By singer-songwriter Josh Ritter. When I asked a new mother what she plays for her baby at night, she surprised me by saying that this is their favorite lullaby. It opened my mind to the world of songs other than traditional lullabies that sooth both children and adults.
A Wilco song that my son found for me. I love the lively melody and the honest sentiments. “. . . please don’t grow up too fast” is something every parent can relate to!
In the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to study songwriting with Grammy winner Hugh Prestwood. When I started this project, Hugh said that he had written a bedtime song that had never been recorded. It’s my honor to sing one of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard.
The Dixie Chicks wrote this lullaby for their children. It captures the essence of loving a child: is forever enough? Take a look at their beautiful YouTube version of the song with pictures of family.
I wrote this song for my granddaughter Annalise Sarai, remembering the sweetness of seeing my own baby girl for the first time and feeling like we’d known each other forever.
from Tom Waits’ album “Closing Time,” a collection of mellow songs that all feel like midnight. It became the title track of the album because so many lullabies are sung, sweetly or desperately, at midnight.
Sade wrote this song for her daughter. We had already started recording when Diane Gayden, who has an incredible ear for what works, said, “I have a song you HAVE to do.” She was right. It’s pure poetry.
Donovan gave me this lullaby, and told me that “La Moora” is a Scottish nonsense phrase used in lullabies for soothing. The mermaid image was too beautiful to ignore, so I invited a chorus of mermaids to join in.
Singing to a baby creates a different feeling than any other kind of singing. No matter what words are whispered at that moment of connection, the warmth of love is there too. This is my expression of that feeling.
In “Forever Young” Bob Dylan has written one of the most perfect songs of all time. I have sung it for hundreds of occasions throughout the years. We slowed it down here to lullaby tempo, to let the meaning of the words really come through.
By now a classic lullaby, the Beatles’ “Goodnight” is a blend of childhood poetry and lovely melody. The middle section of “Golden Slumbers” just seemed to want to sneak in, so we let it.