Cleansing the Songwriting Palate and a new commission


It’s always good to be on the lookout for songwriting challenges.  Recently, one found me. Some of our good friends at church are expecting their first child and wanted some original songs to sing with their little one.  They commissioned me to write one song that they could begin to sing over the womb and then use as a lullabye after she was born. Initially I thought this would be a fun, and relatively easy commission.  After writing a whole musical last year I thought “how hard can this be!”

that was three months ago…

Now on top of being incredibly honored I was quickly struck with how difficult this would be! Writing a lullaby is the condensation of the perfect song.  Easy to sing (in a very comfortable register), simple but memorable, comforting but not too sentimental or contrived, stands up to multiple repeated use at odd times of day and night, etc. But where to start?  Lullabye’s are as simple as they are enigmatic. (I’ve never quite figured out the popular ‘hush a bye baby’ pictured above). Check out this book for further delving!

Writing a lullaby, I also realized, was a palate cleansing creative exercise for a songwriter.  There are no complex theological ideas to wrestle with, or detailed song structures…just the essence of a true song. This kind of balancing exercise is really important.  After the last year of wrestling with texts and songs like THIS and THIS…It was a challenging relief to focus on this project.

I ended up writing eight lullaby’s and enjoyed three enough to pass them on to my friends. My goal was to have a morning song, a midday song, and a bedtime song. (At one point I tried to write lullaby’s to correspond with the daily bcp prayers…#fail) Here is a demo for the one I liked the most, but my friends have been gracious enough to let me post the lead sheets for the others too.  Hope you enjoy!  If you have ever written/recorded a lullabye let me know.  I would love to post others!

Morning Will Come (Psalm 5:2-3; 143:8)
mp3 | leadsheet

One Day (Psalm 84:10;100:5)
mp3 | leadsheet

Sleep… (Psalm 4:8)
mp3 | leadsheet

4 thoughts on “Cleansing the Songwriting Palate and a new commission

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  1. All of them are so beautiful, but I think my favorite is Morning Will Come. I have been singing it to her for the last 4 days straight. We are so honored to have some original, thoughtful melodies to sing and pray over her. Thanks SO much. You’re the best, Uncle Bruce! :) #madprops

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