As I’ve shared with you, a couple of years ago I embarked on the wild, self -initiated project of releasing a new album of family friendly material each season. I wanted to provide the families who came to my in person classes with a new batch of songs each season. And I wanted to see how I might grow, creatively if I held myself accountable for this level of output.
Today marks the sixth album in this series. What a journey it’s been! This rhythm of content creation has pushed me to my limit, in terms of maximizing productivity while also showing up for my own two young children, and my family.
But it’s also been incredibly rich. My search for new songs has led me to discover folk music traditions that were new to me, from folk songs of Ghana, to children’s playground games from the American south.
New instruments have spoken to me, and I’ve just gone for it, and started learning to play them. This season, I started playing the Celtic harp. (Which you’ll hear on this album!) I am completely in love with this instrument, and am totally committed to learning to play it beautifully. I feel like it’s going to be a huge part of my life.
I’ve also met new mentors and deepened existing friendships, as I learn from other song leaders and teachers. This season, I’m thankful to the wonderful Anne Laskey, creator of the Online American Folk Song Collection, who took time to share some of her favorite songs with me. I learned many little known gems from her, a good many of which appear on this album.
This is my favorite way to learn songs – in person. Over tea, with or without a guitar. Just two people sharing what they know, and taking delight in these traditions that are so little known, but still have so much to offer.
Folk music is like this. It’s not just songs for performance. It’s songs overheard, under the breath, shouted or mumbled. It’s the song in your pocket. The song in your heart. It’s the song you murmured for hours, trying to help your toddler sleep in spite of the fireworks. It’s songs sung by me and you and all of us. In every language. With new verses made up where we need them. Old verses cut away and discarded.
The songs are part of a living tradition, and the tradition lives through all who sing them.
Highlights of the Album
I’m biased, naturally, but I love the bits where my two children sing :). Two year old Peregrine, who is very game for this kind of thing, sings solo on three songs, and five year old Ember, who resists singing cover tunes, (LOL) contributed a finger play he made up, called “Here is the Wind.”
My favorite song, currently, is one I wrote, called Tiger, Tiger, So Much to See. The song is based on a sweet story my husband made up for Ember when he was a baby, and it will also form the basis of our puppet show for the second half of the in person eleven week class season.
I hope these songs bring you joy, like the joy they’ve brought me.
And thank you, always, for listening and for being on this journey with me.