Let's play ourselves to sleep

  1. crisscross
    There are a lot of nice lullabies out there waiting to be played on the mandolin.
    So why suffer from insomnia when there's a simple way to find sleep.
    I'm going to open up the hopefully long succession of hypnagogic tunes
    by a nice Welsh song: Ar Hyd y Nos
    It also exists in English: All through the Night

    What are your favorite lullabies?
    Have you ever played them on your mandolin?
  2. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    I have liked this tune from the first time I heard it. Very nice version crisscross. I'll have to see if I can find one to play.
  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Lovely video, and very fine playing.
  4. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Quite lovely, and is possibly the one I would name as my favorite.
  5. Frithjof
    You seem to be full of ideas for new projects, crisscross.
    Nice sounding video.
  6. crisscross
    Thanks to everyone!
    Here's another lullaby, one from the 19th century:
  7. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    Very nice.....think I'll go take a nap now.....
  8. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Hey what? When I woke up again, the video was over...

    Some time ago, Regina and I recorded this song, which might count as kind of a lullabye. Mando content: OM fingerpicking.

  9. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    Very nice Bertram. Now I need another nap.
  10. crisscross
    Beautiful duet Bertram!
    I really enjoy Regina's flute playing.
    It's kind of pacifying...
  11. Frithjof
    Another nice one, crisscross.

    Regina and Bertram - I could listen to your duet endless. I like how the flute sings like a voice and also how the OM supports the melody.
  12. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Robert, Criss and Frithjof - the song is called Crucan na bPaiste (the name of a Children's burial ground in Co Mayo), and we overheard it from Karen Matheson's rendition.
  13. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here are a few lullabies I have recorded:

    Emanuele Barbella (1718-1777): Tinna Nonna, per prender sonno (Lullaby)
    Larghetto, Sempre legato e sotto voce

    On two mandolins and mandocello.

    Primo Silvestri (1871-1960): Petite Berceuse
    Andantino espressivo

    Mandolin and tenor guitar duet

    Mareta, Mareta (Catalan lullaby)

    Mandolin, tenor guitar, mandocello

    Antoine Albanèse (1729/31-1800): Bonne Nuit Les Petits (French lullaby)

    Two mandolins and octave mandolin

  14. crisscross
    Thanks Martin, some beautiful lullabies!
    I especially like Mareta, Mareta.
  15. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    Very nice. Not a style I have heard much but most enjoyable. I think Mareta, Mareta is my favorite too although Bonne Nuit Les Petits is a close second. Thanks for the post.
  16. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Robert. Mareta, Mareta and Bonne Nuit Les Petits are the two that are actual lullabies, as in traditional folk songs with words sung by actual mothers to help actual children to sleep. The other two are classical mandolin compositions (one late Baroque and the other late romantic periods) called "lullabies" by the respective composers but without words and -- I suspect -- never played within hearing distance of actual children...

  17. crisscross
    So far, we had lullabies from Wales, from Germany, from Italy, from Catalonia...
    But no Russian Lullaby. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evp9ex9SOxc
    OK, I'm neither David Grisman nor Jerry Garcia, so I won't try the Irving Berlin song Russian Lullaby.
    But the Russian lullaby Bayushky Bayu is a song, even I can play on my mandolin:
  18. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice, Crisscross.

    I recorded Bayushki Bayu myself, many years ago before I started multitracking:

    I'm not sure I would start with a strummed verse these days, but I wanted to get the chord progression as well as the tune into the video.

  19. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Bertram, your duet is quite lovely with just the instruments, but the timbre of Regina's voice is completely mesmerizing to me and perfectly suits the song. Gosh, absolutely beautiful.

    The different submissions are all nice and I particularly enjoyed hearing two versions of Bayushki Bayu, which is new to me. Martin I like your initial strumming on it... it kind of sets the tone for the performance.
  20. Frithjof
    Some nice recordings, crisscross and Martin.
  21. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    I agree very enjoyable crisscross and Martin. I have really enjoyed this whole thread. Time for yet another nap.....
  22. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Kay, I'll forward it to Regina.

    In the meantime, a flood of acoustic Valium from Criss and Martin rolled in, apparently, and I liked Petite Berceuse best of them

    P.S. Regina says Thanks to all for the kind words.
  23. crisscross
    Thanks again to everyone who dared to listen, especially to those who did so in the morning or the afternoon. Here's some more musical valium, this time from Argentina:
    Cancion para dormir a una muñeca
  24. Gelsenbury
    Has it really been 5 months? Time flies faster every time I check.

