05/06/02
Two Pied Pipers -- Robert Browning and Donovan
    by John Cech

That's Donovan, a familiar voice from the past, with part of the title song for his new CD, "Pied Piper." It's also the birthday today of the British poet, Robert Browning, who wrote the definitive poem about the Pied Piper. But there's ne'er a note of the vengeful musician in Donovan's version, to spill over into the rest of this mellow yellow recording.

These are sweet, sweet songs, most of them with both Donovan's words and music, and many with the back-up vocals of his grandchildren and those of the well-known Irish singer, Aine Whelan. There are celebrations here of the natural world in "Sun Magic" and "Nature's Friends"; lullabyes to soothe and calm, like "Little Teddy Bear" and Donovan's refreshing new take on Eugene Field's famous poem, "Wynken, Blynken and Nod"; some inspired nonsense in "I Love My Shirt" and "A Funny Man" ; and running through every song, every chord and note, every chorus and verse, are the gentle odes to life's positive possibilities, to the love and peace that are just within the reach of youthful visions, and of those that have not been beached by time.

Copyright 2002 by John Cech

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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:19:42 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."