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Ruth Kuefler

Slumber My Darling

July 17, 2008 at 3:30 AM

I'm not sure why, but for the past few days, I haven't been able to stop listening to Alison Krauss singing this beautiful lullaby by Stephen Foster. It's so simple, yet so sublime. Motherly love with all its loyalty and protection and tenderness. This arrangement is so sweet, with just a shadow of sadness. Maybe a hint of heartache and motherly concern. It's the kind of music that messes with your insides after a little while; that pushing and pulling so visceral you wonder if your ears have hidden levers to your heartstrings. Or something like that.


Slumber, my darling, thy mother is near,
Guarding thy dreams from all terror and fear,
Sunlight has pass'd and the twilight has gone,
Slumber, my darling, the night's coming on.
Sweet visions attend thy sleep,
Fondest, dearest to me,
While others their revels keep,
I will watch over thee.

Slumber, my darling, the birds are at rest,
The wandering dews by the flow'rs are caressed,
Slumber, my darling, I'll wrap thee up warm,
And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm.

Slumber, my darling, till morn's blushing ray
Brings to the world the glad tidings of day;
Fill the dark void with thy dreamy delight--
Slumber, thy mother will guard thee tonight,
Thy pillow shall sacred be
From all outward alarms;
Thou, thou are the world to me
In thine innocent charms.

Slumber, my darling, the birds are at rest,
The wandering dews by the flow'rs are caressed,
Slumber, my darling, I'll wrap thee up warm,
And pray that the angels will shield thee from harm

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 3:36 AM
This is one of my favorite songs :) Don't know where I first heard it. Allison's version is great. You've probably seen the Japanese animation using it. I think it's from full-length movie.

In 4th grade I had a nutty teacher who would read us various bios of him, and invariably start crying at the end of them.

The melody that goes with the part e.g. "birds are at rest" is so old-timey and charming, and so identifiably Foster, the way you could identify a certain lick as Shostakovich, say. Good taste you have.

From Joe Pasillas
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 4:52 AM
Agree, I do.

Alison's voice can be so absolutely hauntingly beautiful.

Slumber well, indeed.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 6:59 AM
"The sun was so hot I froze to death -
Susanna, don't you cry" begs further examination :) He's flipped out, and Susanna knows it.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 4:13 PM
I have that album, and I love that song. Allison Krauss has the voice of an angel. Remember, also, that her three member backup string band is also very good, and they all fit together so well.
From Lisa Perry
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 4:39 PM
Jim,

It's like

"He was born in the summer of his 32nd year,
coming home to a place he'd never been before".

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 5:04 PM
Lisa, the difference is Susanna is crying. You gotta tie that in somehow. I think "Rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry" has Susanna kinda freaked maybe.
From Bill Busen
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 5:00 PM
Alison was a violinist here (UIUC) when I got here! I have an old program somewhere; I think she played Bartok Romanian Dances unless I have that recital confused with her friend Andrea Zonn's (who you also may have heard of via Nashville playing). She studied voice here with William Warfield, too.
From David Allen
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 7:06 PM
Yes, it's even better when viewed live. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xftn_mV7czA&feature=related

The complete video is worth seeing. They do a number with James Taylor that is also excellent and the best version of Fishers Hornpipe I've ever heard!

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 17, 2008 at 10:17 PM
Thanks, David.

Here is the hornpipe on Youtube.
link


Here is JT doing a Foster song with the trio.
link


Here are Foster's lyrics to that song:
link

From Donna Clegg
Posted on July 18, 2008 at 8:34 PM
Alison Krauss is touring with Robert Plant, the former frontman for Led Zeppelin this summer. I saw them in concert at Chastain Park Ampitheatre last week and it was the strangest program I've ever heard. It was a sellout and the crowd was all about these folks. I must admit their collaboration worked on many levels as they took turns singing backup for each other. A good time was had by all.

http://www.myspace.com/officialrobertplantalisonkrauss

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