Join us each month in song!

Since 2016—our designated Year of Song—CDSS has featured a traditional song each month. Lorraine Hammond spearheaded this effort, and it was such a popular feature that Judy Cook volunteered to continue the tradition in 2017 and beyond. 

Note: Many of these old songs should be looked at as “fairy tales for adults” in that they often address very strong, and sometimes scary, subject matter. They allow us to deal with difficult situations and emotions with the distance afforded by putting it in a song. They are cautionary tales, and had their use as such.

This month’s song:

  • An adult seal nuzzles a baby seal on the beach October 2023: Seal Lullaby
    Submitted by Cindy Mangsen

    I first heard the “Seal Lullaby” in a choral setting created by Eric Whitacre, sung by our local Bennington Children’s Chorus. I loved the poem and found myself humming my own tune not long after. The poem opens Rudyard Kipling’s story “The White Seal,” first published in 1893 and reprinted in The Jungle Book the following year. My version is recorded on a duet CD with Steve Gillette, Home By Dark.

    Listen to Cindy and Steve performing “Seal Lullaby:”

    Sheet music for "Seal Lullaby"
    Download the sheet music for “Seal Lullaby”


    Seal Lullaby
    poem by Rudyard Kipling
    music by Cindy Mangsen (Compass Rose Music/BMI, © 2011)

    Oh hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us
    And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
    The moon o’er the combers looks downward to find us
    At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

    Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow.
    Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
    The storm shall not wake thee nor shark overtake thee,
    Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging sea.

    Cindy Mangsen has been a singer of all kinds of songs since her early days in the Chicago folk clubs of the 1970s. She’s known for her collaborations with husband Steve Gillette, as well as trio work with Priscilla Herdman and Anne Hills, and even a quartet with Steve, Anne, and Michael Smith. More voices, more fun! She lives in Vermont, where she shares a home with Steve and a very black cat named Persephone.

Past Songs