"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is an English lullaby with lyrics from an early-19th-century English poem written by Jane Taylor. The melody, "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman," is of French origin and was famously arranged by Mozart into a set of Twelve Variations. There are five stanzas to the English lyrics, even though only the first is widely known. It was parodied in Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland":
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you're at! Up above the world you fly, Like a teatray in the sky.
"Au clair de la lune" ("By the Light of the Moon") is an 18th century French folk song of unknown authorship. It has a simple repeating phrase structure and a narrow range, which makes it ideal for children to sing and for instrumental beginners. Despite, or perhaps because, of this, it has been a used as a source of inspiration by a number of composers, most famously by Debussy in his "Clair de Lune" from "Suite bergamasque."
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a historic American Negro spiritual. The earliest known recording was in 1909, by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. It has since become one of the most well-known of all spirituals, having been widely performed during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, in TV and film and even having become the anthem of the England rugby team.
"Kum ba yah" is an African American spiritual song first recorded in the 1920s. It is though to have emerged in the Gullah speaking population in the Southeastern United States. More serious in mood than many standard campfire and Scouting songs, it nevertheless enjoyed broader popularity during the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s.
LYRICS: Kum ba ya, my Lord, kum ba ya; Kum ba ya, my Lord, kum ba ya; Kum ba ya, my Lord, kum ba ya, O Lord, kum ba ya.
Cradle Song is the common name for a number of children's lullabies with similar lyrics, the original of which was Johannes Brahms's "Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht" ("Good evening, good night"), Op. 49, No. 4, published in 1868 and widely known as Brahms's Lullaby. The lullaby's melody is one of the most famous and recognizable in the world, used by countless parents to sing their babies to sleep. The Lullaby was dedicated to Brahms's friend, Bertha Faber, on the occasion of the birth of her second son. Brahms had been in love with her in her youth and constructed the melody of the Wiegenlied to suggest, as a hidden counter-melody, a song she used to sing to him.
Several versions of the lullaby "Hush Little Baby" were collected in the eastern and southern U.S. in the 20th century. Even so, as with many folk tunes, its exact origins are uncertain. The version as sung by Jean Ritchie in 1949 is identical to the version known today. The song has since been sung by a number of artists and adapted into new pop songs, including Eminem's "Mockingbird."
James Scott Skinner (1843–1927) was a Scottish dancing master, violinist, fiddler and composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential fiddlers in Scottish traditional music, and was known as "the Strathspey King". He published over 600 pieces, amongst the most famous being "The Cradle Song," here in an arrangement by Gavin Greig, who edited Skinner's biggest collection of music, "The Harp and Claymore Collection."
"All the Pretty Horses" is a traditional U.S. lullaby. Author Lyn Ellen Lacy claimed an African American origin for the song, with the theory that it was "sung by an African American slave who could not take care of her baby because she was too busy taking care of her master's child.' What is certainly clear, however, is that the most well-known form of the song, with lyrics by Dorothy Scarborough, are written from the perspective of a mother taking care of her child:
Hush you bye Don't you cry, Go to sleepy, little baby. when you wake, You shall have, all the pretty little horses.
"Ar Hyd y Nos" ("All Through the Night") is a Welsh song first written down in 1784. The most familiar Welsh lyrics were written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It is one of the most familiar songs in Welsh culture, often performed by male choruses and covered by popular musicians such as Cerys Matthews.
"Wiegenlied," D 498, Op. 98, No. 2, is a lullaby composed by Franz Schubert in 1816. The lyrics are of uncertain authorship, despite being sometimes attributed to the German poet and journalist Matthias Claudius. There is also an Italian arrangement of the song, "Mille cherubini in coro," made by Alois Melichar for the 1935 film "Vergiß mein nicht."
"Ancient Lullaby" by Irish composer Charles Stanford is taken from his collection "Songs of Old Ireland," a collection of fifty Irish melody arrangements published in 1882. The lyrics are founded upon those of an old Celtic Irish Poem, adapted by Alfred Perceval Graves. Stanford's dedication on the published score reads "To Johannes Brahms, I dedicate with respect and gratitude these melodies of my native country.'
"The Singing Bird" (also known as "My Singing Bird") is a traditional Irish Folk Song. It's origins are uncertain, though the lyrics may be by Irish poet Edith Wheeler. It was popularised by the McPeake Family, The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem and, most recently, by Sinead O'Connor.
This Intermezzo is the second piece in Brahms' Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118. They are are some of the most beloved compositions that Johannes Brahms wrote for solo piano. Completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann, the collection is the penultimate composition published during Brahms' lifetime. It is also his penultimate work composed for piano solo. Consistent with Brahms's other late keyboard works, Op. 118 is more introspective than his earlier piano pieces, which tend to be more virtuosic in character.
"Abiyoyo" is a song of South African origin. It was popularised by American folk singer Pete Seeger. In his retelling Abiyoyo is a fearsome giant that preys on humans. One day he attacks a small village, eating some of the animals. A boy and his father, who had been exiled from the village, confront the giant, despite the warnings of the villagers. The boy entrances the giant with his ukulele before the father uses his wand to make the giant disappear.