to part with her – even during school.
The song’s lyrics start off:
“Mary had a little lamb, his fleece was white as snow, yeah, and everywhere the child went that little lamb was sure to go.”
10. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This classic nursery rhyme is believed to arise out of American minstrelsy. In 1852, similar lyrics were published but to a very different tune. This song has been translated into various languages, and there are modern versions with different singing voice parts.
It’s also a popular “action” nursery rhyme where children hold hands and “row” forward and backward.
Benefits Of Kids Songs
In this modern era, children are presented with a unique growing environment. These days, information is easily accessed through videos. Despite these new and amazing advancements, today’s children can still enjoy learning through rhymes and songs. In fact, they are an essential part of child development, especially language development. These educational songs for children make learning fun. Some of their apparent benefits include :
Brain and Memory Development
Nursery rhymes and baby songs have repetitive rhythm and rhymes. Repetition is associated with learning and memorization.
Nursery rhymes are short and repetitive to help children discern the words. The rhymes may increase their ability to the rhythmic pattern of the words and sounds to help them learn languages.
Baby songs help develop kid’s listening skills at an early age. When they listen, learning is increased.
When kid’s songs are learned in a group, children also start interacting with other kids for a fun and entertaining activity.
Other Popular Baby Songs for Kids
The Wheels on the Bus
This classic baby song was written in 1939 by American folk songwriter, Verna Hills. The song is popular in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Its soft and pleasing lyrics are engaging and entertaining. Children develop their vocabulary through its repetitive words. The words of this baby song include:
“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long.” Often, hand motions are added.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed
Five Little Monkeys is definitely not considered a good night song. However, children love to sing, play, and dance to this song about mischievous baby chimps. It’s not known who wrote the lyrics, but there are many versions of this song. It’s lyrics also lend itself to fingerplay. The song is fun to sing. Some parents take the song one step further and work in basic math or problem-solving.
Baa-baa Black Sheep
This English nursery rhyme had its first version published in 1731. Its French counterpart was sung in 1761. Like many nursery rhymes and baby songs, the words may reflect a more adult meaning. In this case, it’s hypothesized that the song is a complaint against taxes on the English wool trade. It is still a popular children’s song still today.
The lyrics include:
“Baa-baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes, sir! Yes, sir! Three bags full.”
This Christian song was meant to remind people of God’s grace in a solemn and soulful melody. It was penned and published in 1779 by John Newton, an English poet, and clergyman. Many parents today still sing this 200-year old song to put their babies to sleep. Some of the lyrics of the song are:
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I was once lost, but now found, was blind, but now I see.” Many artists have recorded this song.
London Bridge Is Falling Down
This is another song that is an “action” nursery rhyme. One of the earliest references to the rhyme was written in 1636. But, similar rhymes can be found across Europe as early as the fourteenth century. Of course, these very early versions refer to different places other than London. But, even today, the tune is used by English football supporters as the basis for chants.
Finding YouTube Baby Songs
The use of gadgets and easy accessibility of the Internet makes it easier for parents to soothe their babies through YouTube Baby Songs. It is easy to search for nursery rhymes, baby songs, and children songs that will lull them to sleep, calm them down, entertain, or teach them.
Many YouTube channels are specially developed to showcase their Top 50 Baby Song list or choices. Some of these popular YouTube Channels are the following:
1. Best Baby Lullabies
They have the best soothing and calming music to help your baby fall asleep. Their selection of gentle lullabies and soft nursery rhymes makes it easy for parents and babies to relax.
2. Lullaby World Best Lullabies for Babies to Sleep
The channel has a selection of nursery rhymes and baby songs, such as Rock a Bye Baby, Brahms Lullabies, and white noise music videos.
3. Baby Relax Channel
This YouTube channel has a carefully selected Top 50 baby songs that benefit the child in various ways. Relaxing music helps promote better sleep, comfort, and brain development.
4. Wonderful Lullabies
This channel has a great selection of children’s songs and lullabies. They also have those traditional nursery rhymes and bedtime music, which is perfect for putting your baby to sleep.
5. Lullaby Dreamers
This channel creates soothing lullabies from popular songs, classical pieces, and film scores. It is not only soothing for the baby, but it will also relax parents as well.
A Final Word
Baby songs have been in existence for a long time now. They are a common thread through generations. These rhymes and songs have proven to be genuinely useful in soothing, calming, and putting babies to sleep. As parents sing these classic baby songs to their own little ones, they may recall memories of their own happy childhood. Baby songs remain a common bond between parent and child.
Baby Song Resources: National Library; Feel the rhythm: Developing language through rhythm and rhyme, Vicky Stephens,February 21st, 2018.
 Utah University; Rhymers Are Readers: The Importance of Nursery Rhymes.
 HomeU.S. Department of Education; Talk, Read and Sing Together Every Day!Tips For Infant & Toddler Teachers and Caregivers.