Hushabye: The Songs

Hushabye: The Songs

My hard-working media promoter, Randall Davis, describes Hushabye as “quiet lullabies perfect for relaxing, meditating & dreaming.” Hushabye is, without a doubt, my most peaceful album ever, a tapestry of strings, piano, flute & angelic voices.

Besides the fact that several of our friends use my music to help their children (& themselves) get to sleep, Hushabye’s sweet back cover picture of a little girl sleeping inspired me throughout the production. It helped give a peaceful consistency to the songs which I originally meant as a sleep album for little ones. In the end, Hushabye became more than that, but the songs remain a great way for listeners to “sail away to dreamland.”

1) My Soul to Keep. I love Bryan Wilson’s choice to begin his Smile album with a lovely acapella prayer, using the Beach Boys’ amazing 3-part harmony which Brian always said “sounds like angels.” I began Hushabye the same way, with a brief angelic prayer to start the listener’s journey to dreamland. The title is a phrase from the child’s bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.”

2) Love Can Make You Happy. This is one of two cover songs on the album, a favorite of mine from 1969 and a sweet love song to set the musical stage for Hushabye. The voices add great emotion to this & all the songs, using the 3-part harmony of angel voices. My piano lead is simple but sufficient, mirroring my approach in all my work as a composer and arranger.

3) Dreams of Peace. So much of our lives is spent looking for peace, in the world & in our hearts. The phrase “dreams of peace” could be taken as dreaming of peace, or peaceful dreams. As a Christian, I credit my faith in Jesus Christ for the peace in my music and my life.

4) Little Flower. The lovely title song from the 1967 film You Only Live Twice inspired me to lend a touch of the Orient to Hushabye with Little Flower. The title is a reference to the Japanese love of flowers, as well as to a little child.

5) No Greater Love. This is one of my favorite songs on Hushabye, with achingly beautiful melody, strings & vocal harmonies. The title is from Jesus’ teaching in John 15:13 - “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

6) When the Stars Come Out. Another slumber song welcoming the listener to dreamland, with flute, piano, strings and angelic voices. In the final musical phrase, you can almost hear the words, “And now it’s time for bed.”

7) Jesus Loves Me. The first hymn many of us learned as children, voicing a simple but profound truth. Love is a recurring theme on Hushabye – this song was a natural for the album.

8) Cloud Pillow. I fell in love with flying long before becoming a pilot. To fly is to be immersed in otherworldly beauty, especially when you find yourself among billowy white clouds. Too, we usually think of the realm of angels as being “up there,” so angel voice harmonies, strings and the imagery of flying among clouds make for a great slumber song.   

9) And She Dreams. This song was directly inspired by the album’s sweet back cover picture of a little girl sleeping. For all the little ones, dreams should be a place of peace, safety & love.

10) Angel Song. On reflection, I think I was influenced to write this acapella voice hymn by the lovely music of the English composer Vaughan Williams, as well as by the beautiful pure tones of an English boys’ choir. Much of Hushabye probably reflects those two influences.

11) We Are Loved. I closed the album with the assurance that we are all loved, by God and (probably more than we know) those around us. May all our dreams as well as our waking hours be filled with the beautiful assurance that we are loved.

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