The Simon Sisters: Winkin', Blinkin' And Nod
1. So Glad I’m Here
2. Breton Lullaby
4. Will You Go Laddie Go
5. Chicken Road
6.Once I Had A True Love
7. Wind Spiritual
8. Winkin’, Blinkin’ And Nod
9. À La Claire Fontaine
10. Rise Up
11. Lorca Lullaby
12. Waley, Waley (The Water Is Wide)
13. Sano Duso
15,. If You Go Down To The Water
16. Dink’s Blues
17. Turn, Turn, Turn
18. Hold Back The Branches
19. Eccute Dans La Vent
20. Motherless Child
21. No One To Talk My Troubles To
22. My Fisherman, My Laddie O!
23. Feuilles-Oh (Leaves)
24. If I Had A Ribbon Bow
25. Pale Horse And Rider
Tracks 1 - 13 released as The Simon Sisters - Kapp 1359
Produced by Charles Close
Musical Arrangements: Stuart Scharf
Guitars: Lucy Simon, Carly Simon, Stuart Scharf, Bernie Krause
Cello: Seymour Barav
Bass: Will Lee
Tracks 14 -25 originally released as Cuddlebug - Kapp 3397
No Musician Credits Listed
Compilation Produced by Mike Ragogna
Executive Producer: Pat Lawrence
Mastered by Erick Labson @ Universal Mastering Studios — North Hollywood, CA
Editorial Assistance: Barry Korkin
Tape Research: Randy Aronson
Product Manager: Heather Whitten
Art Director / Production Manager: Michele Horie
Design: Greg Ross for Orabor
Photo Coordinator: Ryan Null
Photos: Peter Simon
A Fond Reminiscence by Carly Simon
I remember Lucy sitting on her bed with a guitar she had just bought at Manny's Music on 48th Street. She had a turntable on her bureau with an LP playing…I think it was Joan Baez, but it might have been the Weavers or Pete Seeger. She was trying to imitate what the sounds were. Davy Gude taught her three chords and she was excited to share them with me. We were young and malleable and willing to get our fingers calloused and dirty.
Lucy taught me the chords she had learned and then we switched the guitar back and forth until I was finally on the subway down to 48th Street with thirty-five dollars to get a guitar of my own. Soon we discovered capos and got our ears pierced. We wore capes and leather hats (even though Lucy was at nursing school!) and I imitated Odetta, even at dinner. Lucy’s voice was so easy to harmonize with and I had a naturally good baritone (an oddity in a woman) but it glazed a perfect octave down below hers - or we interwove anything strange our inner ears could hear. This pretty much coincided with our wanting to be footloose and folky.
Then in the summer of ‘63 we hitchhiked up to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and all the way at the end of the Cape was this club whose house entertainer had just been recruited to go to Viet Nam. Providence was fortunately in our corner that time around, and we got his job on the spot. So, with our five or six chords and our matching peasant blouses, capos,and Grecian-twined-up-the-leg sandals, we were “ready.” We had hope, harmony and expectation.
The bar was called “The Moors” and it is still there! We were discovered that summer by a friend of Lucy’s who came to visit. His name was Charlie Close and he was the partner of Harold Leventhal, the manager of the Weavers and Pete Seeger. He arranged for us to sing on the television show Hootenanny. It is stunning to see that tape now…preceding us were the Smothers Brothers and the Carter Family.
Before our set, Lucy and I were both numb and shaking offstage and then numb and shaking onstage. Interestingly, different parts of our anatomy shook and were numb. Lucy’s voice shook - which only helped her quaint and Scottish-like vibrato. My hands and knees shook which made it hard to play the guitar or assume a graceful pose. I sort of had to move - although you would never notice it if you saw that Hootenanny show. We were so stiff. Like scared mannequins. Like young clenched fists with mouths and vocal chords. It has an endearing factor. The man who sang “the grizzly bear” was on the show too and he was really movin’. I had to take moving lessons. And when I did loosen up, about a year later, things were more fun.
We sang that year while both of us were in school at The Bitter End and The Gaslight in Greenwich Village. Four shows a night. The best thing by far about those years was all the commotion backstage; Woody Allen’s manager telling him not to pause so long before a line and to make use of his consonants.
Johnny Carson closed for us, as did Dick Cavett, Bill Cosby, the Tarriers (with future movie actor Alan Arkin), Lenny Bruce, and many other singers and comedians of whom we were in awe, but from who we learned a little bit of poise. A trick here and a trick there. Looking back at it, I don’t know why we always wore the same outfit. It certainly was the style of the time, but why didn’t we think of moving on and doing it differently? And even more, WHY did we ever succumb to those dreadful pink sweaters while wearing matching lipstick on the cover of our second album “Cuddlebug”?!
