Singing to Claraby Michael, posted August 13, 2013
Clara enjoys music a lot. She hums her own melodies around the house, and requests music be played from our laptops. On the road, we can barely back out of the driveway before demands are issued forth from the backseat for music to be played in the car. At bedtime, she insists “Clara crib, Da-da ting!”
For the past several months, I’ve been singing to Clara at bedtime—the expectation is now fully established: milk, singing, hug, sleep.
I struggled at first with what to sing to her. Our church is contemporary, and the songs are singable, but they’re rhythmic and often quite upbeat—not always what I’m looking for for tired-me and to provide a calming environment for a two-year-old I would like to sleep. I have fond memories of being sung hymns as a child myself, and my parents still have a stack of the (now very well worn) red hymnals which they sang to us out of for many years.
I appreciate that our church takes a contemporary approach to music; the leadership does a fantastic job with it, and I think it retains its sacredness despite being more accessible and modern-sounding. At the same time, I’ve always appreciated the rich words and more contemplative feel of my favourite hymns, and bemoaned that I don’t have the weekly opportunity to sing them over and over and learn the words by heart the way I wish I could.
Of course, the only barrier to singing hymns to Clara was having the words, so I finally made up a double-sided songsheet, jammed with eight favourites, in three columns, 11pt type. Then, after months of using just the first page, I finished up selecting another eight and created a second double-sided sheet. Because the lyrics and music of hymns are of course in the public domain, I’m pleased to share this online:
It’s probably not a group-suitable songsheet in this form, as there’s no numbering or really any organization at all—compactness and simplicity are the goals. But I hope that it may be useful, perhaps to others in a similar position.Filed under: Reflections | 1 Comment »