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SONG CIRCLE - The Lullaby Album

SONG CIRCLE - The Lullaby Album
Brechin All Records CDBAR025

“The perfect soundtrack to gently lull wee ones off to sleep”; that’s how the cover describes it and that is exactly what this CD is all about. Released by Edinburgh-based singer Gill Bowman and clarsach player Siannie Moodie, this is a further addition to the Song Cycle series, though this one is not designed for kids to sing along to as the others have been, it is designed to help them settle down for a good night’s sleep.

Gentle, soothing harp pieces intertwine with Gill singing a variety of lullabies to her own guitar accompaniment, and sometimes with added harp. Many of the songs are traditional and some are from Gill’s hand, and there is a similar mix of traditional and original harp tunes - but regardless of the origin, all are quiet and calming, getting gradually more so as the CD develops. This progression is intended to be played as “one long dreamy soundscape” with a soundly sleeping baby at the end of it.

There are familiar songs and tunes here (Hush Little Baby, The Fairy Lullaby, Eriskay Love Lilt, Bonny At Morn and Dream Angus are among them) but some of Gill’s are worth hearing too, with or without kids (Warmer Than The Sun and The Seamaws Lullaby are particularly good).

Although the sleeve warns that this album is “practically guaranteed to put anyone to sleep”, I managed to keep my eyes open throughout. It was, however, a relaxing and enjoyable listen, and by the time the last track faded out after about an hour, I could just imagine happy parents creeping from a sleeping baby’s room. Worth a try anyway.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.