CREDITS
REVIEWS
LYRICS & LINER NOTES

ORDER DAD
  DAD

CREDITS

Hugh Blumenfeld - vocals, acoustic guitar, spoons
Mark Dann - acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic and electric bass, ukulele
Kate Ettinger, Diane Chodkowski, Rod MacDonald - harmony vocals
Mark Ettinger - dobro
Rich Zukor - percussion
Skip Brevis, Asia Meirovich - piano
Tony Barba - clarinet
Ben Harrington - trombone
Brian McWhorter - trumpet
Tim Carbone - fiddle
Jessie Reagen Mann - cello

Hugh & Mark's basic tracks Recorded at Mark Dann Recording Studios, NYC
 June 1-2 , 2007

Produced and Recorded by David Seitz

Mastered by Emily Lazar & Joe LaPorta at at The Lodge, New York, NY

Cover photo by Lisa Stone Kim
Found art fabrications by Harvee Riggs
Art design by Annie Gallup

© & p 2010 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

Mark Dann and I have been performing together since we met in 1982. Mark also engineered my earliest recordings - on Fast Folk and The Strong In Spirit - and plays on all of them. Like the basic tracks on the album Rocket Science, I recorded most of these songs live in the studio, with Mark playing bass or second guitar.

David Seitz and I have worked together since 1986 when he pretty much volunteered to produce my first album, The Strong In Spirit, which we recorded at Mark's studio on Avenue B. He went on to produce my next two projects, Barehanded and Mozart's Money. Barehanded, originally recorded at David's first studio in his parents' house in Great Neck Long Island, became the debut release of his record company, Prime-CD.

Thanks to all the musicians who contributed their talents to this project. Also, to everyone at Waterbug Records (ie. Andrew Calhoun).

This album is dedicated to my father and my sons.

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REVIEWS

"a wonderful, elegant, sweet record" - Annie Gallup

FOLK ROOTS (Great Britain)
"Hugh’s a hardened veteran of the underground songwriting movement, known for his wide-ranging, literate and often edgy work. Having chalked up close on a quarter of a century’s loyal service there, including spending half of that time as a professional musician, it might seem an unusual next-step to go to medical school, become a practising GP and raise a family – but that’s exactly what he’s gone and did (or should I say dad?!). But hey, that ain’t to be taken as a sign that his writing has gone all soft, cosy and kiddiefied – although there are inevitably concessions to the new status as proud father in the form of the thematic preoccupations of his latest CD. But what sets this project entirely apart from the yukky, mawkish child-friendly tosh you might expect is the genuinely insightful nature of Hugh’s writing and his abject refusal to patronise his listeners; he writes from an entirely natural angle, from true experience, and it shows. He captures the essence and immediacy of those precious moments of child-rearing, from the child’s arrival on this planet (Welcome To The World) and the ensuing hubbub of the birthing ward (NICU At Nite), to a tender and beautiful song of reassurance (Daddy’s Got You Now) and a pair of contrasting celebrations of sleep (Till The Morning and Sleep Sarah Sleep). There’s a rollicking New Orleans-style travel-song (Rock You), a boogie-woogie ode to coffee, and some innocent but aware child’s-eye views of new experiences (Daddy I’m Awake and Wonder Wonder Why), then a whole series of lullabies of varying tone (the charming Sail On Little Sailor, the thought-provoking Sad Hard Dream, the reverse-psychology of Cry Little Guy) and, closing the disc, a simple expression of the devoted parent’s feelings when apart from the child (My Little Boy’s Moon). But charming though all these songs be, special standouts for me were Cradle Song (in which a couple finally, after 20 years, has a reason to fetch the cradle they made for all their siblings’ children) and the brief but poignant Visitation (concerning a dream in which Hugh’s mother appeared to him). This whole sequence of exceedingly well-crafted, witty and affectionate little songs both celebrates Hugh’s new-found status and provides ready empathy for anyone who’s been there (or been close to someone who has). It’s all most appealingly sung, and the tasteful instrumental embellishments brilliantly complement the writing (special mention for Mark Dann, Mark Ettinger, Tim Carbone, Jessie Reagan Mann and some particularly lovely harmony vocal work from Kate Ettinger, Diane Chodkowski and Rod MacDonald)."

