Lullaby Project

A Tibetan Folk Song

Tibetan Folk Song from littlewoo on Vimeo.

Though not necessarily a lullaby, I felt this song was reminiscent of one with its sweet melody and tone…

Karma’s translation of this folk song:

Listen to me boys and girls
Come join us for the party
and dance the whole night!

Beautiful girls
Don’t leave me alone
Take me with you
for the dances and songs

A Malayalam Lullaby

This lullaby was taught to me by my friend Vasudevan in Koottala, Kerala in India.   It is in the Malayalam dialect, the main language of Kerala.

If you have a lullaby to share, I invite you to connect with me and take part in this project, please visit this page for more info…

About the Lullaby Project

Since childhood, I’ve loved languages and fantasized about being fluent in at least 7 or 8.  The notion of being able to converse in every language was so intriguing.  Each language has its own beauty and it fascinates me that there are so many complex systems, sounds and symbols created for communication.  So far, I have learned to speak English, French and Cantonese (along with studies in German, Spanish and Indonesian) but I see that I won’t have time to study as many languages as I would like in this lifetime.

Thus in 2008, I had the idea of learning a lullaby, nursery song or simple ballad in another language whenever I am traveling or whenever I meet someone who is willing to teach me.  The melodies of lullabies or children’s songs are often very sweet and the lyrics are easy to memorize.  Plus, these songs are often part of that culture’s collective consciousness in a nostalgic way.  I wanted to learn songs that almost all the people in that culture would know (rather than a modern pop song) and a song that was from a time of innocence (not involving politics, dogma or religion).  To begin, I recorded my masseuse in Thailand singing a Thai lullaby and my language tutor in Bali singing an Indonesian nursery rhyme while traveling that winter.

6 Reasons To Learn A Lullaby In Another Language:

1) To Express your love of language and your appreciation for the different tribes in the world.

2) To taste a bit of the diverse linguistic beauty that exists… enjoying the different sounds rolling off the tongue. (without having to study the language)

3) To glimpse into the heart of far-off peoples and lands in a whimsical and sweet way.

4) To share a beautiful gesture of peace and friendship with someone in another culture.

5) To have an innocent and playful way to interact with someone in another culture. (often they will join you in the song)

6) To teach others these songs and continue the oral tradition.

If you wish to share a lullaby or a sweet song that you know accurately in another language:

1) Choose song that is less than 3 minutes (shorten it by a few stanzas if needed).

2) Record yourself singing the song and upload your video or audio file online (e.g. youtube.com or vimeo.com) and email me the link

3) Let me know what language it is in but send the lyrics written as English or French phonetic sounds
*This is your best interpretation of the sounds using English or French spellings.
e.g.  Kizhi in Malayalam is spoken somewhat like “Kirree” in English phonetics or “Kiri” in French phonetics

4)  If possible, also send the full text of the song in its original language.
*Send as an image or PDF file if the characters cannot be displayed correctly on an English language computer.

Fun Extras if you are able:
1)  A short statement about the history or origin of this song.
2) Some links to the song on youtube (done by others) as additional reference.

Note:  My email address for this project is:  Evolution@littlewoo.org

The Dream Lullaby

I’ve always had a fondness for lullabies… The idea that a human being would sing so tenderly to a child to  soothe them into sleep has always touched me.

Here is a lullaby where I wrote the music in 1997 but didn’t feel the right lyrics arrive til 2003! (this recording was produced by Zufo in 2003)

Read more

Jamil Allah

This simple yet beautiful Sufi chant was taught in a sound healing workshop I took with Simon Heather (UK Sound Healers Association) around the year 2000…  It was explained that in the Sufi tradition, all poetry and art is devotional and is thus dedicated to the great “Beloved”.  This chant expresses the Sufi mystic’s sweet yearning for the Divine and sounds like a cosmic lullaby…

Words:
Jamil Allah
Ishq Allah Jamil

Translation #1:
Oh Divinity, I yearn for your beauty.

Translation #2:
Divine God, Appear my Beloved.