Tender Shepherd - Liner Notes
This collection of melodies for quiet times draws mostly on the rich repertoire of the Celtic folk tradition. Cradle Song, by Scottish fiddler extraordinaire J. Scott Skinner, is from his book The Harp & Claymore. Bally Loo Lammy, Foggy Dew and Highland Lullaby also come to us from Scotland, with no authors' names attached; just the timeless signature of mists and heather which the tunes evoke.
From Ireland comes Quiet Land of Erin, taken from the Nancy Calthorpe collection for harp and voice, and the hauntingly beautiful Price of My Pig. The Irish Lamentation, despite its melancholy-sounding name, is an 18th century English dance tune. We can almost smell the peat fire on the hearth of the Gartan Mother, who begins her lullaby: "Sleep, o babe, for the red bee hums ... dusk is drawn and the green man's thorn is wreathed in rings of fog ... the crickets sing you lullaby."
We know the familiar Welsh bedtime song, "Ar Hyd y Hos," better by its English name, All Through the Night. From the colonial American South comes All the Pretty Little Horses, a melody which has inspired composers and performers from Aaron Copland to Peter, Paul and Mary.
J.S. Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze is as sweetly pastoral as its title suggests, and was originally composed as an aria for soprano and recorder in 1716 as part of the great composer's earliest secular cantata Was mir behagt.
Bernard the Butterfly is the joyous creation of Brian Wicklund, a member of the bluegrass band The Stoney Lonesomes, and who plays mandolin with Kim on several tracks on Tender Shepherd. Kim's own composition, Let It Be A Dance, is a setting of a lyric by minister-bard Rick Masters of the Unitarian Church.
The title tune, Tender Shepherd, is beloved by children of all ages who grew up with the incomparable Mary Martin television production of Peter Pan. This simple round, sung each night in the Darling children's nursery, is the prelude to one of the most magical, bewitching bedtime stories of all time, and is the finale with which the adventure's happy ending comes full circle.
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