A while back I posted a blog about the origins of a few Abney Park songs, and people said they really enjoyed it, so I'm doing it again.
Today's theme is Lullaby. I once had the idea of making a whole compilation CD of lullbys, since Traci and Krystof (Of Abney Park and Sinforsa) had just written the beautiful Gypsy Girl (which would make anyone cry to hear right now)...and because I always loved Voltaires Goodnight Deamond Slayer.
Here are two Abney Park Lullaby's:Sleep Isabella
Sleep Isabella is a lullaby, although not a very effective one the way its recorded, since it tends to make everybody dance. But in its original ah capella version it is very effective, and I sing it to Isabella every night. In fact I've been known to phone Bella from the greenroom of whatever club we are playing that night to sing her to sleep. (for those worried parents please note we hardly play more then one show every two weeks, so 99 percent of the time I'm sing to her while holding her hand).
The lyrics aren't deep, no. In fact they are derivative of something even sillier. One of her favorite books is a book call "Little Fur Child" about a little family of furry creatures that lived in a tree, and the adventures of the littlest of the family (pictured above). At the end of the book the parents sing a song to their fur child:
Sleep Sleep my little fur child
Out of the Windyness Out of the Wild
Sleep Warm In Your Fur all night long
In your little Fur Family...this is a song.
Now, I had to read this book to her every night, and after a while I started making up a melody to it. Eventually she asked me to sing it to her at bed time, and I started putting "Isabella" in place of "My little fur child" since Bella is not overly furry (except for the curly stuff on her head, which smells like a hug). So the song evolved into:
Sleep Sleep My Isabella
Safly in Your Carosella
Sleep though the spinning just like your begining
Sleep my Child, oh sleep my child.
In our heads Isabella had a little crib shaped like a carosel that we called her "Carosella", and it revolved as she slept. I didn't make up the word, but the only other place I've heard it spoken was in the song "Carosella" by In The Nursery (Awesome song). When I pictured a "Carosella" from their song, I came up with the whole "spinning crib" thing.
The line "Sleep Through the spinning, Just like your beginning" is in reference to how much she spun and squirmed in the womb.
Admittedly, after a while Bella got tired of Sleep Isabella, and had me singing what she called "My Pirate Song", which is an old sea shanty about the guy who invented Beer. An odd song to sing to a three year old girl, but a father does what is asked of him, provided it doesn't wreck the house or ruin the child. Here are lyrics to Bellas "pirate song": http://hoss88.xanga.com/331713999/item
This Dark and Twisty Road
This song is sort of a Little Red Ridding Hood + The Woodsmen metaphor for my relationship with my Daughter Chloe (now 6).
Little girl, in your dress of snowy white. Get behind me, and safe from creatures of the night
Long ago and far away I hunted my deamonds down to make you a safer way, down this dark and twisted road.
Little girl, keep your feet upon the trail. If you stray, you'll become a cautionary tale.
With these arms and with these fists I'll keep you safe and sound.
Through the forests and the mists , and down, This dark and twisted road
Don't run little girl, I've got your back, I'll cover you. Don't you run and hide yourself , your safe
Little girl, one day i'll give you away. Though i'll miss you, i can't ask you to stay.
Your whole life until this day, i have protected you, and If you'll need me on your way, i'l be around this dark and twisted road.
This song is from a father to a daughter, pledging to protect and look after her her whole life. I'm tearing up as a type, honestly, as its a very emotional theme to me. And yes, she did have a "Dress Of Snow White". It was lacy, and white, and she wore it, and danced in it, and played in it, until it was sepia, and torn, and all the more beautiful for the happiness that it soaked in from a tiny little girl with long rose colored hair.
The line "Long ago and far away I hunted my deamonds down" is to mean that I have strengthened my self as a person, corrected my issues as much as a could, so that I could be a strong father to Chloe (as opposed to a selfish father who spends his time dealing with himself more then his family). In typing this I wonder if I'm drifting away from that focus...perhaps I should re-evaluate our touring schedule a bit, and perhaps how much attention I pay to on-line Abney-Drama. My Family should be my first priority, and my Art second, and all else should hardly enter in to the equation.
The final verse is a realization that eventually all daughters leave their fathers and go off into the world. I end the song by saying "Although I can't ask you to stay, know that I will always be here waiting to take care of you should you ever need me.
And on that note I'll end this and go off and have a sentimental cry. Daughters grow up, and they change as they grow, and although you love every incarnation of them you get, you only get each incarnation for a brief flicker of time.
You should go call your dad, or better yet, find him and give him a hug.