The folks over at Rockabye Baby! — who turn everything from Queen to Aerosmith into child-friendly lullabies — are aiming to infantilize Guns N' Roses next. Hard-rocking, balls-to-the-wall, guitar-laden tracks such as "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle" will soon be reinterpreted with harps, bells and xylophones.
As far as I'm concerned, these efforts to expose children to reggae-less versions of Bob Marley and cocaine-free versions of The Eagles has much more to do with the parents than with the kids themselves. I mean, do The Beatles and The Beach Boys really need to be more kid-friendly than they already are? Perhaps it's the adults who want things quieter and softer, who need the guitar turned down and the harp turned up, who need to be soothed after a long day of work and would rather stay home and watch Parks and Recreation than go to a rock show. And now, thanks to Rockabye, they can listen to benign, enervated versions of their old favorites and claim it was their kids who made them do it.
I'm pretty sure the people over at Rockabye agree; they know they're marketing to parents and not to babies. Here's the description of their Led Zeppelin album: "Close the doors and put out the light. This evening, your child's sonic bedtime story consists of a delicate dreamscape woven by the heavens and forged by the hammer of the gods. Hasn't it been a long time since you rock & rolled?"
My favorite part of the Rockabye Baby! site is a box containing a "community poll" that asks: "Who should we Rockabye next?" The use of rockabye as a verb is brilliant. Personally, I would take it one step further and make the word an adjective, as well. For instance, "rockabye" should definitely be applied to bands and artists who have lost all their edge — or who never even had it in the first place. As in, "Grizzly Bear? They're cool, if you like rockabye."
I think the people at Rockabye are on to something, and it's not babies; it's us.