Monday, August 20, 2007

All aboard for blanket bay

When I was very small, my mom used to sing me a lullaby called "All Aboard for Blanket Bay". I remember hearing that she learned it from her mother. From the time Jimmy was a baby, I've been singing it to him, too. It's now a bed-time staple that he requests almost every night:

All aboard for Blanket Bay
Won't get home 'til the break of day
I'll tuck you up in your little white sheet
So I can't see your little bare feet
Snuggle down little in your trundle bed
Go to sleep, little sleepy-head
Kiss Mommy, kiss Daddy and sail away
All aboard for Blanket Bay...

The other day I got to wondering about the history of the song and where it originated. Gotta love Google! Here's what I learned: "All Aboard for Blanket Bay" was written by Harry Von Tilzer and released in 1910. The version I remember is a variation on the chorus, and the original lyrics are a little different. The best thing I found was an MP3 of the song by an artist named Domino George: take a listen to this wonderful, old-fashioned lullaby!

P.S. 10 days and counting...


aubrey said...

what a sweet lullaby. thank you for sharing the mp3. i loved it and so did ava who is siting right here!


When I was a little girl, I learned this song from a nun in the 60s. Mom used to sing a song to me before bed, and I would sing one back to her. Since I've had the internet I've been using various search criteria and tonight I got lucky and found a few hits --- your's being one. Thanks so much for the link to the isn't exactly as I remember it, but lots of it is....I wonder when and why I ever stopped singing it as a kid. When I had my own daughter...I would sing as much of it to her as I could remember. Thanks again for making an old lady happy :)

fastgrrrl said...

On a whim I googled this song tonight and found your post. My mom used to sing this to me too, though she couldn't remember the words the last time I asked her. This is such a treat. Thanks again!

Court said...

Thanks for sharing the info on this! This lullaby was also passed down from my grandmother, to my mother, to me, and now my little girl. I had no idea where it came from, but my daughter is almost 3 and loves to sing this song on her own now!

Kathy G. said...

My Mother also sang this to me and I of course as she did sang it to my own children. One of my oldest brought it up tonight who is now 30. We were remember My Mom who passed a year ago. She of course changed the chorus a little bit.
All aboard for blanket bay
Won't get back till the break of day
All tucked in in our little white beds,pull the covers up to cover your head.(which at this point, she would pull the sheet over your head.)
And we'll sail on through the milky way, won't get back till the break of day....
Bless Daddy and Mommy ( and as many people the kids could think of adding.) and Grandma too. And we'll sail away for Blanket Bay.

Thanks so much. I can't wait to pass this info onto my sons. Kathy G. Wiscoinsin.

Becca said...

This lullaby has been passed down in my family for 6 generations now. I now sing it to my children and great nieces and nephews. When I was a child my mother use to sing bless Mama, bless Papa at the end instead of kiss. My dad was long gone before I was even born so she changed to Mama and Grandma. I now have 4 adopted children we have since modified it to bless their birth parents and siblings. Billy Joel has a lullaby called Goodnight My Angel. He sings when we all are gone lullabies live on and on. This is very true for this song in my family.

Maggie said...

My grandmother used to sing the chorus to me after my bath before bed. Our version was a little different:
All aboard for blanket bay
Don't wake up till the break of day
Wrap yourself up in a little white sheet
Till you can't see your little bare feet
Bless Mama Bless Papa and sail away
All aboard for blanket bay

I'm a mom now myself and sing it to my boys after their bath. They like to change the color of the sheet based on the color of their towel.

Thank you so much for posting this - I'm pregnant with my third and I'm decorating his room with the lyrics!

chicklegirl said...

Thanks to Maggie (and everyone else) who has left comments on this post. It always surprises me the strong feelings the song evokes, and I'm glad there are other people out there who share that.

And Maggie, I'm expecting my third one, too. Blessings to you and your little one on the way!

Anonymous said...

My 80-year-old mother sang this to my brother and me in the early 70's:
"All aboard for Blanket Bay,
Won't be back 'till the break of day.
Wrap her (him) up in her little white sheet,
So you don't see her little bare feet.
Then we'll tuck her into her comfy bed,
Go to sleep little sleepy head.
Bless Mommy & Daddy then sail away.
All aboard for Blanket Bay".

Rootie said...

My grandaunt used to sing this in the family orchestra in Bovey, Minnesota. I have a darling picture of her sitting on a moon at:

Thanks for the link to the mp3.

