Wiegenlieder Aus Aller Welt (Lullabies of the World)

Carus-Verlag 2.405/00 (2.406/00)









Venanzio Valdinoci

journalist & singer


This book aims to improve our knowledge of children’s songs. In the collection are 51 songs with music and original-language lyrics from 37 countries. They are mainly European but there are also some from North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. It is a collection that documents the wealth of the traditional heritage of all continents. What they have in common is the ritmo dolce that, given that they are lullabies, instils a sense of peace and security that will lull a child to sleep.  Most of the lullabies are quite short and, as part of the family’s evening ritual, are not usually accompanied by instruments.  Melody, rhythm and repetition are used to create an atmosphere of peace make familiar a language. The book is accompanied by a CD that presents each song along with the correct pronunciation. There are songs in over 40 languages, including Romansch, Yiddish, Basque, Zulu, Swahili, Sami and Maori. The images are particularly important in creating an original text about living environments, customs, inventions and sleeping areas, but what is most striking about these images are the expressions on the faces of the newborn infants, as well as the light and the colours. The lyrics of the many lullabies tell of dreams, nature, food, hard work, satisfactions, sacrifices, the future … everything that life holds in store for children.

The CD to the publication was compiled by three musicians (Jens Tröndle, Andreas Koslik and Ramesh Weeratunga) in Berlin, with the contribution of other musicians from many different countries (Armenia, China, Greece, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, North America, Russia and South Africa). Together they recorded 25 lullabies in the studio. The authentic sounds were created by using traditional instruments such as the koto, tabla, bayan, kantele, ukulele, conga, kokle, bendir, cimbalom and bağlama.

Reijo Kekkonen, editor of the book, writes:

Singing is a precious and intense moment between the parent and child.  When parents, or grandparents or other familiar people, sing in the evening for a child, it conveys a sense of security. And when the child becomes an adult they, in turn, repeat this ritual with their children.  Singing has always been part of human culture.  A song can make a job easier and help to express feelings; melodies and rhythms help to teach languages and to remember things. Furthermore, singing has an important social aspect: people who sing together can experience a sense of solidarity.



Translated from the Italian by Mirella Biagi, UK/Italy

Edited by Graham Lack, Germany/UK