I was in Cardiff’s Virgin Megastore at the time and I was searching for something that soothed. I happened upon an album called The Bairns (Rachel Unthank and The Winterset). It featured a track called “Newcastle Lullaby” and my obsession with the idea of lullabies for adults was born.
If lullabies worked to comfort children, why were more people not exploring the idea of lullabies for adults? Could adults be soothed to sleep by being wrapped up in a gentle blanket of sound?
There was plenty musically in The Bairns to enjoy. Its lilting lyricism rocked me to sleep on many an evening after I first purchased it. But the content of some of the songs is on the harrowing side (for example the track “Blue Bleezing Blind Drunk”).
So I resumed my search and eventually came across Rainbow Collection’s Lullaby: A beautiful and soothing collection of night time songs for children and grown ups. This collection is good for children and adults alike. It maintains an uncomplicated soundscape, essential for over-worked brains. I highly recommend this album. It does exactly what it claims and adds a touch of sophistication to a number of well-loved children’s classics.
Next on my list of discoveries was Songs for the Inner Child. Like me, Shaina Noll came to wonder whether lullabies could help adults when they worked so well for children.
The inspiration to record this collection of songs came to me one night as I was singing my children to sleep. As I sat rocking my youngest child, I realised that the singing my children found so calming and nourishing could extend beyond their rooms. I was doing inner child work at the time, personally and in my practice as a counsellor. I suspected that the experience of being sung to could be deeply healing for many of the adults I knew.
More recently, Max Richter’s epic eight-hour Sleep has been my lullaby of choice. As it describes on the composer’s website, this is “actually and genuinely intended to send the listener to sleep”. Scored for piano, strings, electronics and vocals (without words), this is Richter’s “personal lullaby for a frenetic world … a manifesto for a slower pace of existence”. For a little taster, you can luxuriate in the beautiful film below made by Richter’s wife to accompany one of the tracks.
Alternative sleep sounds
- If you want to start exploring lullabies for adults then there are some playlists on Spotify. Lullabies for Adults is very calming!
- White noise is another thing used to soothe children and adults can find it relaxing too. White noise can be found on YouTube or Spotify.
- Sleep meditations can also be great and I have a post on some of my favourites coming soon. Follow Soothing Sense on Twitter so you don’t miss it!
Can you recommend any lullabies for grown ups? I would love to hear your recommendations – no pun intended!