Monday, February 18, 2013

Stopping to Smell The Roses (or in this case, hear the song!)

Recently I was setting up for a story time as part of the Sing With Our Kids project, and  Margaret Martin, our wonderful librarian, turned on the CD player to welcome arriving parents and their little ones. The CD she often plays and played that day, was 1,2,3, Sing With Me, by Marylee Sunseri, my favorite singer and best friend.  .  I heard her sweet voice and was immediately and simultaneously flooded with comfort and memories. We have been singing together since we were thirteen (don't count, just trust me- that's a WHOLE lot of years!). Our singing took us back and forth from each other's houses (miles of walking barefoot), touring across the country more times than I can remember, to New York City where we recorded at Elektra Records, and even to Beijing where we made new friends by simply sharing our songs. The only time we lost track of each other for a few years, it turned out we had both begun singing and writing music for children! We celebrated our re-connection by recording the first children's CD for either of us, Goodnight, Sleep Tight.  The songs we chose for that recording were not really children's songs; they were sweet, beautiful, timeless songs we both loved; that had been part of our history. My children grew up listening to that recording, and for the last four years I have continued to hear it over the baby monitor as my grandchildren sleep. Who could ever have imagined? But now back to the library....

Each of us has a voice unique to us. And there is something so comforting about hearing someone you love sing to you. It has nothing to do with how "good" a singer you are. It's not about that..Our voices carry the love and comfort that come with familiarity,  to the babies and children we sing to. And that comfort lasts a lifetime-  a lifetime! I will always feel comforted when I hear Marylee's voice, and I know my children and their children will as well. When I heard Marylee's sweet familiar voice as I was setting up, I literally stopped what I was doing, and just soaked it in... and felt and remembered, and was grateful. It's so pure, and so simple; singing a song. And although this project is huge and complicated and challenging, it really does all come down to that; finding ways to make singing a part of all of our children's lives. So thank you, Marylee, for keeping me company on this sometimes daunting journey, and for reminding me of what it's all about. Thank you for all of the songs past, present, and future! 

For your amusement, you can read more about "Marylee and Nancy" here.

and hear Marylee's wonderful music on her website,

Hear clips from Goodnight, Sleep Tight here