ACL Musicians Can Help You Get Your Kids To Sleep

Play Date

Shanti Wintergate from Play Date on the Austin Kiddie Limits Stage

[Updated with info from Seth Goldstein from The Ohmies, after I found an email I had lost.]

Oh, so sad about the rain and no ACL Sunday. More sad for people with flooded homes and cars. ACL, I can’t wait to meet up again next year. Now, on with the show.

For GrowingUpAustin interviews with Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) artists, I wanted to dig deeper, past the superficial questions about the band members’ musical influences and their fascinating personal lives and ask about what is really important to Austin families.

Here is a compilation of the answers to the first question: “What is the best lullaby song ever that isn’t a traditional lullaby?” Because, sometimes parents and kids really need a good lullaby. If you are on Spotify, here is the Playlist.

There were some traditional responses that are good to remember. We use both of these at our house.

  • Shanti Wintergate from Play Date  – “You Are My Sunshine” (Play Date, by the way, is the first made-for-kids band that Sparkles has added to her disco playlist that includes Adele, Justin Bieber and songs from Grease. That is a pretty big deal around our house. That’s why Shanti gets the cover photo for this post.) UPDATE: Sparkles just saw Shanti’s picture and she says, “Shanti,I love you! I like your red dress and I love your music.”
  • Rev. Sterling Lands II from The Warrior Gospel Band – “Amazing Grace” (The Blind Boys from Alabama did an amazing version of this at ACL on Saturday, here’s a pic of that…)
Blind Boys from Alabama

Blind Boys from Alabama at the Zilker Tent

These songs are beautiful.

Casper Babypants

Casper Babypants on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage

I’m not to sure about these. The music sounds like a lullaby, but the words are so sad. This would make a great breakup-recovery-playlist. I might still try “This Lullaby” and “Hobo’s Lullaby,” oh my, these melodies are so sweet.

  • Johnathan Terrell from Not In the Face – “This Lullaby” by Queens of the Stone Age (Queens of the Stone Age played at ACL, what is with this lullaby list + ACL 2013 connection?)
  • Greg Attonito from Play Date – “Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground
  • Kevin Russell from Shiny Ribs  – “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” by Al Green
  • Arlene Bell from Disciples for Christ – “I Love You More Today” by Conway Twitty 
  • Ian Bevis from Bear Mountain – “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynard Skynard
  • Kevin Marks from JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound – “Hobo’s Lullaby” by Woody Guthrie

These choices don’t have sleepy music or sleepy words, but they are fun and that can be good too.

  • Brian Vander Ark from The Verve Pipe –  “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus (Ironically, since Brian says this song always puts him to sleep.)
  • Rick Carney, Music Director for School of Rock – “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones (Not too sleepy and I might change a lyric somewhere in there, but it makes me smile.)
  • Tim Kubart from Tim and the Space Cadets – “Borderline” by Madonna (I don’t know if you know this about me, but I don’t like made-for-kids music very much. When I see music with my family, I like kid-friendly grown-up music better. But the shows by Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets with Mother Falcon on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage were AMAZING. There was no kid-friendly or adult-friendly line to be drawn, it was just high-energy, great-rhythm, crazy-dancing, smiles-on-every-face music. I heard a rumor that Tim and the Space Cadets from Brooklyn and Mother Falcon from Austin might join for another Austin show soon, one that costs less than $225. Stay tuned for more of this…)
Tim and the Space Cadets with Mother Falcon on the Austin Kiddie Limits Stage

Tim and the Space Cadets with Mother Falcon on the Austin Kiddie Limits Stage

Tobias Winkerton from Junip sings Swedish Christmas carols, wether it is Christmas or not. Kristen Geller from the Andy Z and the Andyland Band gets extra credit, because she composes original pieces with her child’s name in it, which is pretty sweet. Scott Mills from CALEB said good lyrics and melody keep him awake, so he sometimes goes to sleep to “Med sud i’ eyrum” by Sigur Ros, ambient music in a different language.

And, since everybody is sharing, I’ll share an unusual lullaby from our house. Blue Eyes and I sing one song for each girl, when they are in their PJs and all snuggled in their covers with the lights off. When my teenage step-daughter Noel babysat, she didn’t know the songs we usually sing, so she sang a song she knows all the words to, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. They call it “The Mama Song” and they sang it every Thursday night for a good long while. So, sometimes we are shopping at Target and Buttercup will start belting out “MAAAAMAAAAAAAA, just killed a man!” Yeah, it’s not how they describe it in the parenting books, but it all works out somehow.

I’m going to try out the new lullaby songs this week. If y’all try some, let me know how it goes. And stay tuned for answers to Question #2 – If you met a teenage musician and she asked, “What is more important, to be inspired or to practice?”, what would you tell her?

2 Responses

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  1. Oh I LOVE this post, just bookmarked it to dig into later!

    Re: “The music sounds like a lullaby, but the words are so sad.” – if your kid is little tiny, it doesn’t matter much. I sang the chorus to “Elevator” by Stars to my son as a lullaby when he was a baby, because in my sleep dep it was practically the only song I could remember, and he loved it.
    Skye recently posted..Why you should (probably not) see Pacific Rim (maybe)


    Carol Reply:

    Skye – Thanks for the comment! You are right about lullabies for babies, the words don’t matter much. I still sing lullabies (well, songs anyway) to my 4 and 6 year old, so I’m checking out the words (except for the Queen song, that snuck in there).


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