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You Are My Flower
You Are My Flower
by Elizabeth Mitchell

Recorded in a single afternoon, You Are My Flower is an underground children's music classic hailed by the Boston Phoenix as Children's Album of the Year in 1999. It features traditional folk and country tunes as well as inspired renditions of the Carter Family, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie songs. Mitchell's gentle voice is joined on some songs by Daniel Littleton, the guitar, shakers, piano, and the wood flute. This album is perfect for quiet playtime, cuddling, and soothing car rides.

Age: 2 Year-olds | Title: You Are My Flower  |  Artist: Elizabeth Mitchell  |  Label: Rykodisc

Recorded in a single afternoon, You Are My Flower is an underground children's music classic hailed by the Boston Phoenix as Children's Album of the Year in 1999. It features traditional folk and country tunes as well as inspired renditions of the Carter Family, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie songs. Mitchell's gentle voice is joined on some songs by Daniel Littleton, the guitar, shakers, piano, and the wood flute. This album is perfect for quiet playtime, cuddling, and soothing car rides.

Mitchell continues to captivate listeners of all ages with her organic sounds; often just an acoustic guitar and her soft angelic voice as comforting as your own mother or grandmother. A few of the songs include additional instruments, but always subtly, maintaining the intimacy of every song. The comfortable homey feeling is created by the 'live' sounds of Mitchell softly counting into the songs and speaking directly to her partner 'Danny' (Littleton) before or during a song. Perhaps the most organic track on the album is Rock & Roll, which is an impromptu recording of a child simply repeating "Hey!" while a kazoo plays. Listeners learn it's a performance when the child stops and adults (presumably, Mitchell and Littleton) are heard clapping and encouraging in the background. Mitchell then counts to three, and the child joins her in simply saying "rock and roll" a few times. And the song is over. It's beautiful in its simplicity. The songs range in tempo from the slower and relaxing beat of Pony Boy, to the lively tempo and attractive cadence in One Day, Two Days, Three Days Old. Mitchell and Littleton harmonize in multiple songs, while Mitchell's voice is looped and she provides her own backup singing in Shoo fly.

The generally relaxed tempo and repetition of melody and lyrics in most songs on the album lends well to singing or humming along. A very fun song to sing along with is Little Sack of Sugar, with all the triple repetition of 'hey', 'hee', 'ho', 'jiggle' and 'tickle'. This is a fun song to sing along with while lightly bouncing your little one on your knee or tickling them. Freight Train is unique on the album, as it's the one song where Mitchell and Littleton speak directly to one another in the song. Mitchell asks Littleton where they should go on the freight train today. They first go to Brooklyn, then the California, and finally to Africa. Each verse speeds up, as Mitchell explains 'we need to go fast to get there, since it's so far away.' You can add your own hometown into the song to relate it more directly to your child. Listeners may also be surprised to hear Jingle Bells on a non-holiday themed album, but hearing Mitchell perform it, is quite convincing that it's not just a holiday song. A "ha ha ha" is heard loudly in the background after "laughing all the way". Encouraging your child to move to the music, sing along, or beat the tune out (gently) on their knee will help them further relate to the music.

I first listened to this CD with my niece when she was two years old. She had thrown a fit that afternoon and was still pretty worked up half an hour later. In an effort to help calm her, I remembered this album I had just bought (having read that is can have a soothing effect on listeners), so I popped it in and encouraged her to snuggle up on my lap. She stubbornly refused at first; however, when the music started she did sit down on the floor to listen. After the first song, she crawled up to the couch - but sat on the opposite side of me, arms still crossed defiantly. Finally, after a few songs, she had inched her way onto my lap and closed her eyes when I put my arms around her and hummed with the music.

--Audra

This CD was recorded in one afternoon, during a day off from one of Ida's lengthy U.S. tours in the fall of 1998. It was intended to be a gift for nieces and nephews, but became a word of mouth sleeper hit and the band released it commercially last year. A portion of the proceeds from the sale go to organizations dedicated to making the world a safer and happier place for children.

Elizabeth Mitchell, a former assistant teacher at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery in NYC, is a founding member of the NYC band Ida. Formed in Brooklyn in 1992, Ida has released 5 full length albums on independent labels.

This "underground classic" was hailed by the Boston Globe as Children's Album of the Year in 1999. It features traditional folk and country tunes as well as inspired renditions of the Carter Family, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie songs. Mitchell's gentle voice is joined on some songs by Daniel Littleton, the guitar, shakers, piano, and the wood flute. This album is perfect for quiet playtime, cuddling, and soothing car rides. I loved the cd - Emma actually fell asleep to the cd. Not quite lullabies, but definitely soft music.

--Maryann Piek, Mama Must Have It

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