Monday, December 7, 2009

Rock Your Baby: Johnny Preston: "Cradle of Love"

When I saw that I had to write a post about the follow-up to, of all things, "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston, I was not exactly surprised nor thrilled; this is exactly the kind of song that is a big hit, then gets forgotten by and large and is later revived years later by people who remember it in the first place, mainly by rockabilly fans, who were called Teddy Boys in the UK.

Why does this song affect me so? It's not because it's all that sophisticated - the cradle of love is something, however, that is located at first in a tree, which reminds me more than forcibly of a dream I once had...

...a dream where I was in a tree and it was night, still and cool and black, springtime; and I was up in the tree in what seemed to be a bed. I was alone, but I knew I wasn't going to be alone for long, as under the moon (which gave off enough light, without being full) I could see someone determindedly coming towards me, walking along what seemed to be a rather twisting path at times. But mostly I remember being in this bed in the treetop, the very light breeze and sense of something about to happen...

Which means I have to go all Paglia here and say that while this nursery rhyme song seems all trite and cliche and obvious at first, it does hit on some truths that are fundamental, or at least are fundamental if you grow up knowing these rhymes. I may not appreciate the last verse wherein Jack pushes Jill into said cradle of love (but this is 1960, when women were women, men were men and so on) - but the rocking and rocking in the cradle is an essential thing for people their whole lives it seems, and while a cradle in a treetop might seem, well, dangerous, being in love is a huge leap as well, in some cases not just a figurative leap but a literal one. And it is always a leap worth making, as my subconscious mind more than told me in the spring of 2005.

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