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CHAPTER THREE

Sleeping Shadows Lullaby

Liner Notes

Song Stories

In this series of Song Stories we’re taking you behind the scenes of each song.

Chapter III – Seekers Song Trilogy is the third EP from our album Old Bones Odyssey

Coming soon: we’re creating a podcast that dives deeper into the stories and history behind our songs.

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Sleeping Shadows Lullaby

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Lyrics

Sleeping Shadows Lullaby

“I dreamed that we were far away and gone 
On wings of birds ,we flew at dawn 
I dreamed I kept you safe and sound from harm
We left this earth and we were gone”
-Lyrics/Ellen Kaye

Ellen Kaye – Lead Vocal
Ethan Fein – Guitar
Andrew Drelles – Alto Flute
Diane Monroe – Violin
Koa Ho – Upright Bass
Zach Mullings – Drums, Tambourine
© 2022 Ellen C Kaye and Ethan Fein. All rights reserved.

See the far off hills
The amber leaves 
Against the sky
See the dreamy woods
Of days gone by
Hear the oceans roar
The storm tossed skies
You wonder why
You ask me why

See the silver birds
The blue dark clouds 
Across the sky
See the stars that shoot right through the sky
Singing spirits fly across the sky
The earth will dance 
Beneath the sky

I love to feel your breath upon my face
And in my dreams 
I keep you safe
I love to feel your breath upon my face
Your tiny hands
Your grace
I feel your pounding heart against my chest
I love you so
Through every breath
I feel your pounding heart against my chest
I love you so
My every breath

You’re the dream, the wish, the hope 
I build my life upon 
You’re my very own 
My dearest one
I feel your pounding heart against my own 
We climb the cold
The cold, cold stones 

Feel the spirits of the earth
The wind, the sea, the sky
Feel their tender kisses on your eyes 
Sleeping shadows fly 
Across the sky 
They hide the stars
You ask me why

I dreamed that we were far away and gone 
On wings of birds 
We flew at dawn 
I dreamed I kept you safe and sound from harm
We left this earth 
And we were gone 
I want to hide you in these woods with me 
To keep you safe 
To set us free
I long to keep you sleeping here with me  
Forever more 
Forever free

 

 

Ellen C Kaye – Lyrics
Ethan Fein – Music 
Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Bill Moss
Ellen C Kaye, Ethan Fein, Alan Joseph, Bill Moss –Producers
Outlier Inn Recording Studio – Woodridge, New York
A Repair With Gold Production LLC SM
© 2023 All rights reserved.

The Story

Sleeping Shadows Lullaby

” How it feels to have your heart filled to the brim with love and dread for your child.“-Ellen Kaye

With “The Unknown” and “Sleeping Shadows Lullaby” I’m trying to convey what it feels like to be the other, to be on the run, to be out in the cold, far away from friends, from those who love you. To be unprotected. Alone. And in this case, with a small child on your back fighting off your natural and unnatural predators.
Lulling your baby to sleep with your sing song words and melody. But your deepest wishes and fears break through. The lullaby is what is on your lips to keep your child quiet in dangerous places. But your thoughts and longings break through, soaring above the hushed whisperings, asking the universe to give you a goddamn break.
To be lost in another time, in another person’s story. To remember what it feels like to have everything on the line. How it feels to have your heart filled to the brim with love and dread for your child. To refuse to accept your destiny.
I was thinking of many things while writing this song. All the stories of mothers fighting to keep their children alive. My wishes for my son. To keep him safe. To keep him close. 
A profound sense of the precariousness of it all. How close we dance to the edge every day. And it’s not always a dance. More like hand to hand combat. With no armor and no back up


Full transcript of interview with Ellen below

“Lulling your baby to sleep with your sing song words and melody.
But your deepest wishes and fears break through.”-Ellen Kaye

I wrote Sleeping Shadows Lullaby to tell the story of what it feels to be a young mother in a dangerous, chaotic world with your baby strapped to your chest or on your back with lips on your neck. 
And you’re doing everything you can to protect it and to tell that the world isn’t as bad as it seems and to be reassuring and to sing and to whisper and to lull the child to sleep and also to look out into the world and say, you know, here are the beautiful stars. Here’s this beautiful planet that we’re living on and your whole life is in front of you. But in the song, the young mother is also on the run. So it’s that struggle of trying to keep the baby quiet so that, you know, the enemy, the predator, the hunter can’t hear you and yet to remain strong and fierce and optimistic that you’re going to get the heck out of this really bad situation, whether it’s a forest, a jungle, a city street. 
So to a better and safer world, that’s what I’m trying to write about.

2nd Answer:
Sleeping Shadows Lullaby is the last song in chapter three and it’s part of the Seeker Song Trilogy. It’s from the point of view of a mother from any time, from any time since the beginning of time. 
From the neanderthals to humans and it’s about being on the run, whether it’s in a forest or a jungle or in a city with your baby in your arms. Being chased and trying to lull the baby to sleep and hoping that you can make the child feel safe in an unsafe world.

I want listeners to love the young mother and her child and to think that if they were there they would do everything they could to protect them. And if they are a young mother and feel that the world is an impossible place, that this song gives them hope, you know, that there are ways out of terrible situations and there are people who will help you get out of them. 
And mostly to kind of foster a feeling of love and sympathy for people that are in trouble and need us.

“I dreamed that we were far away and gone
on wings of birds, we flew at dawn 
I dreamed I kept you safe and sound from harm
We left this earth and we were gone.”

I think that’s kind of the heart of the tune.  And it’s the dream, the dream that every parent has. And I think more than parents, I think it’s the dream that everybody has for the people they love. That they can protect them, they can set them free and they can take such good care of them that they will never ever be in want for anything.

Definitely my own experience as a mother is central to the tune. And I had my son Ian in a difficult time in my life and he was the most amazing gift to me. But there were circumstances that definitely were challenging. 
So, I’m thinking of that when I was writing the song and I’ve always remained very aware of how hard it is to be a mother. In the beginning, in the middle, in the end. It’s just a difficult path. It’s one I highly recommend, but what it takes to do it and you just never ever know if you’ve ever felt that you’ve mastered it. And you always wish that you could have done some things differently. But mostly I think the longing to protect your child is elusive and somewhat delusional. So you’re kind of fighting that idea in yourself. And because you want to remain optimistic and you want to be strong for your children. 
So I think all of that weaves in and out of “Sleeping Shadows Lullaby.”

2nd Answer:
I think the precariousness of existence and in particular the most vulnerable. But also I do believe that most people on this planet will be extremely vulnerable at some point. 
Whether they see it coming or not and I’m looking to kind of dive into that about how on the edge everything really is and how fraught and what a daily fight it is just to put one foot in front of the other. So that’s I’d say that that was one of the deeper things that’s roiling underneath what I was writing about. 

Sources And Inspirations

  • “Pirate Ships” – sung by Judy Collins/written by Wendy Waldman

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Ellen C Kaye

Ellen C Kaye

Singer/songwriter, producer, podcast maker, mom, born and bred in NYC. Night Club singer at heart.