    Here's a simple and popular German song that hasn't been mentioned yet. "Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?" ("Do you know how many stars?") was apparently based on an older folk tune in the early 19th century. It has a lovely melody. My mum sang it to me when I was little, and now it's my favourite lullaby to sing to my four-year-old son.

    I'm not singing here, just playing the melody on my Fylde Touchstone Walnut mandolin (Élodie) with a Gravity Gold Series Razer 1.1 mm pick. (Not that it really matters. It's the thought that counts.)

    Good night everyone!

  25. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    These are all lovely lullabies, a page I hadn't seen until today's post by Gelsenbury. So very sweet and from so many countries. We used to sing "All Through The Night" in the school choir, ( Canada) ..brought back memories....
  26. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Gelsenbury, it’s so nice to get all these different tunes and ideas. I lived in Germany as a kid and remember the lullabies and wonderful winters there.
  27. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I forgot about this thread. "Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?" is a song I grew up with, and that I sang to my own children when they were little. I'm fairly sure I have a harmony part in a German folksong book my mother gave me, so I may look at recording it as well. Nice rendition, Dennis - great tone on that Fylde!

    I uploaded another lullaby yesterday:

    Irving Berlin (1927): "Russian Lullaby"

    This is one of the few tunes by Irving Berlin that references his ethnic roots in Eastern Europe. A huge success on its original publication, it has since then been recorded in a vast variety of different styles, many of them sounding neither Russian nor like a lullaby (e.g. John Coltrane's high-tempo jazz version). I have listened to a lot of recorded versions over the past couple of days, and none of them sound anything like each other. This puts me in good company: mine sounds nothing like any of them although it does (I hope) have some of the plain simplicity of the Leon Redbone version.

    In mandolin circles, the tune is mainly known through the very nice (and very jazzy) Jerry Garcia/David Grisman version. Mine sounds nothing like that one, either.

    My recording is based on a setting of the chorus only (no intro, break or verse, but a very nice bass line) for string quintet by Jura Dyadichin which I found at Musescore:


    This doesn't have any of the jazz or swing elements found in most arrangements, and instead goes back to a very Russian brooding mood while preserving Berlin's chromatic passages and harmonies. The original was in waltz time, but like most later arrangements this one is in 4/4 time.

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello (x2)

  28. crisscross
    Hey!Some great new lullabies. I really like Gelsenbury's Fylde mandolin and bluesharp and Martin's rendition of a non-jazzy arrangement of Russian Lullaby. Time for a little afternoon nap. But first, I will have a look at Youtube versions of my next lullaby project...
  29. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Here is the Berceuse from Faure's Dolly Suite recorded several years ago.
  30. Gelsenbury
    I wasn't expecting that dark twist there!

    Martin, is the man in the boat you? I like the drawing and the music.
  31. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    "Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?" is a song I grew up with, and that I sang to my own children when they were little. I'm fairly sure I have a harmony part in a German folksong book my mother gave me, so I may look at recording it as well."

    Further to my comment on Dennis's lovely rendition, I have now got around to digging out the songbook I was thinking of, so here is my recording of "Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?" as a trio of mandolin, mandocello and tenor guitar. I'm fairly sure the book uses old public domain settings for its harmony parts and chords as there are no arranger's credits or music publishing details anywhere to be found.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

    While I was at it, I found another lullaby a couple of pages on in the same book:

    Adam Krieger (1634-1666): "Nun sich der Tag geendet hat" (or "Der Liebe Macht herrscht Tag und Nacht")
    From: "Arien" No. A8, published 1667/76

    Adam Krieger was a German Baroque musician, working as court musician for the Elector of Saxony in Dresden. He is mainly remembered for his songs, published after his early death in 1666 and considered a stepping stone in the development of the German Lieder tradition. This is his most famous song, still sung as a lullaby in Germany (despite its gloom-laden lyrics) and is also in the Lutheran hymnbook.

    The song was later set for four voices by JS Bach (BWV 396), but my source is rather less lofty: I have used a harmony part and guitar chords from my German children's songbook, which I think work very nicely.

    Same instrumentation as for "Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?":

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  32. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Ah, another favourite -the ‘Der Liebe Macht herrscht Tag und Nacht‘
    I like the way you played it,
    thanks Martin
  33. Frithjof
    I enjoyed these arrangements of “Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen?" and "Nun sich der Tag geendet hat". Very tasteful, Martin.
  34. Gelsenbury
    Thank you, Martin. Those are two great recordings. I didn't know "Nun sich der Tag geendet hat" at all. Having done a web search for the lyrics, I can see what you mean about the gloominess. It seems to be a kind of lullaby for grown-ups, with fairly sophisticated thoughts about life, death, sin, and atonement. It probably has more universal appeal in your well-played instrumental version!

