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I Can Swing Forever

If there were an official anthem to represent the pure joys of childhood, ``I Can Swing Forever,`` the opening title track would be it! This debut children's CD by Tracy Newman is an ode to motherhood. From gently active playtime to sleep-inducing bedtime songs, this mix of original and traditional songs is timeless. Each song has an illustration created by Tracy's daughter Charlotte.

I Can Swing Forever

Kids seem to learn this one right away. It really captures the freedom of flying through the air, up and back, over and over. Like you could do it forever. My friend Bob McClurg wrote the words and I put them to music.

It Could Be a Wonderful World

I learned this one when I was a teenager, just starting to play guitar. It talks about the ways this world could be perfect – it’s filled with wishes.

Millie’s House

I wrote this with a friend. We wanted to write a birthday song that you could put anyone’s name into. It’s called Millie’s House because the little girl who speaks at the end of the recording is named Millie. You could put your name in it.

Piccolo Mini

This is a nonsense song that I heard when I was a nursery school teacher. The little girl I’m singing with is Millie. I can sing this song pretty fast, but she can sing it faster.

Jumpa, Jumpa, Jumpa

When I sing this one, kids like to get up and jump all over the place, so it’s usually my most requested song. I started writing it for a child who was sick and couldn’t get out of bed at the time. My daughter Charlotte helped me finish it.

Ah Si Mon Moine

This is a French song. For some reason, a flirty young woman is trying to persuade a monk to dance with her. “Danse mon moine, danse…” I love to sing this with children because they learn it so fast, and then they’re singing in French!

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Under the Chair

Many years ago, a songwriter named Malvina Reynolds sent me these lyrics to put to music. It’s about all of the places you shouldn’t put your gum. When I went to school, there was always a lot of gum stuck under the chairs. That’s where we kids hid our gum when the teacher caught us chewing it in class. Yuck.

Saraspunda

I think I learned this at camp. It’s an old nonsense song. They say that Dutch mothers sang it when they taught their daughters how to work a spinning wheel. If they knew how to spin they would find a good husband. I don’t know if that was true.

Close Your Eyes and Point Your Finger

This is also called “The Blood Type Song.” It teaches that no matter where you look there is someone with the same type blood as you. “England, China or Alaska, Mexico or Madagascar, makes no difference what they are or do, there’s someone with the same type blood as you.” The idea being that nobody is better than anybody else.

Pick Up Your Clothes

I was invited to do a radio show one Mother’s Day and they asked me to make up a song just for the show. This is what I came up with. It’s about boys, but I know that there are plenty of girls out there who expect mommy to do everything for them. So, if the shoe fits…

Last in Line

I loved the idea of writing a song about how it’s okay to be last. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable. You don’t have to hurry, for one thing. No one is going to compete with you to be last. They’re all trying to be first. You can relax.

Run Along Home

I don’t know where I learned this, but I used to sing it to my little brother and sister, and of course, to my daughter, Charlotte. I wrote the bridge of the song, the part that tells you to “bring your toys and books to me, I will put them on the shelf…” This is the perfect song for getting ready for bed.

Dream Rider

My friend Patty Zeitlin wrote this wonderful bedtime song. I chose it for my CD because I love the imagery, and the melody of the chorus is so easy. Kids sing along on this one.

Desert Silvery Blue

I learned this at Hidden Trails Camp in Agoura, California, when I was sixteen. It’s a cowboy poem written by Badger Clark and set to music by Clifton W. Barnes. It’s a lullaby. You can just feel the horse slowly loping along.

Did You Ever Once Feel?

In this song I’m describing being in love. “Did you ever once feel like I feel, like the queen of the tower of love?” I must have been pretty happy when I wrote this one!

Life is Like a Journey/I Walked a Mile With Pleasure

These are two separate poems I came across years ago and put music to. The first one talks about how we’re all travelers on the same train. The second one talks about how you learn more from sorrow than you do from pleasure.

Sleep in My Arms

I wrote this before I had my daughter, so I don’t quite know what inspired me. I just was noodling around with some chords on the guitar, and this melody popped out, then the words. That’s how a lot of my songs happen.

Things Are What They Seem (Time to Sleep)

I wrote this when I was teaching nursery school. I liked the idea of telling a child that they are surrounded by love and they can trust that. I know that might not always be true, but this is a song about when it is.

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