Nightsong

Nightsong is Lisa G. Littlebird’s first solo album release. Produced, recorded by and featuring multi-instrumentalist David Bergeaud, the album is also held together by the talents of Zan Moore on guitar, plus special guests Puka (charango), Lindsey Wise (vocals), Edwin Huizinga (violin) and Pearl Bryan (vocals). Exquisite original album artwork by Jamie Oksas.

Nightsong is an 11 song, hour-long sonic journey in service to our collective alignment, relaxation and healing. A full track list with lyrics, translations and notes is below.

Album Credits

Lisa G. Littlebird, Vocals & Handpan
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by David Bergeaud, recorded at Sky Oaks Ranch
David Bergeaud, Piano, Dilruba, Tabla, Tongue Drum & Percussion, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Lap Steel, 10-string guitar & Kalimba
Zan Moore, Guitar & Vocals (all tracks but 9)
Puka, Charango (tracks 3, 10 & 11)
Lindsey Wise, Vocals (tracks 1, 3, 6 & 10)
Edwin Huizinga, Violin (track 7)
Pearl Bryan, Vocals (track 7)
Jamie Oksas, Album Cover Art

ORDER A CD

Physical CDs may be pre-ordered here now! Yours will shipped in early May 2020. CD price is $15 including shipping. Right now we can only ship to the US and Canada.

About the Album

While not overtly categorizable as lullabies, this album’s intent and theme is one of soothing. It was designed to take the listener on a nervous-system-regulating sonic journey; an invitation into the deeper, clear pools of our inner beings.

The foundation of most tracks were recorded in two overnight sessions, one in August 2018 and the other in August 2019. We wanted a human, natural feel to the songs, so the lead vocals, handpan, guitar and baseline percussion were all recorded together by Lisa, Zan and David (and with Lindsey in 2018) in single live takes. Additional instrumentation and vocals were then added on top in subsequent sessions.

Profound thanks for many donors and very talented contributors whose energetic and financial support brought Nightsong into being. 

Particular mentions to:

  • My mother and father, Karla & Dennis Goettel, for their unwavering love and support in all ways.
  • The remarkable talents of David Bergeaud, whose musical and engineering genius are unparalleled. David, your generosity and dedication brought the best possible versions of these songs to life, and the open-hearted, kind guidance and friendship we developed in the process is a profound treasure.
  • Zan Moore, one of the most inspiring musicians and humans I’ve ever known. Your friendship has been a deep, sustaining source of nourishment in my life and your encouragement and generosity were essential to this project’s fruiting.
  • Lindsey Wise, without your essentially-timed, clear support, I never would have jumped into that first session. I love you dear sister – thank you for your great talents and wide open heart.
  • Pearl Bryan, I’ll never adequately thank you for how your close long-term friendship has patiently sustained me through every up and down. Your voice adds soul and depth to every song and life you touch.
  • Great thanks for the lifetime musical dedication of Puka, one of the foremost charango players in the world who I had the pleasure of meeting in 2016 while in Peru. You reminded me of the truly lifesaving power of musical beauty. You were such an easy joy to collaborate with and your playing brings otherworldly magic.
  • Edwin Huizinga, worldwide violin talent, thank you for your friendship, infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share your remarkable gifts. Your beauty sings, inside and out.
  • Jamie Oksas, painter and friend whose artistry and soulful depth are inspirations to me and to many… thank you for the great gift of the gorgeous album cover. (Which coincidentally depicts a striking resemblance of exact view from Sky Oaks Ranch where the album was recorded, even though you were never there.)  I love and appreciate you!

Major donors to this project include:
Amy Stone, Avri Beeri, Bob Phillips, Bryan & Kate Goettel, Catherine Crockett, Cheryl Fraenzl, Dale Diesel, Dan Bursch & Sharon Yencharis in loving memory of Betsy Bursch, Dianne Driessen, Dinshaw Gobhai, Elizabeth Murray, Ellie Kincade, Fiona Pugilese, Ishmiel & Patra Lounsbury, Joy Graham, Janette Moody & Martin Dehmler, John Bradford, Josh & Lindsey Wise, Juli & Marti Smith, Karen Lehman, Katherine Malengo, Kendra Morgenrath, Lynda Sayre, MaryAnn Vasconcellos, Matt Jerge, Michael Purcell, Mike & Jane Ann Melloy, Mary Kathryn Clay, Monterey Peace & Justice Center, Ellen Watson & Moving Ventures, Pauline Allen, Peter Taubkin, Rayner Marx, Ruben Archilla, Ryan Hurd, Richard Herdell, Steve Goettel, Sydney Ocean, Sylvia Shih, Yossi Beeri, Zulfikar Ali & Zan Moore.