    I love this verse, though:

    Drauf tu ich meine Augen zu
    Und schlafe fröhlich ein,
    Mein Gott wacht jetzt in meiner Ruh;
    Wer wollt doch traurig sein?

    I'll contemplate this while playing your recording again and getting ready for bedtime!
  35. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, all! "Der Liebe Macht herrscht Tag und Nacht" (The Power Of Love Rules Day and Night) is the title given to the song by Krieger, but it's more commonly known as "Nun sich der Tag geendet hat" (Now Day Has Ended) because it's traditional in Germany to use the first line of a song as its title.

    Krieger wrote all of his own lyrics, and has a fair claim at being a poet/librettist as much as a composer. He was also somewhat of a hellraiser: quite a few of his other lyrics are about the joy of Rhenish wine and carousing with women.

    Dennis: that's a nice verse, but it's not one of Krieger's original ten verses. The verse you have quoted is by Johann Friedrich Herzog, who kept Krieger's original first verse and added eight new ones to make it into a spiritual hymn. Krieger's original words are more secular:

    Nun sich der Tag geendet hat,
    und keine Sonn' mehr scheint,
    schläft alles was sich abgematt',
    und was zuvor geweint.

    Nur ich ich gehe hin und her,
    Und suche, was mich quält,
    Ich finde nichts als ohngefehr
    Das, was mich gar entseelt.

    Ihr Sternen hört zwar meine Not,
    Ihr helft mir aber nicht,
    Wenn euer Einfluß macht mich tot
    Und blendet mein Gesicht.

    Ihr schickt mir wohl die Liebe zu
    Und zeigt mir ihren Schein,
    Durch den ich Armer, ohne Ruh,
    Muß stets gequälet sein.

    Diana, denke, wenn du küßt
    Auf jenem Berge dort,
    Wie lachst du, wenn du bei ihm bist,
    Doch schläft er immerfort.

    Tut es dir wohl, wenn du dich labst
    Und stillest die Begier?
    So lob ichs, wenn du mich begabst
    Mit meiner Zier allhier.

    Du Schöne bist in Schlaf gebracht
    Und liegst in stiller Ruh!
    Ich aber geh die ganze Nacht
    Und tu kein Auge zu.

    Erhöre doch den Seufzerwind,
    Der durch die Fenster geht,
    Der sagt dir, wie du mich entzünd't,
    Und wie es mit mir steht.

    Bist du der Ursprung meiner Pein,
    So such ich bei dir Rat,
    Durch dich kann mir geholfen sein!
    Ach! tu es in der Tat.

    Indessen habe gute Nacht!
    Du meine Lust und Pein!
    Und wenn du morgen aufgewacht,
    So laß mich bei dir sein.

    Most songbooks leave out verses 5, 6 and 7 which are addressed to a lover (it's not clear whether a metaphorical or actual lover).

  36. crisscross
    How could I miss these two nicely played lullabies from my home country? Well, I must have played myself asleep too early...
    So far, we had lullabies from Wales, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Argentina, but no Irish Lullaby.
  37. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    I have always loved this melody, Christian. I always associate it with the late, great Bing Crosby, and I remember my dad singing it when I was a wee boy.
  38. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    That's a beauty CC - I too remember my mom singing it to me as a child. And a bit sad that I too sang it to her in her final years because I knew she liked it and could hum it with me. Thanks for the memories.
  39. crisscross
    A belated thanks to Ginny and John!
    I found another nice lullaby, a French Canadian one composed by fiddler Richard Forest from Quebec. https://algomatrad.ca/2014/05/richard-forest/
    Berceuse pour Anna has a waltz rhythm, which kind of suits me...
  40. Frithjof
    Good find. What a beautiful song and so well played, Christian.
  41. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Lovely tune and playing, CC. I am heading for bed now with it playing in my head.
  42. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    CC - Love this, will have to give it try myself. I clicked on the link but didn't see music or tabs..where did you find it?
  43. crisscross
    Thanks Frithjof, John and Ginny!
    I hope you had a good night's sleep.
    Here's a link to the sheet music and abc:http://www.folktunefinder.com/tunes/7718
  44. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Thank you CC. Cold and a bit snowy here today - good day for some music.
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