"Cuban Lullaby"
    by John Cech

That's the chorus from "Nana Animalera," written and sung by Maricela Verena, a Cuban composer and musician, living in Puerto Rico, from a CD called "Cuban Lullaby," from Ellipsis Arts. Ms. Verena's song tells about how the animals come out every night and have a party -- the zebra lets down her stripes, and the spider rumbas with a centipede, while a bull and a polar bear have tea, the fireflies lite up the dance floor, and the chichuachua serenades them all with his splendid voice. There's a purple cat, and an alligator wearing polyester pants, and a green horse playing the trumpet. What a song to dream on. And it's only one of the sixteen amazing tracks on this glorious CD. The Coro Corolillo, a children's chorus, sings the traditional song, "Señora Santana," about a little boy who's lost an apple; the late Merceditas Valdés lovingly scolds a restless child on "Lacho"; and grammy-award winning Chucho Valdés and Andrés Alén both offer beautiful piano solos. Here's the opening from Alén's lovely "Berceuse Campesina." Ahhh.... these are lush, balmy cradle songs for summer Carribean nights, when fireflies are winking, and all the animals are dancing, and someone like the late, great Bola de Nieve, is singing.

Copyright © 2002, John Cech

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