Sky Bears, by Nancy Raven

Nancy Raven’s

Sky Bears: A Winter Festival of Children’s Music from Around the World

This tape is a lively, thoughtful collection of Winter festival music from around the world. From the bouyant African Thanksgiving to the plaintive story of Sz Bbei, the Chinese farmer who cannot go to the New Year’s festival, you will find many songs and celebrations to enjoy.

(Available on CD and cassette tape. CD contains bonus material from the album Songs for the Holidays.)

This music has been received with enthusiasm in schools and libraries over the past year. Children can relate immediately to the content and rhythms, and love singing, dancing, and acting out the songs. It is educational as well as entertaining, introducing many different cultures, customs, and folk instruments.

Because some of the folk instruments used may not be indigenous to the particular country represented in the song, it becomes, after all, truly cross-cultural music.

Word sheets and translations are found inside. (Drawings of most of the folk instruments are available on this web site.)

We hope you have as much fun with the music as we had putting it together.

Side A

African Thanksgiving
Almost Day
Noche Buena
Las Posadas Songs
My Dreydl
Oh Hanukah!
We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Side B

Feast of Lanterns
Sz Bbei
Me Wan Me Lama
Christmas Is Here
Sleigh Ride
Come Quickly, New Year
Raisins And Almonds
Jingle Bells
Sky Bears

Cast of characters:

Nancy Raven: After years of singing mainly early American folk songs for children, Nancy now reaches out into the rich music of other countries. She plays the guitars, dulcimers, ukelele, charango, jaw harp, kalimba, chekere, guiro, and kazoo on this album.

Bob B. Hobbs: Percussionist extraordinaire, Bob has brought the magic of many percussion instruments to children over the years. Bob, who says he is “always available for creative moments,” adds wonderful sounds and imagination to the music. He does all the sound effects and most of the percussion heard on the album, plus kazoo, of course.

Dick Bagwell: Pipes, whistles, recorders, tambourine.

Mike Cogan: Engineer, in his studio at Bay Records, Alameda, California.

Susan Lindh: Patient photographer.

Commtype: Typesetting by Mark Heliger, Los Angeles, California.

Grateful thanks for the generosity of the children and their parents, with irreplaceable help from Madeline Weinstein and Kathy Vital of Lakeview Child Care in Oakland, and Rosemary Richie (whose sweet soprano voice you hear singing with the children) of Benvenue Children’s House in Berkeley, California. The children’s ages run from 3 to 5 years, and their names are:

Lael Ajay, Patrick Balzan, Jakub Benes, David Bracke, Lauren Brisbo, Chloe Bryson-Cahn, John Deserio, Mira Evnine, Caroline Fowler, Gretchen Jang, Lindsey Kline, Lindsey McCarthy, Nathan Rynerson, Rebekan Salomon, Caroline Salz, and Grier Wiggins.

More special thanks to: Sumi Capachi and Greg Raven for the knowledge and help that made this all possible.