Women have been singing soothing and tender lullabies to their babies for centuries in all cultures around the world. There is a universal language to these songs that come from the heart of one and touches the heart of the other. Many researchers have discovered that lullabies often help mothers express their worries and concerns. Best of all, this simple and caring act is deeply spiritual. We like to think of lullabies as beautiful acts of nurturing whereby our love and concern for a baby's safety, peace, and well-being is passed on in a ritual that deepens and enriches the child over time.
Lullaby is the first children's book based on the music of Debbie Friedman, the late singer/songwriter who was called "the Joan Baez of Jewish song." Her music is loved by people of all traditions and is regularly used in synagogues, schools, churches, and homes for worship and community building.
This heartfelt book with lovely watercolor illustrations by Lorraine Bubar is based on Friedman's song "Lullaby." An accompanying CD features Friedman's rendition of the music. Here are some of the lyrics:
"So many things to think about before you go to sleep.
You did so many things today and you'll do so many more tomorrow.
So many things to feel about before you go to sleep.
God will take care of the ones you love
and keep you safe throughout the night."
Debbie Friedman used music to express her Judaism and translated and transformed prayers as well as Torah, Talmud, and other ancient texts. She served as a cantorial host, a music educator, and a director. Her music continues to instruct and inspire people around the world. Friedman once wrote:
"My music has become the vehicle by which I am able to create a sense of a safe and loving space. It is a space in which hands and arms and souls touch in gentle song."
That is a perfect description of what she does with her song "Lullaby."