Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Planet Sleeps

When I was a baby, I fell asleep listening to the faraway soundtrack of The Planet Sleeps, an album of lullabies from all corners of the world.  It was the late 1990s, and the world was a far more complicated place than I could've ever imagined from the security of a wicker bassinet.  War, poverty, and pain scarred the planet, but the lullabies of The Planet Sleeps connected the world in peace and love and calm.  That CD somehow made everything feel blue and starry, even if it wasn't, and I can't help but to think that its songs could save the world.  How could horror continue in the face of something so beautiful?

The Planet Sleeps
The cover art of The Planet Sleeps is magical realism-meets-indie (thank you, 1990s alternative scene!), and the album itself is/was a fundraiser for UNICEF. Inside, though, is when things get exciting.  Tucked into the album cover is a little booklet of the songs, their translations, and anecdotes about their origins.  Each anecdote is as poetic and special as the song it accompanies.  I learned, for instance, that "Oj Talasi," a lullaby from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was performed by The Trebevic Choir during a tumultuous time of war and strife.  Choir members met with each other to perform the song during a difficult winter despite cultural boundaries and wartime bombardment, and many of them later disappeared.  It's heartbreaking, and "Oj Talasi" is a poignant reminder of the need for peace and love for and between everyone.  Some of my other favorites from The Planet Sleeps are "Fais Do Do, Colin Mon Petite Frere" (France), "Schlafe Mein Prinzchen, Schlaf Ein" (Germany), and "Phnom Penh Lullaby" (Cambodia). But there are also songs from places like North America, Ireland, and New Zealand.
"Oj Talasi"

"Fais Do Do, Colin Mon Petite Frer"

No one is too old for lullabies.  The Planet Sleeps (available at Amazon) is a compilation of some of the best, and it's particularly important now in this time of so much unrest.  The world needs to be reminded that it is whole. We need to remember that, no matter where we come from, we all sleep under the same stars, and we need love now more than ever. 
<3 Frances

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