Song of the Week: Red River Valley

Song of the Week

Red River Valley (A beautiful old southern lullaby)

We include a lullaby at the end of every Music Class because lullabies are such an easy, meaningful way to include a little music in your kid’s daily life. Do you remember any lullabies your parents or grandparents sang to you when you were little? If you do, those simple tunes are probably super meaningful and nostalgic to you now. Lullabies can be a really powerful bonding moment for your family and can be part of a tradition that continues for generations.

If your parents or grandparents grew up in the South, one of the lullabies they might have sung to you is “Red River Valley” which we feature in The Giraffe Collection! Also known as “Cowboy Love Song,” it is considered one of the Top 10 Western Songs of all time. This song was so popular and played so frequently that Johnny Cash actually wrote a satirical ditty about it called “Please Don’t Play Red River Valley!” If your family is from Canada, you might also recognize the song; there’s speculation that it was actually written in Manitoba in the 1870s before it became popular in the Southern US. The song clearly has a wide range of influence because there's even a well-known version in Chinese!

Did you know Stevie Nicks’s granddad sang this lullaby to her as a child? Apparently, it was her grandfather who first taught her to love music and she would sing duets with her at four years old. Man, I would love to be a fly on that wall. Grandparents (and parents) you have that power!!

For a super classic version of "Red River Valley," check out this video of Marty Robbins. He was named the 1960s Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music. Even though the video clarity isn’t great, it's definitely worth a watch and a listen!

Drumroll please for the most adorable version of all time, featuring our Music Class student Lola!!!

Here’s a bit of the Chinese version from one of our Music Class trainings in China. If you speak Mandarin, try singing along with these lyrics!


I hope that watching these videos has inspired you to sing lullabies to your kids every night, and to call your parents and grandparents and ask what lullabies they grew up with! Maybe you can restart some of those old traditions with your little ones! For more inspiration, you can stream almost the entire collection of Music Class lullabies on Spotify, or check out Ms. Emily’s blog on the lullaby she and her fiancé wrote with their future kids in mind. 🥰


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