Most everyone in the world is familiar with the lullaby. Our mothers sang them to us and, in turn, we sing them to our own children. I don't have kids myself, but I have been known on occasion to sing them to my cat. Yeah, I know I'm destined to be a crazy old cat lady. I'm cool with it.
Lullabies conjure up images of teddy bears, blankies and cows jumping over smiley faced moons. But the origin of the lullaby is a lot darker, and much more sinister, than you might have initially suspected.
It is believed that the word "lullaby" originated from the Hebrew "Lilith-Abi" which translates as "Lilith, Begone!" The goddess Lilith, who fled the Garden of Eden after refusing to submit to Adam sexually, defied God's order to return. God declared that if Lilith did not obey him, she would lose one hundred of her own children every day. In retaliation, Lilith stated that she, in turn, would bring sickness and death to newborn babies, unless they were protected by amulets inscribed with the names of the angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, and also the written banishment "Lilith-Abi" upon them.
To this day, the tradition continues in the form of the lullaby, a song which ensures a restful, demon-free night for your baby.