Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



The Days Gone By, Songs of the American Poets

The Days Gone By, Songs of the American Poets

Fall 2000 Music
Ages: 4 - 12 yrs.
Performed By: Ted Jacobs
CD Price: $15.98
Review:
Turning 19th century poetry into music for kids? What a concept. And how beautifully, even breathtakingly executed.

Producer, composer, musician Ted Jacobs has followed up his lovely album, "A Child’s Garden of Song," the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, with absolutely inspired musical renditions of poetic visions by James Whitcomb Riley, Poe, Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, and Eugene Field. Jacobs’ matches singers’ voices and folk, country and classical ballad styles to poems carefully selected for the way they speak directly to the emotional colors of children, to parents, and to any adult who remembers childhood.

The title is from Riley’s poignant reminiscence of "when life was like a story"; Field’s "Some Time" speaks to a parent’s piercing love for new life, and his "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" is a magical lullaby adventure. Longfellow’s "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" paints a gentle picture of "the little waves, with their soft, white hands." Poe’s "Alone" "from childhood’s hour I have not been as others were"—is both haunting and proud, and Emily Dickinson’s "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" soars in the simplicity of a pure, sweet melody.

Lynne Heffley   ©2000 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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