The Lullaby in America
The lullaby is as old as the world. Its main purpose is to calm the child, rocking and lulling the baby to sleep with its monotonous rhythm.
The mother subconsciously composes the lullaby in tune with the beating of her own heart. The biological depth of this synchrony is both obvious and profound.
Singing the lullaby, the mother sends to her baby a memory of his early life in the womb, before he was delivered into consciousness.
The rhythm of lullabies tends to follow the metrical pattern of a trochaic tetrameter: tum-ti, tum-ti, tum-ti, tum-ti... This trochaic rhythm is also used in sacramental incantations to help those with sleep disorders.
The muse of poetic composition arrives with the mother’s belief that the word has mystic meaning. In lullabies, mothers create incantations that promise safety, prosperity, and happiness to their children.
This project would not have been possible without support of the Northwest Folklife, especially Deborah Fant, and the singers, representing the traditional American Lullabies.
Because the titles of the lullabies were passed on in families, the same song may have many names.
It should be noted that in order to make the singers comfortable, lullabies were not recorded in a professional studio, but in the field.
I am pleased to announce that the second collection of songs from the Lullaby Project is now available on CD “The Lullaby in America. Lord Blow the Moon Out” and can be purchased on the website listed below or from me. I wish I could just give this to all of you, but producing it has been very expensive. Only 56 lullabies from over 25 hours of collected could fit on this second edition.
The CD includes:
1.All the Pretty Little Horses: Beth Amsbary; 2.Hush-a-Bye My Baby: Maggie Bennett; 3.Hobo’s Lullaby: Rosy Betz-Zall; 4.Sweet and Low: Rosy Betz-Zall;
5.Braves: Kay and Maresa Black; 6.Hush-a-Bye: Kay Black; 7.Sweet and Low: Ilsa Birmingham; 8.Cape Breton Lullaby : Mary Carvey; 9.Bye Baby Bye: Rebecca Collias; 10.Go to Sleep: Patricia Crosby; 11.Hobo’s Lullaby: Carol Cummings; 12.Tell Me Why: Carol Cummings; 13.Lord, Blow the Moon Out: Marjorie Fiddler and Caitlin Pensak; 14.All Through the Night: Cynthia FitGerald; 15.Baby Trees: Glenna Green and Megan Koster; 16.We Give Babies Away: Glenna Green and Megan Koster; 17.Raisins and Almonds: Ami Goldberg; 18.Apple Tree: Sally Gill-Almquist; 19. Hawaiian Lullaby: Gretchen Hansen; 20.Hush-a-Bye: Judith Healy; 21.Baby’s Boat’s a Silver Moon: Margie Hunt; 22.I See the Moon: Lisa Kathleen; 23.Baby Bye-O: Roxanne Kenison; 24.Tree Top: Janet King; 25.Summertime: David Knott; 26.Slumber Boat: Sharon Lawrence; 27.Raisins and Almonds: Sharon Lawrence; 28.My Curly Headed Baby: Kathy Leathers; 29.Rock-a-Bye Baby: Kathy Leathers; 30.Little Owlet, Baby Owlet: Carol Levin and Steve Deutsch; 31.Sleepy Song: Nicole Lewis; 32.All Through the Night: Laura Martin; 33.Turtle Dove: Laura Martin; 34.Rock-a-Bye My Baby: Jenny Miller; 35.Mocking Bird: Jean Murphy; 36.Pussy Cat: Vicky Nelson; 37.Go to Sleep: Roger Norris; 38.Bye Baby Bunting: Cora Bill Patz; 39.Dormi, Dormi: Jeanene Pratt; 40.Mocking Bird: Bonnie Quino; 41.Lullabies: Loise Reece; 42.Baby’s Boat: Kelly Reed; 43.Scarlet Ribbons: Melyssa Rice; 44.Irish Lullaby: Wendy Russel; 45.Minnie and Winnie: Kathryn Scholcraft; 46.Hush-a-Bye: Rick Keller-Scholz; 47.Baby’s Boat: Barbara Selig; 48.Brahms’s Lullaby: Cheryl and Cynthia Steinhoff; 49.Baby Goat: Juliette Stoering; 50.Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: Joel Ware IV; 51.Nighty, Nighty: Elizabeth Weston; 52.Hush-a-Bye: Misty Wheeler; 53.Golden Boat: Misty Wheeler; 54. Mammy’s Little Alabama Coon: Diana Wright; 55.Go to Sleep Little Baby: Diana Wright; 56.Lord, Blow the Moon Out Please: Beverly Young..
Online LINK to website:
More Links Articles and Audio about Lullaby Project:
2007, July - Interviewed by Seattle’s Child magazine by Cheryl Murfin Bond.
2007, May 27 - Featured by Seattle Times.
2007, May 26 - Interviewed by National Public Radio by Jeff Rice. 2007, January 26 - Featured by Post Intelligencer.
Masguda Shamsutdinova, Ph.D., ethnomusicologist, composer