Some might say this is a collection of children’s songs, but we think of them as great songs that children happen to enjoy. Here are some of our favorites from thirty-five years of singing together and twenty-five years of recording.
The CD includes six songs not previously recorded as well as songs from the Amidon CDs: Faerie’s Gift, All I Really Need, This Pretty Planet, I’ll Never Forget, and Keys to the Kingdom.
The companion book to the CD; a collection of Peter and Mary Alice’s favorite songs for children, Music and lyrics with guitar chords, with artwork by Julia Zanes.
Book and CD: $30 (save $5.00), CD only: $15, Book only: $20
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Bosvick’s Lullaby by Peter Amidon
“Truth” is the fourth original musical I have written with Stephen Stearns for Brattleboro’s New England Youth Theatre. We come up with a story, Stephen writes the script and directs, and I write the music and lyrics. You can hear more of my songs from our musicals on the “Listening Page” of the Amidon website. —PA
Brotherhood & Sisterhood by Peter Amidon
This was commissioned by the Lititz, Pennsylvania Elementary School with a grant from their project on celebrating differences and teaching students strategies for dealing with bullying.
Busy Monday Morning traditional
We first learned this gem when our son Sam was in a Waldorf pre-school. I often introduce the song with a story of a boy getting the chance to work in the fields with his father through the week. —PA
Chiney Doll traditional
We learned this version of the tune from the great Ozarks ballad singer Almeda Riddle. We love the picture book version of the song illustrated by Harve and Margot Zemach.
Country Life traditional
From the Watersons; a singing family from Yorkshire England whose vocal harmonies have had a profound effect on our own harmonies.
Dreams of Harmony by Joanne Olshansky
“Goodnight” in English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Swahili, Chinese, Russian, German and Hebrew.
Fox Went Out traditional
This version is from the singing of the American troubadour Richard Dyre-Bennet, a contemporary of Burl Ives who lived in my own hometown of Monterey, Massachusetts. —PA
From the Seed in the Ground by Connie Kaldor
Connie Kaldor is a Canadian singer/songwriter. This is one of our favorite new songs of the decade. Check out Peter’s arrangement for piano and treble voices on the Amidon’s website listening page.
Gentle Heart by Donovan
Donovan wrote this for the movie “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” about St. Francis of Assisi.
Great Big Star/Mr. Moon traditional
Our colleague and friend Ted Cetto taught us the spiritual “Great Big Star” when I was working with him at the Brattleboro Music Center’s “Camp Allegro” summer music camp. We have lost track of where we learned “Mr. Moon”. —PA
Harriet Tubman by Walter Robinson
Walter Robinson told me that the song has been performed through-out the world because it is about someone so important. —MA
I See the Moon by Meredith Wilson
By the same author of the “Music Man”, this song is often used as the “Pied Piper” song for leading children off to their bedtime cabins in a singing parade at some of the Country Song and Dance Society summer Family Week Camps where we have worked over the last thirty years.
I’m Growing Up by Mary Alice Amidon
I wrote this for the elementary school students at Traver Road School in Pleasant Valley, New York to go along with their “Life Cycle” theme. —MA
Johnny Appleseed Stephen & Rosemary Vincent Benet/Mary Alice Amidon
I found this poem in a book called the Best Loved Poems of the American People and set it to a tune; I was delighted to dis-cover the picture book version illustrated by Steven Schindler.—MA
Kindergarten Wall by John McCutcheon
This classic features our sons Sam and Stefan (now both busy and successful touring musicianswhen they were sopranos. The lyrics were inspired by Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”.
Lullaby for the Girls by Mary Alice Amidon
This song is dedicated to my nieces Tara and Jenny. I arrived at my sister Susan’s house one night when she and her husband had to rush off to the hospital emergency room (for what turned out to be a false alarmleaving me alone with the sleeping girls. I sat down at the piano and out came this melody. The lyrics finished themselves the next day on my trip back to Vermont. —MA
Mail Myself to You by Woody Guthrie
Children inhale this Woody Guthrie classic. The Simms Taback picture book “I Miss You Every Day” is a perfect companion to this song.
Martin Luther King by Merle Gatrell
An eloquent celebration of Dr. King’s life and struggles.
Now It’s Time to Go by Peter Amidon
We had a tradition at Camp Allegro, a summer music day camp where I worked, of writing goodbye songs to sing at the end of the day; this was my contribution. This is the first song our son Sam ever sang with us in the studio. —PA
Owl & Pussycat Edward Lear/Peter Amidon
I set this poem to music in 1972, long before I had any inkling he would have a career doing music with children. —PA
Say What You Want by Mary Alice Amidon
I wrote this after attending an elementary school staff enrichment meeting concerning conflict resolution where the school teaches children to: 1-Say what you feel; 2-Say what you want; 3-Talk about it, and: 4-Go have fun. —MA
Silver Rain by Alice Henderson/Marianne Zimmerman
From the spiritual community “Bruderhof” which fled Nazi Germany to England, and from there traveled, with our English friends Harry and Edith Barron, to the jungles of Paraguay where the Barrons raised their family, and sang and sang and sang. The Barrons eventually found their way to our hometown of Brattleboro VT.
This Pretty Planet by John Forrester and Tom Chapin
Try this in two or three parts at your all-school sing.
Vote for Me by Rose Sanders
Rose Sanders, the first African American woman judge in Alabama, is a civil rights attorney, education activist, songwriter, and playwright living in Selma, Alabama. She is the mother of three children.
What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and George Douglas a/k/a Bob Thiele
This old song never gets old.