Lullabies, Audacity, and loving them all the same…

January 19, 2008 at 1:49 am | Posted in Being a Dad, Music for You, Musings, Reviews | 1 Comment
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We were waiting for number one – knew she was a girl, had her name picked out, it was early summer, school was out, and it was really hot, so we sat around and wondered what it would be like to have a kid. Isabel just wasn’t that interested in letting go, and joining us in the outside world – that was my state of mind when I got into the lullaby writing business. My lullaby career lasted exactly three songs (You guessed it, one for each kid).

I might be missing something, but lullabies do tend to sound alike – they are, by definition, NOT exciting. If they are exciting, they’re not doing their job, which is to put someone to sleep. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure they’re mostly in 3/4 time – aka the waltz – but when you waltz (at least when I was in high school), you had the hope that it would lead to a kiss on the bleachers. Lullabies don’t even have that going for them. In spite of that, I enjoyed writing one for Isabel, and I paid for studio time to get it recorded. It came out pretty good, and, as a bonus, my Mom sang back up. Here’s a little sample of that – Isabel.mp3.

We all lived happily ever after until Abe came along, and, when he could talk, began to ask why he didn’t have a lullaby like his sister. I realized it was time for number two – “Go to Sleep Little Abraham.” Then, I had another realization – writing and playing the thing wasn’t enough – I had to record it, just like I did for Isabel. After looking around a bit, I found AUDACITY (actually, I bought it from some jerk on ebay for $10, and when a home burned CD arrived in the mail, I decided to look it up on line, only to find out that it was a free download.) AUDACITY is a free multi-track recording software – it’s no Pro Tools, but it does the job for your basic lullaby, or demo – you can find it here – Audacity . My first effort, recording “Go to Sleep Little Abraham,” involved a very cheap mic (you’ll here the distortion on the vocal track), a Casio keyboard, and my guitar. It wasn’t amazing, but here’s a sample – Abe.mp3.

Well, two was enough – until it wasn’t. In our discussions about whether or not to have number three, the fact that I would have to write and record another lullaby never came up. I knew, though, in the back of my mind, that my fate was sealed. My main objection to naming our third son Gus was that it rhymes with ‘fuss,’ and I knew, I just knew, that I wouldn’t be able to avoid using that rhyme in the lullaby I’d write. Do me a favor if you decide to listen to it, just ignore that part of the song (never mind the fact that I put it in the chorus so it repeats about 79 times in the song). Remember that I did it in the name of loving my children equally – in other words, it’s for the kids, who can argue with that?

The only difference between this one and the “Abraham” is that I invested $100 in an Shure SM58 (which you ought to buy if you have $100 laying around just to support the company – it’s such a work-horse mic ) So, here’s GUS.mp3 recorded on my 2000 HP computer – Yamaha guitar, Shure mic, and Casio Keyboard plugged into the mic input on the computer – not a work of art, but cheap as it gets, and, as far as my little ones are concerned, evidence of my love for one and all.


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  1. […] Promise, I’m done with the lullabies – everything I said here is still […]

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