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And The Cradle Will Rock by Van Halen

Album: Women And Children FirstReleased: 1980Charted:
  • The first track and only single released from Van Halen's third album Women And Children First, "And The Cradle Will Rock" tells a vague story about a recalcitrant youth who upsets his parents and the elders in town with his penchant for rock and roll, which they all know isn't a real job. The title is a loose play on the nursery rhyme "Rockabye Baby."
  • Eddie Van Halen played the keyboard on this track. He and Alex took piano lessons throughout their youth.
  • They called the tour to support this album the "Invasion Tour." It was the first time they brought lots of equipment with them, including a monster sound system and huge lighting grid. They would soon become known for their loud concerts.
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Comments: 20

Kevin is correct. The Wurlitzer is in the body of the song. You can hear it clearly when you listen. The beginning "wooshing" is made with a guitar.Chris - Phoenix, Az
The sound at the *very* beginning is Eddie scraping the the rear springs that attach the Floyd Rose to the body of the guitar while moving the trem bar, all at peak volume. The main body of the song is the Wurlitzer slammed through the MXR and Marshall. This, and not Jump, was the first example of keyboards on a Van Halen album. And although Dave allegedly told Eddie, "No one wants to see your dead ass playing a keyboard," this got a pass because it didn't *sound* like a keyboard.Kevin - Beverly Hills, Ca
Have YOU seen Junior's grades? I have.Pat - St. Paul, Mn
Sorry, Mike, hate to disagree with you, but it's been written in several places and stated by Eddie himself in interviews that it IS a Wurlitzer piano run through an MXR flanger and a Marshall amp that produces the wooshing sound in the intro. I've played around with the setup myself and was able to get a rough approximation of the effect, though I used a Korg synth since I don't have a Wurlitzer piano.Rob - Duluth, Ga
What is this song even about? I always thought it was about a kid who always got in trouble and hated his parents and stuff, put his parents always cared for him (hence the title of the song)Michael - Staten Island, Ny
Take your picking hand. With the SIDE of it (as if you were giving a "Judo Chop") rub this area of your hand upon the wound strings, near the bridge pickup on your guitar. As you move your hand (sideways)from over top of the bridge pickup, towards the neck pickup, move your hand up & down (slightly) as well, so you have a slight up & down motion, combined with a sideways movement as you move your hand (touching) along the strings towards the neck. Your flanger MUST be on the proper speed & setting. You will notice that the flanger + the "hand-scraping" movement towards the neck = that "downward" type of "swoosh". As the flanger "changes direction", YOU must also change your hand direction & move up & down as you (now) head back towards the BRIDGE pickup. This will sound like the "swoosh" going back "up". That's how I always did it live. I NEVER, EVER used the keyboard for that effect because it's a GUITAR + FLANGER which accomplishes it, NOT Ed "pounding his hand on some random keys on a Wurlitzer".Mike - Thehammer, On
One of the few Van Halen songs after the first album that I really like.Marissa - Akron, Oh
I first heard this song a few years ago. Then I decided to play it at my friends' party. Everyone really liked it and asked where they could find it. By the end of the night, my friends who were completlely into rap wanted to know more about classic rock! Score one...Melissa - Lorton, Va
It's a great rocking no matter how you put it. Everyone makes the soung sound great- even if you are rollerblading!Scott - Kings Park, Ny
This song rocks, its the kind of song you hear on the radio in the car and you just wanna turn it up real loud.Ozzi - Brookhaven, Pa
Rob apparently you misunderstood. Eddie made the beginning sounds by banging his fists on the keys thats why it sounds like that. Not from a falling beer.Chris - Fort Worth , Tx
I'm no Van Halen expert but didn't ol Eddie pick up a few things from watching Page? Also who wrote this song? Seems to be some kind of statement. Again, I'm not a big VH guy so forgive if this is common knowledge.Mark - Worcester, Mi
Before they recorded their first record Eddie & the boys played a gig in The Whiskey and lots of guitar players came to see him. In the audience was Ritchie Blackmore for Deep Purple, Alex told Ed to turn his back to the audience for some of his guitar parts so people couldn't rip his stuff off. Blackmore refuses to tap till this very day.Simon - Nijmegen, Netherlands
The tour was called "take your wisky home" I still have my shirt for this tour.Duffy - Yakima, Al
It probably is a good rollerblading song.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Does anyone find this a good roller blading song?Mia - Wellston, Mi
Actually all the rhythm "guitar" parts are made with the Wurlitzer. Only the solos are played with guitar. You can hear it very clearly in the middle of the song, behind the quiet guitar solo.Sumeus - Härmä, Finland
The beginning of this song is actually Eddies beer falling down onto the keys of the piano.He liked it so much it reproduced it on his KramerRob - Bayonne, Nj
According to a 1985 interview by Guitar World magazine, the sound at the beginning of "And the Cradle Will Rock" was created with a Wurlitzer electric piano run through an MXR flanger into Marshall amps. Eddie just banged on a cluster of keys (no notes in particular).Greg - Manchester, Tn
Eddie Van Halen sometimes played with his back to the audience so the guitarists in the audience could not pick up any of his techniques.

Peace and Love My Brothers and sisters
Deacon Jones - Wausau, Wi
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