London girl said...

I just googled the lullaby, All Aboard for Blanket Bay and found your blog. As a child in East London, I recall the song being sung as follows as my dad would put me over his shoulder "like a sack of coal" and carry me up the stairs to bed as a little girl, amidst giggles.
"All aboard for blanket bay,
All aboard till the break of day,
Sleep little baby,
Do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby."

I didn't hear any of the other lyrics that you've posted. My dad lived until he was over 96 and we occasionally would talk about this lullaby and sing it together. My dad would always sing the "of day" in a really high voice too, just so cute and funny too.

A good memory as my dad has left this earth now for over 2 years now.

Kathy G. said...

I think it is wonderful that we all have so many fond memories attached to this lullaby. Even though the words have been changed between us all I think the sentiment is still there. God Bless and keep on singing. I'm now a Grandma of a sweet little girl named Violet and I sing it everyday and I can envision my own mother singing it to me as a little girl.

Anonymous said...

I sing this song to my kids, as my mother sang it to me, her mother sang it her, and her mother sang it to her (around the time it was released).

Mgolden said...

My son's 17-year-old friend's mother abandoned him when he was 11. He comes to my house and calls me "Mama Golden" Today I made him a blanket and wanted to write the words to this lullaby. My mother sang it to all 6 of us kids when we were little. Three years ago we had to take her off life support. As she slowly faded, we sang "All aboard to Blanket Bay" to her. This song is profoundly poignant to me. Thank you. M. Golden

Kathy G. said...

I love getting notices that others continue to see this post. And I love hearing everyone's stories attached to it. Besides my Granddaughter, I now have a grandson and 2 more grandbabies to arrive this year. So I'll keep on singing. Happy New Year All.

Katie Richmond said...

I'm so glad people are still reading this post. Sadly, most of the original links no longer work, but I just found a recording of the song on YouTube:

And here's an updated URL for information about the song itself:

Kathy G. said...

I just listened to your link. Funny how , well at least I think we all have the same tune in our lullaby portion of the song but how the lyrics are just slightly different. I know when my mother sang it to me she said she couldn't remember all the words. So I was pretty sure some at least were a bit different. Thank you for finding the link.

Anne Y. said...

I've been wanting to find the lyrics as I was fairly sure I didn't remember them exactly as my Grandmother sang it to me. I remember her singing the chorus to me as a child and now sing it to my grandchild. I sang it to her most of the night the first night home from the hospital to lure her back to sleep - allowing my daughter and son-in-law to get a little sleep. My grandmother undoubtedly sang it to my dad who was born in 1929. I just knew the chorus and like others have said, I had the melody correct but some of the words were a little different. Thanks for your post. It was great to read through these comments.

Anonymous said...

This Lullaby is one of the few memories I have of my Mother who used to sing me to sleep with it. She passed away when I was four and I miss her to this day. Thank you for posting this as I can better remember the words for my grandson.

Judy G.

WestLaytonGirl said...

Our paternal grandfather was born in 1873. Widowed by the time we were born, he lived next door to us, and came for supper every night. I remember doing the dishes and listening as he taught our mother this song. It has become a family staple in the lullaby department. It is passed down to many, many grandchildren and now great-grands. Many thanks to you for doing this research, and for posting it. We had hand-written our version of the song for family, and it is amazing how close the words and melody are to the original. Somehow the minor sections became major in the re-singing of it over the years. Now, we can pass the original along to uninitiated cousins, as a connection to the grandfather they never were privileged to know.

How can we ever thank you for sharing with us a connection to our musical and parenting heritage?

Mandy Olney said...

I, too, was sung this lullaby as a baby. It was passed down through generations and was known in that way as a family song. My grandfather, however, would never sing the second verse because it was so sad. My grandfather is less than a month away from being 99 (going into his one hundredth year) and is now gravely ill and in the hospital under hospice...I can't help but think of this song and by turning to the internet found my way here. Life and its cycle can be both beautiful and tragic. As our little boy blue sails beyond the horizon, I know he will be greeted and embraced by the loved ones awaiting his arrival.

Kathy G. said...

Mandy, My heart goes out to you and your family. It does remind me of my mother's passing. My sister and I sat with her. She could not speak or open her eyes and so we sat and sang lullaby's to her. Of course including Blanket Bay. We also never sang the whole song. Just the chorus. Never knew there was more to it until I found this post several years ago. Peace and God Bless