"One of the top underground folkies of the last generation returns to music after completing his MD degree and he seems to be even more in touch with his humanity with this unlikely ode to being a parent and celebrating his offspring. Even if there was still hits radio, this isn't the kind of stuff that would land on it, but the songs are the kind that reside on personal hit parades for long stretches. A solid adult set that really goes above and beyond." - Chris Spector, Midwest Record

My biggest problem with it is that it's good....REALLY good. Of course my favorite song on it is 'I Knew A Boy', which is even better than the original. (I love the instrumentation.) 'Sleep Sarah Sleep' is wonderful. 'Cradle Song' sounds like it came off of Rocket Science. 'Sail On Little Sailor' is another favorite. The rest are cute, catchy or both. The whole cd makes you smile and want to sing along. And I guess that's my problem - I don't want to sing along, I want to wallow in despair. *S*
I grew up obsessed with Astral Weeks, Moondance and Late For The Sky. I never thought an album would come along again that could move me like those albums did. And then years later The Strong In Spirit had a similar effect (as did [Richard Shindell's] Sparrow's Point). So as good as Dad is - and it shows that you have not lost a thing - I feel 'cheated' that you went in a different direction than what was good for ME. *S* Yes, I am terribly selfish when it comes to music. I want 'Spirit 2'. I want 'Rising Moon' in twelve different forms. But you had the audacity to make me feel GOOD. How dare you!
Yes I've been jilted before. The Beatles broke up....Van got surly.....Jackson Browne (and Shindell) got preachy. And now YOU have made me smile. I'll just have to try and get over that!
In all honesty, I did not expect to like this cd as much as I do. But it is really a fine piece of work.
- Howard Steckler, fan

DAD mainly features songs, lullabies actually, for youngsters alongside a few parent-themed songs for grown-ups, although truth to tell, the tunes for kids also totally worked for this adult/grandfather. (4 stars out of 5)
- Arthur Wood, Maverick


LYRICS & LINER NOTES              

 (click on individual song titles to see lyrics below, or scroll down)

Welcome To The World I wrote this song while our first son was cooking so I could sing it to him the first time I held him.
NICU at Nite (The Preemie Song) Both our sons were preemies. This song is dedicated to the nurses, doctors and staff of the NICU at the Conneticut Children's Medical Center. Also, to the parents of preemies and their children everywhere.
Cradle Song Cradles often get passed down within families, and this one comes back to its makers.
Rock You I started singing this little traveling history of the blues late one night while rocking one of the boys to sleep. Shows you lullabies can be fast or slow.
Sail On Little Sailor This song was a birthday present for our nephew Zach, composed on the Walt Whitman Bridge heading to my brother's house in Philadelphia with only moments to spare.
I Knew A Boy Some may recognize this song from my first album; I wrote it for a 13 year old boy named Michael, who I met in Seattle on my first cross-country road trip. His severe cerebral palsy had been mistaken for mental retardation, and during the week I helped take care of him at his new foster home, he taught me a lot about laughter, intelligence and determination.
Daddy I'm Awake Our first son used to cry upon waking alone in his crib. I told him, "You don't have to cry, just say 'Daddy I'm awake' and I'll come get you." And that's what he did every morning until he graduated to a big boy bed.
Cry Little Guy Also known as "The Reverse Psychology Lullaby," this song was written for my nephew Joel who had a bad case of colic. Or more precisely, for his parents. Just be careful when you find yourself wishing that your boy would stop crying - because one day, he will.
Wonder Why This bit of silliness has no possible excuse. OK, it's a favorite among the kids.
Daddy's Got You Now Our younger son has never really liked my singing - but he tolerated this one as a baby.
Sad Hard Dream These three miniatures got a lot of airplay when the boys were very young
Visitation One of the most haunting dreams I've ever had - a bittersweet remembrance.
Sleep Sarah Sleep This is the first song I ever wrote - often not much difference between a lullaby and a lovesong.
Till the Morning A tiny celebration of a great victory
You Gotta Have Coffee Another ode to caffeine - actually, this has always been the #1 fave among kids - easy to sing along.
My Little Boy's Moon Made this one up to comfort myself on a long drive home after a gig. It's an old trope that we feel closer to loved ones far away by imagining they are seeing the same moon in the sky, but our first son was a veritable lunar tracking device by the time he was a year old and so he gave it to me.

 


WELCOME TO THE WORLD

The sky is blue
The sky is gray
now it's night
now it's day

welcome to the world, welcome to the world

wave hello
wave goodbye
they don't say how
they don't say why

welcome to the world, welcome to the world
oh, my darling, welcome to the world

go to sleep, it’s time for bed
time to dream about the days ahead
all the stars that no one's ever touched
and the moon with footprints in the dust

your mama smiles
your daddy frowns
you blink your eyes
and it's turned around

welcome to the world, welcome to the world
oh, my darling, welcome to the world

 

© 2000 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

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NICU @ NITE (The Preemie Song)

I had a baby son, it was just a week ago
He came a little early, 'bout a month or so
So they put him in the neonatal unit where the premies all sleep
Up in maternity the mamas all coo
watch their babies grow fatter and gurgle but a few
are in the neonatal unit where the babies go beep beep beep
beep beep beep beep beep beep beep

