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You know that old story about how Chevy introduced the car called the Nova and it wouldn’t sell in Latin America because no va means “doesn’t go?” Or that in some countries food items are pictured on the label and so nobody wanted to buy Gerber baby food because it has that pretty white baby on the label, and who wants to eat that?!

Well, today I present to you a magazine which I just took note of this weekend. It’s El Mercurio‘s home decor magazine, a really pleasant read with profiled workshops and classes on horticulture, weaving, etc. Please view the magazine cover carefully and tell me if this is something you’d like to sign up for

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VD? Should I comment on this? Or should I move ahead to the lullabies.

I think I’ll move ahead. Lullabies, or canciones de cuna are not something I have a lot of contact with here in Chile. Most of my friends’ kids are older, and the whole OMG, it’s 8 PM, I must put the baby to bed thing doesn’t really happen here. Kids tend to sort of fall asleep when/whereever here, and there is much less of a focus on ensuring that people sleep enough. Which would explain why my former students, on being asked what they did over the weekend, would often respond “I slept.” I thought they were being cheeky, but really, if you accumulated the sleep debt that most Chileans accumulate over the course of the week, you’d spend all weekend asnooze as well.

But let’s say you have a baby, and you want him/her to go to slumberland. A lullaby would be perfect, n’est pas? There’s one lullaby that I know in Spanish, and in either version, you simply have to wonder how this is going to help a baby fall asleep. It can be sung to the tune of Rock-a-bye baby (which, for those who don’t know, also entices babies to sleep by offering them a tumble out of the top of a tree in their cradle, whereupon they go crashing to the ground. I know that always makes me want to settle in for a nap, though maybe it does explain why dreaming that you’re falling is such a common theme.)

Duérmete niño, duérmete ya (sleep little baby, go to sleep already)
Que viene el lobo y te comerá (the wolf is coming, and he’ll gobble you up!)


Duérmete niño, duérmete ya (sleep little baby, go to sleep already)
Que viene el cuco y te llevará (the boogeyman is coming, and he’ll take you away)

You know, I have to say, between the VD and the wolves and boogeymen, I’m beginning to understand why no one around here gets enough sleep.

Bonus points: espantacucos (boogeyman scarer) is what you call a nightlite in Chile. Sweet dreams.