This Lullaby is from Brim A Brew, a song cycle to poetry by Ray Underwood. Russell Steinberg writes:
"These songs speak of simple things: the magic of wind whistling through empty glass bottles, an aged maid representing the harvest of a simple bountiful life, a lullaby to ward off the great darkness, and winter galloping on a stallion followed by snowy hosts. Juliana Gondek sent me home one day with an extensive folder filled to the brim with poetry of her belated friend Ray Underwood. Ray’s poems got under my skin with their simplicity, elegance, Americana quality—and beneath all that, a mighty darkness. This collection sets five of his poems in musical language that tries to tap into that sense of simple and elegant American identity, with resonances of Copland and Barber."
Raised in the colorado Rocky Mountains, Ray Underwood was an actor and poet. He studied at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts Drama Division, run by John Houseman. For 15 years he had a successful career and starred on many television shows. Ann Sexton described his writing "not as the work of one who writes poems, but of a poet." Peggy Lee influenced him toward song lyric writing and he collaborated with Maurice Jarre on the theme song for Paramount Pictures' ALMOST AN ANGEL starring Paul Hogan. He eventually compiled a body of work ranging from pop sungs sung by Bette Midler and Vanessa Williams, to folk and art songs sung by opera singers such as Juliana Gondek.
Strings are running through you
You're a button on a thread
And you traverse the nighttime
Through the stories of your head
Rhemes and rhemes of colored dreams
Vibrate from the strings
Scents and songs and pictures
Unborn lakes and secret streams.
Goodnight, goodnight, my baby
Pay attention while you fly,
For somewhere while you glide the night
Are the reasons that you cry.
Falling through the darkness,
Like a red coal in a rage
Burning, as you fall,
Through paper page and paper page.
For every voice that's in the world
There is one inside your head
And God must hush them all with peace.
Before you rise from bed.