Well they count all the fingers and they count all the toes
They count every single milligram he grows
They measure all the poop and they measure all the pee
And the little tiny babies go beep beep beep beep | beep beep beep beep

Little tiny babies with their bears and their dogs
And their wires and their tubes and the nurses in clogs
Make their rounds every hour, it's a very busy schedule to keep
And they rock and feed the babies and they all keep time
to the IV pumps and the monitors chiming
In the neonatal unit where the babies go beep beep beep
beep beep beep beep beep beep

May they all grow happy and healthy and strong
May we never know the difference before too long
Except for the nights when we wake from a dream
of a room full of babies going
beep beep beep beep | beep beep beep beep

aah-ah, ah-ah-ah

© 2000 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

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CRADLE SONG

Her hair is so fine that the heat from her shoulders can lift it
He's drunk whiskey and wine from her lips till their lips parted dry
Her eyes are the green of the ocean, the salt and the sunlight
And the arch of her foot knows the crease at the back of his knee

CHORUS
Twenty springs, twenty winters
Twenty summers, twenty falls
All the years, living as lovers
holding each other
knowing that’s all -
Now he's bringing the cradle home

It's the cradle they made for his younger brother's first daughter
and it's rocked all the children that each of her sisters has born
and they've stood at the namings, their fingers entwining together
like two vines that grow higher and higher until they are one

CHORUS

Now his brother reminds him how all ol the parts fit together
And helps him to load it up into the back of the car
And it dawns on him after awhile why the tollbooth attendants
All seem to gaze past him, the same distant look in their eyes
And he knows back at home she is clearing a space
At the foot of the bed
Where the hope chest has stood
Since the day they were wed....

© 2001 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

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ROCK YOU

Baby gonna rock you, rock you
Baby gonna rock you through the night
Everybody knows you
Everybody knows you'll be alright
I'm gonna rock you, rock you,
till broad daylight

Maybe take a train down
Maybe take a train down to New Orleans
hear a dixieland band
everybody knows what mojo means
I'm gonna rock you rock you
baby, in your dreams

Take you down to Memphis see the king and hit the clubs along Beale Street
Hear some country blues, let the music shake the shoes off your little feet

Take a little steamboat
Up the Mississippi for a ride
Meet you in St. Louis
I know a little place by the riverside
I'm gonna rock you, rock you
baby hold on tight

We'll go to Kansas City where the girls are pretty and the blow that hot jazz
Blow into Chicago where they plug it in and play it slow - what a gas

Baby gonna rock you, rock you
Baby gonna rock you through the night
Everybody knows you
Everybody knows you’ll be alright
I'm gonna rock you, rock you
till the morning light

© 2003 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

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SAIL ON LITTLE SAILOR

Sail on little sailor to the open sea
You can never go home again, like me
The wind's in the west and it always will be

Your momma and daddy standing by the shore
They wave till they can't see you no more
Keep your hand on the tiller and laugh when the winds roar

Oh, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry
You've got the moon and stars to steer your course by

Sail on little sailor to the open sea
You can never go home again, like me
The wind's in the west and it always will be
The wind's in the west and it always will be

© 1994 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

(top)


I KNEW A BOY

I knew a boy who never said nothing
But we all knew what he meant
And I knew a boy who could run like nothing
But no one knows where he went

Chorus:
Late in the evening when you grow tired
I'll sit by you till you close your eyes.

And I knew a girl who gave till she had nothing
And then she gave it all again
And I knew a girl, who took all she was offered
But she had nothing in the end

Chorus

I knew a boy who's body was broken
But we all knew why he was sent
And I knew a boy who could run like nothing
But no one knows where he went

Chorus


© 1985 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)


DADDY I'M AWAKE

Daddy I'm awake please come get me (x 3)
I got a lot of things I wanna do today

Gonna swing on the swings
gonna sort some things
and then I'm gonna cry
don't ask me why
how should I know

Gonna drag my bear
gonna pull your hair
gonna climb upstairs
don't ask me where

Gonna open up the door
gonna close the door
do it a thousand times more
don't ask what for

Gonna crawl around
Stand up fall down
and then I’ll cry again
don't ask me when


© 2001 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

(top)


CRY LITTLE GUY

Cry, cry, cry little guy
let your tears fall down
no one can know why you feel so low
Don't be afraid to frown

Soon enough you'll be tough
They'll tell you that you're a man
You'll wipe your grief off on your sleeve
And you'll never cry like this again

So cry, cry, cry little guy
Let your tears fall down
And if you weep yourself to sleep
You know that I'll be around.