Track List, with Song Notes, Lyrics & Translations

1) We Are
Words & music by Ysaye Barnwell

Ysaye Barnwell, founding member of the African-American acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, was one of the first and most influential people in my musical career. We Are was among the first songs I arranged on the handpan and it seems a fitting dedication to her to offer this remarkable song as the inital track.

Lyrics

For each child that’s born a morning star rises
And sings to the universe who we are

We are our grandmother’s prayers
We are our grandfather’s dreamings
We are the breath of our ancestors
We are the spirit of God 

We are one, we are one, we are one, we are one…

We are mothers of courage, fathers of time
We’re daughters of dust, and sons of great vision
We’re sisters of mercy, brothers of love
We’re lovers of life, and builders of nations
We’re speakers of truth, keepers of faith
We’re makers of peace, and wisdom of ages

2) Call Me By My True Names
Words by Thich Nhat Hanh, original music source unknown.

All proceeds from this track benefit the
Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation.

Few songs have captured my heart as this one. I love it more each time I sing it. This arrangement is based upon a version from Yopi Jay. I dedicate this song to Joanna Macy and her deep work and offering in the world, as we all learn to ever-more-deeply hold our grief and celebration together.

Lyrics

My joy is like a spring so warm,
it makes flowers bloom all over the earth
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast that it fills the four oceans

Please call me by my true names
so I can hear my cries and laughter at once
so I can feel that my joy and pain are one

Please call me by my true names
so that I may wake up
and the doors of my heart will be left open

3) Pajaro Viejo
Words & Music Almunis (Alejandra Ortiz)

This song came to me via my dear Peruvian teacher, Cristina Mendoza. After some research, I found the song had transformed quite a bit in its cycles of sharing from an original song by Almunis (Alejandra Ortiz). Almunis was kind enough to give her full blessing to share and release this version despite its changes, saying when she heard it, “the spirit remains.”

Lyrics & Translation

Pajaro viejo, que cantas que cantas   Old bird, that sings, that sings
Esta tierra te ha visto nacer (x2)   This land has seen you born

Canta canta cantame, cantame recuerdame (x2)   Sing, sing to me, remind me
Que somos todos hijos del sol   That we are all children of the sun
Canta canta cantame, cantame recuerdame (x2)   Sing, sing to me, remind me
Que somos todos hijas de la luna    That we are all children of the moon

(Part A)

Canta canta cantame recuerdame (x2)
Que somos todos una canción  That we are all a song
Canta canta cantame, cantame recuerdame (x2)

(Part A)

Canta canta cantame, cantame recuerdame (x2)
Que somos todos seres de amor   That we are all beings of love
Canta canta cantame, cantame recuerdame (x2)
Que somos todos seres de amor   That we are all beings of love

Original Lyrics by Almunis
Pajaro viejo que cantas que cantas
En tantas tierras te he visto nacer

Con la memoria que traes intacta
De quienes somos hombre y mujer

Canta canta cantame
Cantame y recuerdame

4) Humble
Words & Music by Chhaya I-chèle

This song was born many years ago through Chhaya I-chèle. Originally influenced by words from a Psalm and a reggae style, the song has since traveled the world over and transmuted into many different versions. She ever-so-sweetly granted me her permission to record it in this form, combining three of her original verses (1, 2 & 7) with others I had picked up from different versions. Learn more about the song and see a version of her singing it years ago at a Rainbow Gathering here.

Lyrics

Humble yourself in the sight of your sister
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself in the sight of your brother
Ask him what he knows

Chorus:
And we will lift each other up
Higher and higher, we will lift each other up

Humble yourself in the sight of the children
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself in the sight of the children
You gotta know what they know
(Chorus)

Humble yourself to the sound of the water
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself to the sound of the water
You gotta know what it knows
(Chorus)

Humble yourself to the force of the sun
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself to the force of the sun
You gotta know see what he shows
(Chorus)

Humble yourself to the light of the moon
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself to the light of the moon
You gotta shine in her glow
(Chorus)

Humble yourself to the spirit of the forest
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself to the spirit of the forest
Don’t be afraid to let go
(Chorus)

Humble yourself in the spirit of love
You gotta bend down low and
Humble yourself in the spirit of love
Don’t be afraid to let go
(Chorus)

5) Vessel, Field
Words & melody by Lisa G. Littlebird, arrangement by Zan Moore & David Bergeaud

I wrote this as an anthem for the cultivation of deep self-love and care toward the physical body. As a woman who struggled for years with disordered eating and body dysmorphia, it is has been a long, ongoing and important journey toward a deeper truth where appreciation reigns. Zan and David seriously up-leveled the original melody with their sonic wonders.

