Some Days in the Life - Sentient Alarm Clocks
My mother tells me that's how her schoolclasses (I assume young ones) would start the morning -- it's a little song. The times she had to wake me up instead of my father, she would sing that song to me. It's a very fond memory.
My father had a ritual which I loved. For a long time, that ritual was followed even when I visited at home. Then I actually moved home for a while, with my alarm clock, and it went away. But what Dad would do is about a half hour before I had to get up, he'd stick his head in and say "time to get up, Eric."
I'd say "okay." Sometimes I'd say "five more minutes?" Either way led to the same result.
"Would you like a cup of tea," he'd ask, regardless of what I said. I would say yes.
He'd then come back twenty minutes later (much longer than it would take to make good tea) and give it to me, and chat about -- oh, something for two or three minutes. And then I was awake and could face the day. A bloody civilized way to wake up.
The most recent "alarm clock" my parents worked out, for those times I actually spend the night, is our dog Buddy, who is quite young. He is, however, smart enough to know that "go get Eric up" means "run downstairs, jump onto Eric's bed, lick his face, jump off the bed, and steal one of Eric's socks."
Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for.