© 1991 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

(top)


 

WONDER WHY

Once there was a little boy
Too young to play with any toys
All that he could do was cry
and look up at the sky
and wonder wonder why

Oh why does it get dark, and why does it get light
and why does everybody like to sleep so much at night
and why do these diapers make my bottom so sore
And why can't I swim inside my mommy anymore

Oh why do I have hands
and why do I have feet
and why do I get pinched by all the people that I meet
and why are there ducks on all the clothes that I've had
And why can't I get any milk from my dad?

© 2002 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox (ASCAP)

(top)


DADDY'S GOT YOU NOW

It's alright
It's OK
daddy's got you now
daddy's got you now

whenever you feel afraid
whenever you're sad and blue
Anytime night or day
I'll be there for you

whenever you start to fade
when everything's strange and new
Anytime night or day
I'll be there for you

© 2003 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox (ASCAP)


SAD HARD DREAM (top)

Baby, baby, what makes you so sad
Baby you're the best thing that I ever had
Baby you're the best thing that I ever had.

- - - - - - - - - -

Well it's hard, baby it's hard
They say life in this world can be hard
Well it's hard, baby it's hard
Don't they say life in this world can be hard
And who would know better than you?
Who would know better than you?

- - - - - - - - - -

I had a dream
and the dream was a dream
and the dream of the dream of the dream
was a dream

I had a dream
and the dream was a dream
and the dream of the dream of the dream
was a dream

© 2004 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

(top)


VISITATION

You put your hand on my forehead
like you used to when I was a child
—My God, you're burning up, you said
and your eyes grew wild

—I'm fine, I said, Ma don't worry
But you could not understand
how I could feel so feverish
under your hand.

Then we both knew in a moment
Oh how our dreams unfold
It wasn’t that I had a fever
it’s that you’d been so long cold


You put your hand on my forehead
like you used to when I was a child...

© 2004 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

(top)


SLEEP SARAH SLEEP

Sleep sleep Sarah sleep
let the night softly cradle you now
I'll be the tree and the bough
the winds they may shake and the winds they may blow
they never will break me or make me let go
Sarah you're half of the things that I know
Sleep, Sarah sleep

Sarah there's no need to cry
I will be here from now on
all of your tears should be gone
It's the song of the river the song of the sea
rest your head on my chest girl and listen to me
just close your eyes and then you will see
Sleep, Sarah sleep

Sarah you smile when you sleep
and I know that you're dreaming at last
yesterday's troubles are past
the day's tipped his hat and the moon's on the rise
the stars they are jealous of your open eyes
in the morning the sun will be lighting new skies,
for us
Sleep, Sarah sleep
Sleep ,Sarah sleep
Sleep, Sarah sleep

© 1977 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music

(top)


TILL THE MORNING

oh the baby didn't wake up till the morning
the baby didn't wake up till the morning

when the sky is big and blue and bright
and the tops of the trees are filled with light
and the birds are singing and taking flight
and mama's already up and listening
and daddy's making pancakes in the kitchen

oh the baby didn't wake up till the morning...

© 2003 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)


YOU GOTTA HAVE COFFEE

Well you gotta have coffee
You gotta have coffee baby (x 3)

When the kids are up at the break of dawn
And everybody's got their pajamas on
And any hope of getting back to sleep is gone,
Gone....

© 2004 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)


MY LITTLE BOY'S MOON

My little boy's moon
shines in the evening
My little boy's moon
shines in the night
my little boy's moon
so softly gleaming
She shines her silver light

Climbing high into the sky
to light my way back home

My little boy's moon
shines in the evening
My little boy's moon
shines in the night
my little boy's moon
so softly gleaming
She shines her silver light

© 2002 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music (ASCAP)

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ORDERING YOUR COPY OF DAD

Ordering from Waterbug Records: go to their website (http://www.waterbug.com) and use plastic (MC/VISA).

Ordering from Hugh: send a check for $15 to Hugh Blumenfeld at POB 304, Coventry CT 06238. Postage and CT sales tax are included. Such a bargain!

You can get Dad - and all Hugh's other albums - in about a bejillion ways. It all depends who you want your money to go to. If you buy from Hugh direct, he gets to keep the cash, pay for the recording and stay in business. If you buy from Waterbug Records directly, they get the cash, pay their staff and stay in business . If you buy from your local independent record store (arriving in January), which always carries and recommends cool music, Waterbug and your local folks get the cash and stay in business, and perhaps Hugh gets invited to do an in-store concert when he's in town. If you order through Amazon.com - new or used - your cash disappears into the ecommerce void, but everyone thinks it's cool that Hugh has his own pages on a national chain's website and every once in a blue moon a new listener finds his music.... So take your pick.

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