->''"Now I lay me down to sleep\\
And pray the Lord my soul to keep\\
And if I die before I wake\\
Pray the Lord my soul to take"''

A common Christian prayer said before bedtime, dating back at least to the 18th-century [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Primer New England Primer]]. In media, this is always said by children and has two uses:
* Showing how adorable or mischevious they are.
* IronicNurseryTune, especially in religious horror.

In the first variation, expect some kind of mundane addition like "and also give me a pony".

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Audio Play]]
On AudioPlay/WereAlive Burt mentions it when he, Saul and Angel are camping out on the roof of his store for the night.
-->'''Burt''': Remember to say you prayers boys, especially the part about "If I should die before I wake."
-->'''Saul''': Oh ''great''! There's no way I'm getting any sleep now.
-->'''Burt''': Good! I was hoping to force a lookout.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Used rather ominously, though appropriately, in ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'' when Nancy prepares for the climactic confrontation with Freddy.
** The Dream Master rhyme from ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet4TheDreamMaster'' is a variation of it:
--->'''Chorus Children:''' Now I lay me down to sleep. The Master of Dreams my soul will keep. In the reflection by my side...
--->'''Alice Johnson:''' Evil will see itself, and it shall die!
* ''Little Miss Marker'' (1934). Sorrowful Jones (Adolphe Menjou) teaches the rhyme to Marthy Jane (ShirleyTemple) before she goes to bed.
* Used in the trailer for ''Film/MySoulToTake''.
* Nancy starts reciting this when she sees Jason in her cabin in ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVIJasonLives''.
* One adaptation of ''Literature/TheLegendOfSleepyHollow'' has Ichabod give a rather humorous variant, to show how completely paranoid he is about supernatural things:
--> '''Ichabod:''' And if I die before I wake, please bring me back to life!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''[[IncarnationsOfImmortality On a Pale Horse]]'', Death decides to read his mail against the advice of his household staff, and one of the letters is from a girl who is afraid that she'll die in her sleep because her mother makes her recite this prayer before going to bed.
* Then there's the Selfish Kid's Prayer by Creator/ShelSilverstein:
-->''If I should die before I wake\\
Pray the Lord my toys to break\\
So no other kids can use 'em...''
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** In ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', Susan mentions this as one of the reasons she hates the previous nanny of the kids she looks after.
** ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'': After extremist dwarfs break into Vimes's house, he, Sybil and their baby son briefly move into the Watch house. Four troll officers volunteer to guard Young Sam. Vimes hopes the boy will be impressed when he's older, as the best most kids can hope for is angels.
** ''Discworld/MakingMoney'': Moist recalls that this prayer was potent [[invoked]] NightmareFuel for him as a boy.
* In OrsonScottCard's ''Homecoming'' series, the first half of the fourth book (dealing with a crisis during an interstellar voyage with most of the characters in [[HumanPopsicle suspended animation]]) is titled ''If I Should Wake Before I Die''.
* In ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'', the second verse of Marvin's lullaby starts with this line.
-->Now I lay me down to sleep\\
Try to count electric sheep\\
Sweet dream wishes you can keep\\
How I hate the night
* In Rachel Vincent's SoulScreamers series the books are all named for this poem, ''My Soul to Take/Steal/Keep/Save/...'' and late ''If I Die'' and ''Before I Wake''.
* In ''AnneOfGreenGables'', Marilla has to figure out something for Anne to say for her evening prayers, seeing as she'd never been taught any. Marilla quickly rules this one out, because [[GenkiGirl Anne]] very much does ''not'' fit the adorable child image associated with it.
* In ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath'' it's mentioned how Ruthie told this prayer when she was little:
-->Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. An' when she got there the cupboard was bare, an' so the poor dog got none. Amen.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Parodied by, of all people, Father Mulcahy in ''Series/{{Mash}}'':
-->Now I lay me down to sleep,
-->A bag of peanuts at my feet.
-->If I die before I wake,
-->Give them to my brother Jake.
* In the episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS01E18SomethingWicked "Something Wicked"]] ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' uses a variation emphasizing angels instead of death, but either version fits well with the series themes.
-->'''Little girl:''' Now I lay me down to sleep
