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The Pussycat Waltz (For My Daughters)

The Pussycat Waltz by Simon Wilkinson

When my daughters were babies, they were both bad at sleeping.

Really bad.

We’d be extremely lucky to get more than a couple of uninterrupted hours at a time for the first few years. It was exhausting (and still is) but everyone goes through it and you eventually come out the other side and gradually forget how nerve-shreddingly debilitating it all was. I almost have.

Molly was our first born and one thing I started doing to try and calm her down at night was humming a simple lullaby. It was just a simple waltz melody that I made up which fitted the rocking motion as I tried to lull her to sleep. She’d rarely actually go to sleep but it was often enough to keep her calm, and you take what small mercies you can get when you haven’t slept for 3 days…

Over the years she began to know it as the ‘Da-da-da dee da-dum’ song and she started to sing it to herself. She still occasionally sings it now she’s almost 5 and I also used to hum it to our second daughter Ada when she came along.

The Pussycat Waltz by Simon WilkinsonSo I thought it would be nice to try and take that simple hummed tune and orchestrate a recorded version for them to hear in case they forget when they’re older.

I fleshed it out a bit more than the simple hum it started off as, but it’s still essentially the same tune (Molly also makes cat noises when she hums it now, so it’s been named The Pussycat Waltz).

I also kept picturing the Grand Central station dance scene from The Fisher King when I was writing it. It probably wouldn’t send anyone off to sleep in its finished form (try tracks like Frozen White Light for sleep) as it builds up to a couple of rousing crescendos, but it was fun to do and I hope they’ll listen to it when they’re older and maybe remember how mum and dad went through those long, long (did I mention long?) sleepless nights.

If you’re interested you can get the track here on my site and it’s also on iTunes, Spotify etc.