Brighter Things is Steven Jackson, an Alabama-based songwriter making music and words fit together so life might make more sense.  Music released here, free, weekly-ish. Sign up to get notifications of new songs & videos.

A Family Tribute to Goodnight Moon

A Family Tribute to Goodnight Moon

For more than 13 years my son has asked me to sing this song to put him to bed. Before he could talk, I sang him sleepy with this simple tune: "Goodnight Moon" by Will Kimbrough. I've sung it when I was too tired, too mad, too depressed ... even too far away from home. It became our unbreakable tradition. And it's secured a sacred space in our hearts.

Let's rewind a bit.. 

This weekend I needed a weekly song idea and was drawing a blank. After soccer on Saturday, C. asked if we were having a "boys day." I thought about my self-imposed writing assignment and hesitated before saying, "Yes. Yes. YOU will be my song things week."

I had been caught up in "create mode" and nearly passed up a chance to spend the day with my teenage son who is actually asking to spend the day with his old man.

We ate at our favorite restaurant, shopped Home Depot (boring for a teenager BTW), did some woodworking and plumbing, painted, watched the Hunger Games (surprisingly awesome for an old man) ... all in the name of love and compromise and just being together. 

At night, I tucked him in and sang this song for the five thousand and something time. And in the words of my not-so-little man "it felt ... like everything's right."

This song-blog experiment began as a way to uncover and honor things that mean something to me - and to discover things we can all do that mean something to our families, friends and fellow humans. I got to revisit the power of songs that unite us. If you have one of these, you know its magic. Maybe it's Twinkle, Twinkle for you or a prayer at dinner. Whatever it is, honor it and wallow in its simple, free beauty.

So, while I didn't write a song this week, I did make a recording that can play on whatever Apple device he'll be rocking at college five years from now. And, on a particularly lonesome night, maybe he'll hear his Dad's creaky voice and know it's OK to call like he has so many times before to ask me to sing him to bed over the phone. "Like, even though you are far away, you're still there."

Thanks to Will Kimbrough for writing a song that we hold so dear.

Here we were 9 years ago both looking a little younger & singing ourselves to sleep.

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