---->I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
----> May angels watch me through the night,
----> And keep me safe til morning light.
----> Amen.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The HIM song "Buried Alive By Love" plays with the second part of the prayer:
-->If I should die before I wake, pray no one my soul to take
-->And if I wake before I die, rescue me with your smile.
* Said word-for-word in Music/{{Metallica}}'s "Enter Sandman".
** This one is also parodied in Music/{{Megadeth}}'s song "Go to Hell":
-->Now I lay me down to sleep,\\
BlahBlahBlah, my soul to keep.\\
If I die before I wake,\\
I'll go to hell, for heaven's sake!
** And, true to form, also parodied by {{Beatallica}} in "Sandman" ("Taxman" + "Enter Sandman"). It's actually the same thing as Metallica's, except they replace "God" with "Cliff".
* Pirates of the Mississipi, "Feed Jake"
-->Now I lay me down to sleep
-->Pray the Lord my soul to keep
-->And if I die before I wake, Feed Jake
-->He's been a good dog, my best friend, right through it all
-->If I die before I wake, Feed Jake
* "Midnight Girl/Sunset Town" by Sweethearts of the Rodeo:
-->Now I lay me down to sleep
-->Pray the Lord my soul to keep
-->If I should die before the world turns 'round
-->Lord, don't leave me in this one horse town
* Music/KidCudi uses the last two lines in the chorus of The Prayer:
-->And if I die before I wake
-->I pray the Lord my soul to take
-->But please don't cry
-->Just know that I am making songs for you
* Parodied in Music/{{POD}}'s song "Southtown":
-->Could be the next guy that you take before I wake,\\
Now I lay me down to sleep, eyes tight, when I pray.
* Somewhat borrowed in Sophie B. Hawkins' "As I Lay Me Down".
* A rather [[IronicNurseryRhyme creepier version]] in TomWaits' ''Lullaby'':
-->If I die before you wake\\
Don't you cry, don't you ache\\
Nothing's ever yours to keep\\
Close your eyes, go to sleep
* The Music/RedHotChiliPeppers put their own spin on it in "Sir Psycho Sexy":
-->Now I lay me down to sleep\\
I pray the funk will make me freak\\
If I should die before I wake\\
Allow me, Lord, to rock out naked!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Done many times in newspaper comics with small children like ''ComicStrip/{{Dennis the Menace|US}}'' and ''FamilyCircus''.
* A ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' [[http://garfield.nfshost.com/1987/04/29/ strip]] shows Jon starting the prayer, but he stops because he hears Garfield open the refrigerator door.
* Parodied in a ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' strip with Larry the Croc and his son:
-->"Now I lay me down to sleep.\\
Mow da zeebas down like sheep.\\
Give dem to me nice and dead.\\
Me no happy 'til me fed."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Creator/BillCosby, in his "Cool Covers" routine from the ''Revenge'' album, describes how inappropriate it is to teach this prayer to a young child who's already scared to go to bed due to [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight bedroom closet monsters]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcsPhK9pEYE Tim Hawkins mentioned this too.]]
--> Now I lay me down to sleep ...
--> I pray the Lord my soul ... to keep ...
--> If I ... should ''DIE'' ... before I wake ...
--> I pray the Lord ... my soul ... to take ...
--> [[MoodWhiplash *kiss* Sweet dreams!]] See you in the morning -- maybe! ... Oh, and don't let the bedbugs bite! [[EvilLaugh Muahahahaha!]]
* Creator/DennisMiller also mentioned the inherent creepiness in the prayer on his old HBO show. After completing the four lines, he responded with "Fuck that, I'm never going to sleep again!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' often uses this, particularly when a character is at gunpoint or under some other apparently mortal threat. The main villains, such as Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd, often make the demand, "Say your prayers, rabbit!"
* The clown bed Homer botches up for Bart in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' recites parts of the prayer in a way that is pure NightmareFuel. "If you should die before you wake..." ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7alnPmA1824 [maniacal laughter] ]]''
** [[MemeticMutation Can't sleep, clown'll eat me. Can't sleep, clown'll eat me. Can't sleep, clown'll eat me]].
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck used it once in the ''Prince and the Pauper'' adaption.
* In ''PussGetsTheBoot'', Jinx (later known as [[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Jerry]]) says it when he's caught by Jasper (Tom).
* In the ''{{Popeye}}'' cartoon "Nurse To Meet You," Popeye and Bluto are trying to injure themselves so they can get near nurse Olive at the hospital. As Bluto positions himself on a railroad track with a train approaching:
-->'''Bluto:''' Now I lay me down to rest,
-->Come on, choo-choo...do your best!
[[/folder]]

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