Lullabies for Trying Times

by Ross Crean

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about

"Lullabies for Trying Times" is a collection of Gaelic and English lullaby songs, which Ross Crean created for his mother, Charleen, who passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in July of 2014. "My mother begged me for years to record a lullaby-type album," Crean said, "as did many of my friends who were having children. The only thing they all requested was that I make it listenable and interesting for them as adults, so I chose a few traditional favorites as well as composing a few original songs."

During the pre-production process, Ross' mother was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. "After my Mum's diagnosis, I knew immediately that I had to record 'Siúil A Rún'. She sang that song all the time when I was a baby, and it was my chance to pay her back with a gift of that song, so I did a version that she would have enjoyed." Charleen quickly succumbed to the cancer three weeks after her diagnosis. "All we could do was watch," Ross said, "and when she was close to the end, I was able to bring in a copy of the song, and let her hear it. At that point, she was very incoherent, but when I asked her if she wanted to hear the song, she said a very solid YES. I put the earphones in her ears and let it play. I saw tears, and I knew I had gotten it to her just in time. She was still in there, and above anything else, I was so grateful to have that last chance. She was always the first one to listen to my songs, and I was damned is she didn't get to hear that one."

Many of the songs on "Lullabies for Trying Times" are piano accompanied, but also included the drone-infused "Taladh Chriosta", the folk guitar driven "A Fighter's Lullaby" (originally written for the CHERUBS Organization, which helps raise funds for children with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia disorder, also known as CDH), an orchestral accompanied version of the traditional song "Bheir Mé Ó", and the song "All Through the Night", in which Crean uses harp and clarinet to reflect the sense of innocence the words convey.

A tear-jerker here is the song "Madeleine", which tells the story of two inseparable 6-year-old children who were fighting leukemia at the children's hospital Ross volunteered. "Yes, some of these songs are sad in nature,"Ross said, "but I think those that know and hear the story are able to keep in perspective what an amazing connection these two kids had between them. When one was dying, the other one said, 'I'll be right behind you', and kept his promise, passing away two days later. You never expect children to say things like that, or even know how to console others. That's what made this pretty incredible to me."

credits

released November 18, 2014

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Track Name: A Fighter's Lullaby
It's all clear now, little one,
Sleep away.
No more fears and disturbia
Will be here to stay.

Let the sky full of stars
Blanket the darkness that gets in your way.
Just hold on to the promises
That tell you to there's soon to be
Much brighter days.

Don't carry your shield and sword
Through those reveries.
Get on the boat, leave them on the shore
While you sail to dream.

Let the sky full of stars
Blanket the darkness that gets in your way.
Just hold on to the promises
That tell you to there's soon to be
Much brighter days.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Crònan An Maighdinn - Mhara (The Mermaid's Croon)
CHORUS :
Ho! mo nigh’n dubh
He! mo nigh’n dubh
Mo nighean dubh
‘S tu mo chuachag.

Caidil a luaidh
Fo chobhair nan stuadh
Air bodha na suain
'S do bhruadar 's a' cheòban

Caidil a ghraidh
O caidil mu thràth
Is t'athair air bhàigh
Is fadal mo phòig air

Eala rid' thaobh
Is roin os do chionn
Lacha Mhoire 's a' chaol
'S cha'n fhaobar bhrònag


TRANSLATION:

Sleep beneath
The foam o’ the waves
On reefs of sleep
Dreaming in dew mist.

Thy seabed
The seals o’er head
From reivers dread
Securely guarding

While I croon,
White swan of the moon,
Wild duck of the sound,
By thee are resting.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Siúil A Rún
I wish I was on yonder hill
'Tis there I'd sit and cry my fill
And every tear would turn a mill
Is go dté tú mo mhuirnín slán
I'll sell my rod, I'll sell my reel
I'll sell my only spinning wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rún
Siúil go socair agus siúil go ciúin
Siúil go doras agus éalaigh liom
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

I'll dye my petticoats, I'll dye them red
And round the world I'll beg my bread
Until my parents shall wish me dead
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I had my heart again
And vainly think I'd not complain
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rún
Siúil go socair agus siúil go ciúin
Siúil go doras agus éalaigh liom
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

But now my love has gone to France
to try his fortune to advance
If he e'er comes back 'tis but a chance
Is go dté tú mo mhúirnín slán

TRANSLATION OF CHORUS:

Go, go, go my love
Go quietly and peacefully
Go to the door and flee with me
And may you go safely my dear.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Bheir Mé Ó
Bheir mé óró, bhean ó
Bheir mé óró, ó bhean í
Bheir mé óró ó hó
Tá mé brónach ‘s tú i m’dhith

‘ S iomaí oíche fliuch is fuar
Thug mé cuairt is mé liom féin
Nó go ráinig mé san áit
Mar a raibh grá geal mó chléibh

I mo chláirseach ní raibh ceol
I mo mheoraibh ní raibh brí
Nó gur luaigh tú do rún
‘ S fuair mé eolas ar mo dhán

TRANSLATION

I've gone away, oh beautiful woman
I've gone away, oh dear one
I've gone away
I'm sad and missing you.

