Tura Lura Lura – hush little bubba


Today is another Sepia Saturday– Monday Memories combined post. The theme this week is sleeping babies, reading and related memories.

Sepia Saturday Header

The image prompt shows a woman reading quietly while her baby sleeps tranquilly. Most mothers would roll their eyes at this, thinking of how tired and busy they were with small children. Perhaps I was lucky, or just plain selfish and stubborn, but I took to heart the advice I received, to rest when the baby rested. My memory tells me that I would indeed sometimes read while they slept, though I certainly didn’t look like this immaculate woman. On the other hand somehow I seemed to fit far more into the day then than I manage now with sewing, cooking, freezing and other household chores.  Whatever I did while they slept, it appears not to have been take their photos!

Plainly here I was replicating a baby photo from my own baby-book with our eldest, though the two places were thousands of kilometres apart. If you could see the background of mine it was in a surburban garden, and I think that’s a clothes prop in the background. If we could see the background in the second photo you’d see a village with people, pigs and a pit-pit fence round the gardens…a vast cultural difference apart.

Louisa in her cot and bedroom nth Goroka 1972They say that you take myriad photos of your first born and that it’s a slippery photographic downward slope from there. We were different from this, mainly because we didn’t have a camera until later in the peace.

We did own a bassinet for each of them, but they quickly grew out of it and into a cot. I have zero recollection of where I bought the cot, but I do recall stripping and painting it on the front verandah of our house in North Goroka, Papua New Guinea. It looked quite smart and her room was jazzed up with some cheap decorative items. Later the cot would be re-painted yellow and recycled for our youngest daughter.

And an interesting theme appears – we seem to take more outdoor photos of our babies, probably because there’s no need to keep them rugged up all the time. I love this photo of my husband as a baby. Don’t you adore that gorgeous crocheted rug? I wonder if his mother made it or perhaps her mother?

Peter as baby 1949 low

Sometimes you just don’t care where your kids sleep, so long as they sleep (that probably accounts for my smile below). The two older daughters looking totally zonked out on the beach at Magnetic Island.

It’s nearly time to go to sleep little baby. Did your mother sing a lullaby to you? Mine always sang Tura lura lura to me, and my children, while she stroked my/their forehead and hair. I carried on the tradition with our girls, but I tried not to traumatise them by singing to them very often, though the forehead “patting” remains a family tradition. The lullaby tradition carries on to the next generation with it being sung by one daughter to her children.

This is a lovely Indigenous bi-lingual lullaby by Territorian Ted Egan . You might like to listen to it before heading over to read about other Sepian sleeping babies before you snooze off, dreaming of angels, fairies and shamrocks.

shamrock angel

Tura lura lura

Over in Killarney,
Many years ago,
Me mother sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good ould Irish way,
And I’d give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Hush, now don’t you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,
That’s an Irish lullaby.

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14 thoughts on “Tura Lura Lura – hush little bubba

  1. Your pictures are wonderful. And yes, crazy mothers – those who use the time while their babies nap to do housework. What are they thinking for heaven’s sake?!! You did a lovely job with the crib. I like it pink, but I can imagine it a light blue for a boy, and pale yellow would have been pretty, too. I don’t remember anyone singing “Tura lura lura” to us, but my grandmother and Dad sang “Sweet and Low” to us. No surprise since it’s an English lullaby and my grandfather’s mother was from England. When my daughter was injured and lying in a coma in the hospital, I sang “Sweet and Low” to her every night. She doesn’t remember my doing it, but it was something I used to sing to her (and her sister & brother) when they were young, so I figured it might be comforting? Funny – I remember some of the nurses coming into her room to listen.

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    • Isn’t it amazing how our family lullabies transfer generation to generation! I imagine your lullaby consoled you as well as your daughter during that terrible time…I hope she recovered fully from the injury…it’s so scary to see little ones so very ill.

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  2. Lovely photos! My girls slept anywhere and everywhere too. I had 4 kids under 6 so I rested when the kids were napping. I followed my mother’s example of putting the babies outside in their carriage to sleep every day except those days when it got below 0 degrees. My mom was a beautiful singer and sang many lullabies to us – me, not so great hahaha. But I did sing to them – “Sleep my Child” and “Hush Little Baby” and I would hum Brahms Lullaby.

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    • Isn’t it interesting the diversity of lullabies we sang (to the best of our ability). I was impressed by them being out in their prams down to zero…much warmer here 🙂 If my eldest knew there was anything fun going on, she was impossible to get to sleep.

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  3. Such a beautiful post and lovely photos.. What a precious gathering of memories. Whether they liked it or not, I always sang to my children and grandchildren, as my mother sang to me.

    Even when I was a toddler, I recall her singing. Tura Lura Lura was one, Galway Bay another, also Danny Boy, as she recalled her mother singing to her. Her mother was known to have a beautiful voice, as did my Mum..The first two I sang to mine, along with a Greek love song and an Aboriginal lullaby.. 😏 I wouldn’t even try write the Aboriginal words, but the first few lines are ‘sleep as falls the dark, in your bed of bark, mother watches near, none shall harm you dear.’

    I love the Ted Egan song, haven’t heard that before.

    Can’t say I slept when the babies did, but I would perhaps grab a coffee, pay bills, make shopping lists or some other quiet task at times. Thanks for reviving wonderful memories bridging four generations.

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  4. Wonderful post. Recreating vintage photos, especially with infants and children, is a terrific idea. The cats add a special bonus. When my son was small, I was inspired to compose a small jingle that is the opposite of a lullaby, a song for waking up. It’s entitled “Good Morning” and I later made the tune into an instrumental duet. He still remembers the words too, 28 years on.

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  5. I like the idea of recreating photograph settings with later generations but haven’t done it very much myself. The lullabies are lovely, and Ted Egan is a favourite, but I would have trouble remembering the Aboriginal parts of his song.

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