Willow to Willow
New Songs for Babies and Moms 
Original Lullabies by Karen Mitchell

Mark and I are the parents of six children - Amy, Jacqueline, Alexandra, Laurel, Leslie (the baby in this picture - she's in university now!) and Austin.  I have always been a singer and when I began caring for my babies it was natural for me to sing to them.  During midnight feedings I would sometimes make up songs to sing and these became special to me.  Eventually Mark had access to a recording studio through his work.  I had the idea that I could record some of these lullabies and Mark encouraged me to make a whole album.  I had never thought of myself as a songwriter, but I decided to give it a try and ended up with the collection you see here, mostly written by me and arranged by Mark.  We made a recording of me singing his arrangements and the collection has become a favourite with many of our friends and family who would play them for their babies to help them fall asleep.  Hopefully you will enjoy them too.

We have provided samples of each song here as well as the sheet music.  Access to high quality audio files of the complete songs can be purchased for $10  by contacting Mark by email.

 The Songs
 
The title song of my collection, I wrote the verses and gave Mark a general description of the chorus, which he later wrote.  This lullabye is in the old tradition of mixing images of nature in her gentlest forms, with the song a mother sings to comfort her baby.
This is a simple, but highly intimate and personal lyric, remembering and reflecting on a common theme: a mother awakened by her baby's restlessness.
Jack was the baby of one of my best friends.  He wasn't yet born when I wrote this ditty, but I gave his mother the recording shortly after he was born.  Mark plays recorder on this song.
Daydream 
(Score)   
This is one of those swaying waltzes that seems so appropriate to comforting babies.
Babyland Blues 
(Score)  
It's not Dixieland; it's not Birdland: it's Babyland.  Any mother knows that babies, like blues men, love the midnight hour:  "That crying, wailing beat gets mothers to their feet..."  Have you ever sung the Babyland blues?
My Little One 
(Score)   
This lovely lullaby has a celtic feel enhanced by Mark's setting.
Rockabye Baby 
(Score)  
The beautiful countersong of this arrangement is sung by my dear friend Brenda Lonergan.  We've sung many duets together over the years.  Thanks Brenda!
Lullaby Softly 
(Score)    
If you listen to Mark's early Suite for Piano, you'll recognize this as one of the movements.  He wrote the music when he was eighteen years old and the words shortly thereafter.  It's one of the bedtime songs we sang to our five daughters and our son, and now our grandchildren are growing up with it too!
Moonlit Waltz 
(Score)  
This is one of my favourites of the collection.  It's a tune I remember humming to my babies as I bounced them in the nighttime, but it didn't have words until I began working on this collection.
(Score)         
                               
There are many recordings of this famous Irish lullaby, but I wanted to record a version too.  There are several references to characters of Irish folk myth: Aoeval is the goddess of night whose cloak covers the sky at sunset; Sheevra seems to be a moon image; the Green Man is a fairie who lives in the uninhabited wilderness, something like a leprachaun, I suppose.
Up and Down 
(Score)  
Not a lullaby at all, I guess, but a fun song about playing with the fully awake child.  Now that I'm a grandma, I realize it's a good thing I was young when I was chasing after little ones: phew!
(Score) Sometimes kids need to be rocked to sleep being reminded of light, happy images that can fill their dreams.
(Score) This song was written by my little sister, Wanda.  It reminds me of the lovely lullaby in Mary Poppins.  Both of my sisters, Wanda and Andrea, are wonderful singers.
All Through the Night Full Version  
(Score)
Probably the most famous lullaby of all, Mark improvised the piano part during a late-night recording session and arranged the voice parts.  Joining me on this powerful rendition are my friends Brenda Lonergan and Lynne Anderson (the three of us formed a vocal trio for many years) and Mark himself.  I hope you enjoy our version.