Many's the cold and wet night
I went out traveling on my own
Until I reached the place
Where the love of my heart lived.

There was no music in my harp
There was no strength in my fingers
Until you told me of your love
And I found my poem.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: All Through the Night
Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels, God will send thee,
All through the night.

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping.
I, my loved one's watch, am keeping
All through the night.

Angels watching e'er around thee,
All through the night.
Midnight's slumber close surround thee,
All through the night.

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping.
I, my loved one's watch, am keeping
All through the night.

O'er thy spirit gently stealing,
Visions of delight revealing,
Breathes a pure and holy feeling,
All through the night.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Madeleine
Hey, Madeleine,
I know your world is crashing down,
But save a little courage for me.
Well, I've been lost and found,
But in the days you've been around,
I feel like I could shimmer and be seen.

Hang on, we're almost out of here.
Maybe you sooner than I.
And that's alright...
I won't be far behind,
So sleep tight.
For when it's time to say good-bye,
We'll say good night.

Hey, Madeleine,
So much much for ever growing up,
But really, we should probably be relieved.
Cos once those curtains close,
We'll fly like Peter Pan and Wendy,
Finding freedom in that moment of retreat.

Hang on, we're almost out of here.
Maybe you sooner than I.
And that's alright...
I won't be far behind,
So sleep tight.
For when it's time to say good-bye,
We'll say good night.

Hey, Madeleine,
Your world's no longer crashing down.
I hoped you saved some courage for me,
Cos I'm so scared right now.
But I know next time I see you,
We'll have health and hair
And strength to dance and sing.

Hang on, we're almost out of here.
I'll soon be there by your side.
It's alright...
I won't be far behind,
So sleep tight.
We'll never have to say good-bye.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Oh, What a World
Do you never want to sleep?
Such a shame. There's so much missed
In the hours of waking.
All the tales you've yet to weave,
They can only be discovered
If you dodge the seldom seen.

Oh, what a world...
Oh, what a world to dream.

You may have never left this room,
But throughout the night
That pillow cradled worlds around you.
It's the edges of your universe
That decide the limits of
your ever-growing point of view.

Oh, what a world...
Oh, what a world.

Underneath a goodnight moon
And a blanket full of stars,
Each one a wish that may come true...
Oh, what a world.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: Pangur Bán
Messe [ocus] Pangur bán,
cechtar nathar fria saindán;
bíth a menma-sam fri seilgg,
mu menma céin im saincheirdd

Caraim-se fós, ferr cach clú,
oc mu lebrán léir ingnu;
ní foirmtech frimm Pangur bán,
caraid cesin a maccdán.

Ó ru-biam ­ scél cén scis ­
innar tegdias ar n-oéndis,
táithiunn ­ dichríchide clius ­
ní fris 'tarddam ar n-áthius.

Gnáth-huaraib ar greassaib gal
glenaid luch ina lín-sam;
os me, du-fuit im lín chéin
dliged ndoraid cu n-dronchéill.

Fúachaid-sem fri freaga fál
a rosc a nglése comlán;
fúachimm chéin fri fégi fis
mu rosc réil, cesu imdis.

Fáelid-sem cu n-déne dul,
hi nglen luch ina gérchrub;
hi-tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil,
os mé chene am fáelid.

Cia beimini amin nach ré
ní derban cách a chéle;
mait le cechtar nár a dán
subaigthiud a óenurán.

Hé fesin as choimsid dáu
in muid du-n-gní cach óenláu;
do thabairt doraid du glé
for mumud céin am messe.

TRANSLATION:
Myself and Pangur, cat and sage
Go each about our business;
I harass my beloved page,
He his mouse.

Fame comes second to the peace
Of study, a still day
Unenvying, Pangur's choice
Is child's play.

Neither bored, both hone
At home a separate skill
Moving after hours alone
To the kill

When at last his net wraps
After a sly fight
Around a mouse; mine traps
Sudden insight.

On my cell wall here,
His sight fixes, burning,
Searching; my old eyes peer
At new learning,

And his delight when his claws
Close on his prey
Equals mine when sudden clues
Light my way.

So we find by degrees
Peace in solitude,
Both of us, solitaries,
Have each the trade

He loves: Pangur, never idle
Day or night
Hunts mice; I hunt each riddle
From dark to light.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf
Track Name: No More Lullabies
No more lullabies now,
So just close your eyes.
Just close your eyes.

At night, it's all black and white,
So turn off the lights,
Shut down the outside.

Cos at any age, it's so beautifully strange
To dream at all.
It's taking the stage in my mental arrangement
Of what I'd like to call home.

In sleep, I dream of Japan,
With colors more bold
Than when you're awake.

In mine, I see the Sandman
In his pork-pie hat,
The twin of Tom Waits.
And while he's always dark and dreary,
All I see is he's weak and weary, now.

Cos at any age, it's so beautifully strange
To dream at all.
It's taking the stage in my mental arrangement
Of what I'd like to call home.

No more lullabies now,
So just close your eyes.
Just close your eyes.

- See more at: http://rosscrean.com/lullabies_for_trying_times/#sthash.loRqB8iz.dpuf