Practice (detail)
Practice (detail)

The Universe, Source, was nudging me all last week, singing to me.  Ideas, suggestions.  Then it pointed me to Julia Cameron’s book The Vein of Gold, and the task ‘Lullaby’.  ‘For five minutes each day (five private minutes), hum or sing a lullaby to yourself.’  The task is on pages 164 to 166, if you are looking for it.

It is true, you know.  The world is music.  The world is sound.  We are sound.  Vibration.  Nada Brahma.

My Mom sang to me, to herself, and with the radio.  My Dad sang with me, my sister and brother, in his ‘own personal key of music’ as he would say, perfectly off tune.  In the late afternoon heat of July, Dad driving us home after swimming in the lake, singing Jingle Bells all the way.

My chosen lullabies, the songs I sing to myself, might not be what you would expect:

The Alphabet Song, learned in Kindergarten and sung loud as possible, specially the last line.  ‘’Next time, won’t you sing with me?’’

Puff the Magic Dragon.  Me, five years old, singing this while swinging high as I can go on my swing set in the backyard, and feeling very sorry for Puff who loses his friend.

Over the Rainbow, from the Wizard of Oz.  My sister sings this one melodically and soulfully, like Judy Garland.  Hearing her sing like this doesn’t stop me from singing Judy’s song, in my own personal key of music.

She Loves You, by the Beatles.  Another top-of-my-lungs song, dancing at the same time.

Do-Re-Mi, from the Sound of Music.  Singing the scale of C major always leaves me feeling settled and balanced.

Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen.  Rufus Wainwright’s version is my favourite.

I have other lullabies, but these are my long-time favourites.

When I was a teenager, my lullabies were louder, noisier, longer, a full record album.  I’d play them on the Simpson Sears stereo in my bedroom.  I would close the door, and dance.  If I was the only one home, I would sing as well.

Four Wheel Drive by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Machine Head by Deep Purple

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie

Yessongs by Yes

Crystal Ball by Styx

These are dancing lullabies rather than singing lullabies.  After a day at high school, the music and movement unwound me, grounded me, sang me back to balance.  What lullabies are meant to do.

Each day in my life has its own lullaby.

Today as I write, my lullaby is the wind in the firs and pines and aspens.  The clock on the far wall, ticking, its hands moving round the painted words ‘live, love, laugh’.  The ever changing rhythm of my pen on the paper as I form letters and words.

A writer’s lullaby.  A creation lullaby.  My favourite of all.


Mentioned in this post:

Julia Cameron, book The Vein of Gold, 1996.


Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpont, 1857

The Alphabet Song by Charles Bradlee, 1835

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary, 1963

Over the Rainbow, from the movie The Wizard of Oz, 1939

She Loves You, by the Beatles, 1963

Do-Re-Mi, from the movie The Sound of Music, 1965

Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen, 1984.  Rufus Wainwright’s 2001 version is my favourite.


Four Wheel Drive by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 1975

Machine Head by Deep Purple, 1972

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, 1973

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie, 1972

Yessongs by Yes, 1973

Crystal Ball by Styx, 1976

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