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Goodnight, Sleep Tight
Goodnight, Sleep Tight
by Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart

This winner of the Sandman Seal of Approval consists of traditional lullabies from around the world, as well as Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart's original lullabies. The two women's voices are dreamy in harmony, accompanied by a synthesizer, guitar, recorder, xylophone, harmonica, and violins on select tracks. This recording is perfect for a sleepy car ride or cuddle time before bed.

Age: 2 Year-olds | Title: Goodnight, Sleep Tight  |  Artist: Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart  |  Label: Friends Street Music

This winner of the Sandman Seal of Approval consists of traditional lullabies from around the world, as well as Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart's original lullabies. The two women's voices are dreamy in harmony, accompanied by a synthesizer, guitar, recorder, xylophone, harmonica, and violins on select tracks. This recording is perfect for a sleepy car ride or cuddle time before bed.

The songs offered in this peaceful album will bring familiarity, comfort, and a smile to little ones and all of their older loved ones. Perhaps the most recognizable lullaby in the modern world, Brahms' Lullaby will instantly put listeners at ease; the verses progress from just humming and synthetic sounds, to Mary Lee and Nancy singing angelically, "Lullaby and goodnight, with roses bedight..." and the final verse includes voice, guitar, and synthetic sounds to send your child off to dream land. Some cultural expansion is offered through the traditional lullabies from different areas of the world. All The Pretty Little Horses is an African American song, Kum Ba Ya is a lovely African song presented a capella, Rocking is from Czechoslovakia, Nina Nana is a simple and fun Italian song, and Fais Dodo is traditional Creole sung in French. Old Texas is traditionally from the United States while Sleep Little Cowboy is an addition by Mary Lee and Nancy. Other original lullabies on the album include Lullaby For Danny, the title track Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Modulation, and Auntie's Lullaby.

A great way to bond with your little one over this music is to play it while they are getting ready for bed. You can hum along with the tune, or rock them gently as they focus on the music while slowly giving in to their drooping eyelids. Someday is a Mary Lee original lullaby about the many things a child wants to do when they are older; "I like to lie in bed at night/And dream about the places I might see. I have a lot of storybooks/with pictures of people I might meet...someday Id like to climb way up a mountain, oh so high." Asking your little one what they would like to do or be someday is an excellent way to encourage their imagination, dreams, and provide happy thoughts just prior to bed. Where Do the Stars Go? is a great question that your little one may wonder as well; "Do the angels put them away/Or do they go running through the sunshine." Encourage your child to guess where the stars go each morning - their responses may astound you.

My niece, Emily, started listening to this album when she was only one, and still selects it on a regular basis. She brought it out recently when I was watching her one evening and said, "Auntie, I have a song for you." We put it on and found the song, Auntie's Lullaby. It is a sweet song about family relationships, "I am your Mama's sister... I am your grandma's daughter...You are my little nephew...I am your uncle's sister...don't be confused, it's only me, your auntie, and I see all of us in you." I was very touched that Emily recognized this song as describing the relationship that we had. I gave her a big hug and told her once again what a lucky auntie I am to have her as a niece.

--Audra

Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart met when they were only 14 years old, and began performing together in Los Angeles at various venues, including "The New Hope Inn," "The Troubador," "Alice's Restaurant, " "McCabe's Guitar Shop" and the Renaissance Faire. They recorded radio jingles for "Ladies Choice Pickles" and the cycle of nursery rhymes for Mattel Toys "See 'n Say."

In 1971 they toured with Randy Sparks & the Back Porch Majority which performed nationwide, opening shows for: Burl Ives, Shirley Jones, Lily Tomlin, Bill Cosby and many others. After touring America for more than nine years, they decided to perform solo. However, Mary Lee and Nancy still perform together annually in "Tales of the Trails" at the Yakima Valley Museum in Washington State. They also perform at concerts for children at libraries and summer reading programs.

Mary Lee and Nancy have received the American Library Association Notable Children's Recording and the Parents Choice Award for their CD recording: "Rhythm of the Rocks," Parents Choice Award for "Singin' Sidesaddle" and the Sandman Seal of Approval for "Goodnight Sleep Tight."

I've mentioned time and time again how Ari (my energetic 2 1/2 year old) is a terrible sleeper. Well, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands, with the help of Little One Books. If you go to amazon.com, for example, and search for a lullaby CD the results you find are overwhelming. Little One Books has done the research and have provided us parents with a easily search-able website containing products that they personally recommend for children.

Little One Books was generous enough to allow me the opportunity to review a couple of their products. The first thing that came to mind was a lullaby CD for Ari to combat his bad sleeping habits. I chose this particular CD, which has a combination of traditional and original lullabies.

Now, I have to admit, I was skeptical for several reasons.
1. Ari has never much been into music before bed.
2. Often children's music can be irritating.
3. Would this put the perpetual non-sleeper to bed?

My mom and I introduced the CD to Ari as a "special surprise." He immediately got excited. I played the CD on my computer, so as it was playing he got to watch the Windows Media Player color animation, which he also thoroughly enjoyed. After each song ended Ari would ask: "What happened?" And I would explain to him that a new song would be coming on in a few seconds. Eventually, he began to get sleepy.

And so did I, as a matter of fact. The lullabies on this CD are really soothing and surprisingly not annoying! One of my favorite tracks is an original lullaby written by Mary Lee Sunseri and Nancy Stewart called "Auntie's Lullaby." The singer addresses her nephew and lulls him to sleep by explaining her role in his life. They also do a really nice version of the traditional song Kum Ba Ya.

Ari and I continued to listen and we both fell fast asleep. In fact, Wil had to come in and turn the lights out for us early in the morning.

Sarah Fader, Old School New School
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