Pete Seeger

Sleep-Time: Songs & Stories

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On this children's album, Pete Seeger devotes himself to putting small children to sleep, first by telling them stories, then by singing to them. The LP's first side contains two stories with music. "Sam, the Whaler," which sounds like it might have been developed by the storyteller for his own children, recites the adventures of a boy who goes to sea on a whaling boat, starting from the Seeger family's hometown of Beacon, NY, and sailing down the Hudson River and out to sea, then, after several whales have been captured, sailing back home. The more ambitious "Abiyoyo" is the story of a boy and his father who charm and dispatch a monster, earning the admiration of their town. Side two features child-oriented songs including the add-on number "Green Grass Grows All Around," with its many repetitions, concluding with the lengthy, seemingly improvised a cappella song "One Grain of Sand." The sleep-inducing function of the disc is accentuated by the long, slow fade-outs on each of the two LP sides. "Abiyoyo" gives way to an extended low-volume coda, and "One Grain of Sand" is repetitious and nearly trance-inducing.

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