Monday, August 8, 2016

Sleepytime Songs

I am an occasional insomniac. I guess I am what you may call a light sleeper. If I have a headache or a tummy ache or if I'm too hot, any of these can give me difficulty sleeping, and sometimes, my brain just likes to be active and dream up story plot ideas in the middle of the night. (Now, if I can only manage to do that while dreaming.) So, sometimes some sleepytime music helps ease me into Sleepland. So, to all my fellow occasional insomniacs, I hope you find this list of sleepytime songs helpful.

Fellow insomniac and blogger friend, Song Smith, recently blogged about her sleepytime song picks from Norwegian singer Ane Brun. I've already checked out Ane's music and discovered it did help me sleep. Read Song's post here. You may also enjoy Song's other blog posts. Her posts often give virtual hiking tours in her native Netherlands and elsewhere. Occasionally, her cat Viggo takes over the blog and talks about his trials as a kittycat.

1. "Hushabye Mountain" -- Hayley Westenra

I love Hayley's pure lovely voice, and I love this "Hushabye Mountain" lullaby from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so much. My only objection is that it is too short. The tinkling music box sounds are gentle and pleasantly haunting.
2. "Brahms Lullaby" -- Hayley Westenra 

Here is another example of Miss Hayley singing a lullaby. She has, among others, an entire album of lullaby music, so if you like these examples, you can easily find others. Some of her other classical crossover and Celtic recordings would also work for sleepytime.

3. "Sweet Dreams" -- Jewel

Jewel also has an entire album of lullaby music. I really like this one with its gently lilting melody and poetic lyrics.

4. "All the Pretty Little Horses" -- Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church commented on this one that she wasn't sure if the baby would want to sleep or get up and dance. The Spanish guitar on this one does give it a different feel, but it is still gentle and soothing.

5. "Hushabye Mountain" (a much longer rendition) -- Youtuber ShadowCa7

I don't know this Youtuber by any other name than her screen name, ShadowCa7 or Destiny. In her own comments, she humbly asserts that she can't play and can't sing. I beg to differ! If the first "Hushabye Mountain" was a little too short, this rendition is extra long with some new additional verses created by ShadowCa7.

6. "We Will Go Home/Song of Exile" from "King Arthur" soundtrack -- ShadowCa7

Here's another example of her beautiful singing and guitar, this time with a little violin as well. You can download some of her music for free here or donate to help her create more videos.

7. "Misty Mountains" from "The Hobbit" soundtrack -- Peter Hollens, ft. Tim Foust

I do tend to find soprano voices particularly angelic or soothing, but I'm not as prejudiced against male voices as this list might make me seem. I really like this rendition of "Misty Mountains." His collaborator Tim Foust has a great bass voice and looks the part for Aragorn or Boromir.

8. "Somewhere Out There" from "An American Tail" -- Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram

"Somewhere Out There" is not a recent soundtrack song, but it stands out to me as a favorite among soundtrack songs from a non-Disney animated film. It's also gentle and with lyrics like "under the pale moonlight," it seems appropriate for sleepytime.

9. "Once Upon a December" from "Anastasia" -- Deana Carter

Here's another favorite from a non-Disney animated film. I adore this song, and really like the original with the music box sounds. This version seems to have more Russian folk-y instruments, which I also like.

10. "Cossack Lullaby" -- Natalia Faustova

Speaking of things Russian, I came across this Cossack lullaby while randomly searching Youtube. This led to finding lullaby music from nearly every culture: Turkey, Israel, Portugal, Norway and on and on. I'm including this one, because I found it particularly interesting. The video includes the Russian words with English translation and some Russian folk art style illustration. Daggers seem strange to mention in a lullaby, but I suppose so do cradles crashing down out of treetops.

11. "Sleep My Young Darling" (Icelandic Lullaby) -- Sissel

Norwegian singer Sissel sings this lovely Icelandic lullaby.

12. "If You Were a Sailboat" -- Katie Melua

This song by Katie Melua has some poetic lyrics, and the accompanying video looks like a surreal but pleasant dream. You may want to enjoy some of these videos while you're still awake. Katie has a unique almost quirky voice that I like.

13. Katie Melua with Georgian Polyphonic Choir

I discovered Katie Melua through Pandora radio and Georgian polyphonic singing through someone I follow on Pinterest, and then I discovered the video above which combines the two. Katie is British-Georgian.

14. "Qartuli Khmebi" -- Imeruli Simgerebis Popuri

I have no notion what I just typed above except that it is the language verbatim from the video itself. Here is another example of Georgian singing. I may not understand the language, but I feel the spirit of it. This seems like it could be romantic dinner background music as well as pacifying enough for sleepytime.

15. Humperdinck: "Hansel and Gretl Prayer" -- Libera

I remember singing this lullaby with my college women's choir. Libera is a boy choir however.

16. "Isle of Innisfree" -- Celtic Woman

The harp is thought to be -- without a lot of Biblical evidence -- the instrument of angels. It does have the right sort of sound for sleep.

17. "A Dream Within a Dream" -- Bogdan Ota

I enjoy discovering new talent through "America's Got Talent," "Britain's Got Talent" and other world versions of the game. Bogdan Ota was a discovery through "Norway's Got Talent." The above is his own neoclassical composition, and the title seems rather fitting for this list. The video has some interesting animation.

18. "Asleep at Last" -- Wailin' Jennys

If you were to play this list at bedtime, by the time we get to this point, hopefully, you will have long been "asleep at last."


  1. I really have to check out these list, because untill I reach my bed I will be walking like a dead person and totally sleepy but when I Am in bed I just cannot fall asleep sometimes. Maybe these songs might help. Looks like a good set of music.

    1. I hope this helps you. I understand the feeling. I saw a bit of humor related to insomnia recently that seems to describe your situation.

  2. Oh, what a great list! I will check it out at my leisure.
    And thank you so, so much for your kind words about my blog! I'm blushing.
    When I am home from Derbyshire I will do a list of my own, as promised!