(Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA)
Walking in the snow on Rabbit Lane I began thinking about Christmas bells ringing from church towers all over the celebrating world. I pondered the many emotions associated with pealing church bells. Happiness in marriage. Sorrow in death. Fear in disaster. Hope that “all is well”. The Liberty Bell rang in joyful celebration of America’s independence. I composed this song about church bells at Christmastime, attempting to embrace all of these emotions, especially excitement at the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the World. Here is the sheet music for you to enjoy: Church Bells.
The mere thought of adding to the Christmas repertoire intimidated me from making the attempt. But one quiet evening, as Christmas approached, I began to think of the baby Jesus, and to hum. I thought of the star and the heavenly choir, of the Magi and their gifts, and of Mary holding her child wrapped in rags. The Christmas lullaby “Nativity” arose from my musings. Here is the sheet music for you to enjoy: Nativity. Sing it softly to your own little ones as you put them to bed.
My children, when they were young, liked to be put to bed with a song. I composed many little lullabies and songs, some of which are posted on this blog. I tried to compose tunes and lyrics that would sooth and inspire each child. But sometimes I composed something to just make them smile and laugh. “Dreaming” is one such song and contemplates a child’s nonsensical but humorous dreams, ending with mother’s call to wake up in the morning. I hope you enjoy it! Click here for the sheet music: Dreaming.
The lonely apple tree on our one-acre property had survived from pioneer days, had made it through the decades of when the property housed the old Mormon church. After pruning my apple tree, I was able to climb into its highest branches, whence I could gaze over the sloping valley toward the silver ribbon of the Great Salt Lake to the north and west, or look the other direction to the Oquirrh Mountains to the east and south. From high in my apple tree, and on my walks on Rabbit Lane, I contemplated many strange and wonderful and dreadful aspects of life and living. These thought slowly distilled themselves into my song Wandering, attached here for you to enjoy.
(See the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page, Chapter 43: Trees post, for further reference to my apply tree.)
Caleb (2) and I, lying together on his bed, looked out the window at the moon, talking quietly. He asked rather suddenly, “Would you write me a song about the moon?” Well, I thought, I guess I could try. The notes came quickly, and soon I was humming a tune to him with occasional key words rising up. As the song came together, I imagined the moon and the stars being living entities giving their light to the universe under the direction of benevolent gods that also watch over sleeping children. Here is the link to the sheet music for Caleb’s lullaby, Moonlight. (See this lullaby referenced in the post Chapter 30: Good-Bye Harv in the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)
I composed the little song “Baby Zebra” to help baby John go back to sleep, laying spread-eagle on my chest, when what he really wanted was for his mother to nurse him back to sleep. He asked me for a “be-be ze-ba” song: Baby Zebra, and I obliged. The animal “zebra” can be replaced by most any other land animal, including elephant, ostrich, horse (horsie), or pig (piggie). Change a few words around and it can work for birds and dolphins, too. I hope you enjoy the song. Here is a link to the sheet music to Baby Zebra. (This song is referenced in the post Chapter 30: Good-Bye Harv of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)
In a safe environment, a child can see the world with wonder. He or she encounters the smiles and waves of a parent, loose garden soil between the toes, butterflies on flower blossoms, and being tucked into bed with a story or a lullaby. I wrote the song “Look Out the Window” after one of my children called to me from an upstairs window while I worked in the garden. She was happy to see me–“Hi Daddy!”–and raced down the stairs to join me in the garden. Every child deserves to be safe and to be loved, and to see the world with wonder. Here is the link to the sheet music to Look Out the Window.