Monday, June 14, 2010


It’s another musical Monday, & time for our Alice in Wonder Band song of the month. This time around it’s a song called “Lullaby,” & it has an interesting back story.

Our good friend & sometime collaborator JudyAnderson gave Eberle a wonderful Christmas gift in 2002—a book called The Flower Festival, which is an English translation of a 1914 book by Swedish author & illustrator Elsa Beskow (the original is called Blomsterfesten).

It was Christmas evening, & we were both propped up in bed in the old (& cold!) farmhouse where we lived at the time. Eberle was looking thru the book, & I was playing the ukulele. Yes, that’s right—I used to play ukulele in bed quite often; it’s pretty much the ideal instrument for this, not only due to its size, but also its mellow “vibe.” In any case, Eberle read me the poem that concludes the book, & one or both of us decided it would make a good song. So I started to plunk & strum away, & came up with a chord progression. Meanwhile, Eberle got another uke & started to compose a melody to go with said chords
—even now, when I don'tplay the uke much, I still say you can't have too many ukes! This actually wasn’t the first song we wrote in bed using two ukes—that was “The Owl & The Pussycat Samba,” which interested parties can hear in an earlier Robert Frost’s Banjo post here.

The song worked out nicelyfor the band, I think. I stated on uke (a concert-size Fluke I believe), while Eberle moved to marimba. Our oboist Art Troutner moved to tenor recorder, & our violinist Lois Fry switched to viola; singer Deadre Chase did a wonderful job with a lovely but difficult melody.

The song was recorded at the Alpine Playhouse in McCall, Idaho, I think during a show in February of 2003. Hope you enjoy it!

Pic is an image by Beskow from


  1. Interesting piece of music; I like the changes it goes through. I also like the instrumentation on this. And miracle of miracles, a viola that stays in tune! Heh, heh! I only wish the vocal had been clearer; I really didn't catch much of the words.

  2. Hi Roy: Thanks! The recording was done live on a minidisk, & I agree Deadre's vocal isn't as clear as it should be. This is one I wish we'd gotten a studio take on. The violist, Lois Fry, has perfect pitch--she is always in tune, no matter what she plays! Ditto for anyone playing with her.

  3. John, this was absolutely lovely! The pictures match perfectly in mood, although I would not have thought to mix French impressionism with Japanese prints. I love the back story, too. To tell you the truth, I love everything about this song. I only wish you had printed the lyrics for us.

    Here's a confession for you: I hate to go to someone's blog and be blasted out by their personal choice in music. When I come to your site, however, I turn up the volume. I'm never disappointed!

  4. It's lovely, wistful and soothing; thank you for sharing it (and the delightful story of its origins).

  5. Hi Karen & HKatz

    Karen: I so appreciate what you said about the music here. Thanks so much for that, & so glad you liked this song; I'm very fond of it.

    HKatz: Thank you!--yes, wistful is a good word for it I think.

    & here are the lyrics, since inquiring minds want to know:

    Lullaby waves, washing ashore,
    Sing lullaby, sweet lullaby
    Gentling rippling, rolling ashore,
    Sing lullaby, sweet lullaby.

    The day is over,
    The long day is done,
    Heads on pillows,
    Sleep now to come.

    Reeds in the bay
    In the evening wind,
    Rustle & sway,
    Whispering their tune.

    Tail, fin, & gill
    In the depths of the lake,
    Silv'ry fish still,
    Not a sound they make.

    Water lily children
    Closed for the night,
    Bobbing their heads,
    Waiting for light.

    Still is the water,
    Still is the shore,
    Still is the mist
    On the meadow floor.

    Only the nightjar
    Calls in the night:
    "The midnight hour is here.
    The midnight hour is here."


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