Lyrics

May I know this body as holy
Sinew and bone
May I know this body as holy
Vessel, field and throne
May I know this body as holy
Seeded with sound and skin
May I know this body as holy
Moving* from deep within
May I know this body as holy
Sinew and bone
May I know this body as holy
I open from this home

* Tuning, and leading in subsequent repetitions

6) Ide Weré Weré
Traditional Yoruba, arrangement adapted by Aimée Ringle

This very old song comes out of the Yoruban & Santeria traditions in Nigeria, Cuba, & Brazil. It is about those who serve Oshun (the orisha of love and fresh waters) and the brass bracelets they wore and rattled in devotion. One of the ancient Yoruba myths suggests the human race would not exist if Oshun had not been sent to our world. It is said her sweet and fertile waters brought life back to humanity. The beautiful harmonic arrangement was crafted by my talented friend Aimée Ringle, based upon Deva Premal’s version.

Lyrics

Ide weré weré nita Oshun
Ide weré were
Ide weré weré nita Oshun
Ide weré weré nita ya
Ocha kiniba nita Oshun
Checké checké checké
Nita ya
Ide weré were

7) All is Well
Words & music by Lisa G. Littlebird, arrangement by Zan Moore

This song came from a desire to sing words I wish to hear and feel more often. It is offered for our collective remembering that we can rest inside the deep solace of life’s ultimate safety and wellness, even in challenge, even in death.

Lyrics

Chorus:
All is well,  all is well,  all is well, all is well

All is so well, our bones are made from ancient stars
All is so well, the sky knows how small we are
All is so well, the wheel keeps turning
All is so well, this dream’s for learning

Chorus (x2)

All is so well, the ocean holds her silent deep
All is so well, her living water secrets keep
All is so well, the earth pulls us sweetly down
All is so well, she holds you now

Chorus (x2)

Bridge:
From the spring grows the root of the blossom blooming
From the fallen flower comes a vital fruiting
From the eating comes a body growing
From the death of the body is born a knowing
(x2)

Chorus (x2)
Bridge (x2)
Chorus (x2)

All is so well, a kindness can restore a will
All is so well, our tears become the soil we till
All is so well, we garden here so many lives
All is so well, help arrives

Chorus

8) Call me Home
Words and music by Lisa G. Littlebird

This musical prayer came through as a companion and harmonic ally for walking through life’s narrower passages and thresholds.

Lyrics

Call me home to the song that I am.

9) Silent Spring
Music by Lisa G. Littlebird & David Bergeaud, words by Neil Gaiman

I read this incredible poem by author Neil Gaiman honoring Rachel Carson and was immediately moved to put a small portion of it to music. He granted his personal permission and well-wishes to record it. I crafted the melody harmonic structure and David transformed it into this magnificent arrangement. This song, like Rachel Carson’s confrontational and important book, for me is rooted in a deep love of this earth and hope when much damage is being done. And it holds the spirit of a loving but firm and active question… what will we choose to do?

Lyrics

After the world has ended
After the silent spring
Into the waiting silence
another song begins.

Nothing is ever over
life breathes life in its turn
Sometimes the people listen
Sometimes the people learn

10) Agua des Estrellas
Words and music by Miguel Molina

Lyrics & Translation

En tus ojos de agua infinita     In your eyes of infinite waters      
Se bañan las estrellitas mamá   the little stars bathe, mother
(x2)
Agua de luz, agua de estrellas   Water of light, water of the stars,
Pachamama vienes del cielo   Pachamama (Mother Earth) comes from heaven
(x2)
Limpia, limpia   Clean, clean
Limpia corazón, agua brillante   Clean the heart, bright waters
Sana, sana   Heal, heal
Sana corazón, agua bendita   Heal the heart, blessed waters
Calma, calma   Calm, calm
Calma corazón,  Calm the heart,
agua del cielo mama  water from heaven mama

11) La Ventana
Words & music by Los Kjarkas

Lyrics & Translation

Déjame mirarte por esa ventana   Let me look at you through this window
que por las mañanas yo veo en tus ojos   that in the mornings I see in your eyes
el brillo de tu alma color solitario   the shine of your soul in a lonely color  

Déjame decirte  Let me say to you
que mis pensamientos   that in my thoughts
yo llevo tus sueños   I carry your dreams
y tus sentimientos   and your feelings
y mi alma siente   and my soul feels
morirse pequeña   itself die a little

Chorus:
Quiero hablarte de mi tierra, quiero    I want to tell you about my land, I want to
hablarte de rios y sueños celestes   tell you of rivers and sky-blue dreams
hablarte del viento y sus cantares    tell you of the wind and its songs
del amor de las flores a la tierra mojada    of the love of the flowers for the wet earth
déjame mirarte por esa ventana    let me look at you through this window