However, there were many good choices we made. We were writing songs. Lucy wrote “Winkin’, Blinkin’ And Nod” for our first album which was based on a Eugene Field poem, and the single actually charted. I also took poems and set them to music. Now, THAT was really living.
Going back a bit, at our house in Riverdale when we were growing up, our father used to have one rule only and that was to have us come into the library after dinner and hear him read poetry aloud. Even though we fought the impulse to become as literary or intellectual as the books around our house might have inspired us to be, we absorbed it by osmosis.
How, after all, could you go to sleep having just heard Whitman or Tennyson, Shakespeare or Eugene Field for that matter and not have it tweak the humanistic part of your brain? Particularly since our father would go directly from the library to the living room to play Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Debussy and Liszt. It lifted sonorously upstairs and competed with nothing in the quiet halls of our drowsiness.
Where is our mother in all of this? She is listening while drifting between our bedrooms with kisses and pillow puffing and fluffing. This all sounds just a bit too good…all right, I admit it, a lot of it was really awful. But at least I have the smooth, rosy, and rightfully my own, picture in my head. Even if one night was just like that, it was GREAT that one night.
There was so much you could learn in our home. Joey, the eldest of four, was studying opera and her practice time on the living room Steinway was heard throughout the house. Peter, our young chap of a brother, was already our official chronicler taking down all the eighth notes, glissandos, and major sevenths as well as the flat and sharp notes along with our self-conscious laughter on the earliest of wire recorders. Somewhere someone had obviously done something right.
I can’t go any further without mentioning my hilarious, doting and musical uncles from both sides of our parents. George, Alfie, Peter and Dutch. All were musicians starting jazz magazines, singing and playing instruments. Weekends and holidays there were jams in the living room around lemon meringue pie that Allie, our dear friend and housekeeper, would make. Everyone played some instrument even it if was as crude as a wooden salad spoon against a chair leg.
Thank God, Peter got some of those sessions down on tape. That would indeed be something to release someday…those spontaneous sessions were the real magic. It’s as if all these people couldn’t possibly be in one family, but they were, and we have taken it down to our sons and daughters. Thankfully my children, Sally and Ben, and Lucy’s, Julie and Jamie,were present at some of those Sundays. It felt as if those were the good old days. I have to remember that when I sing “Anticipation,” I don't get misguided and misrepresent time.
Fast forward a bit, and Lucy has composed the most thrilling of musical scores based on the classic novel Dr. Zhivago which is being rehearsed and refined as I write this in La Jolla, California. This will be her second big musical production which has made it to Broadway; the first being the exquisite Secret Garden. She sounds as if she was fifteen again and teaching me the C chord; the excitement in our joint voices as we communicate our music to each other.
I am currently recording a compact disc of lullabies which seem to be forever a part of our repertoire with Lucy having written “The Lobster Quadrille And Other Songs For Children” for the Simon Sisters after our first two albums together which are presented here, plus two award-winning Sesame Street albums (In Harmony and its sequel), and my own association with spiders (“itsy bitsy” ones) and certainly not to forget a couple Winnie the Pooh movies and various TV shows.
This very CD – which you might even be listening to now – has a good number of lullaby choices (almost a quarter of the work) and I am convinced that Lucy and I have a natural ability to exude that time of the evening when lulling can quiet even the heaviest of hearts. Something in our natures and our history must have needed it ourselves, and so we pass it down, along with feisty rollicking songs which we needed to balance out the sensitive bedtime mood of the rest of the songs.
I have never put this analysis into words before, but I think it’s true. I think Lucy and I offer this to the listener…even when we were unsophisticated and unsure of who we would be eventually, as musicians and as people, we knew we wanted to reassure and comfort and hold the babies of the world in our voices.
Carly Simon, April 2006
Original Liner Notes by Lee Hays from The Simon Sisters
At the beginning of the new wave in folk singing – say, 20 years back – it was an odd fact that the chief practitioners of the art were male, with only an occasional breakthrough by a girl singer. The boys had it made; and I have a vivid memory of a boy in a corduroy suit wearing a bowler hat parading into a hall with his faithful girlfriend struggling along behind, carrying his guitar! This is an unsafe generalization and you can list lots of fine girl singers to refute it; but in the rough and tumble days of knocking down doors to be heard, it was the boys who generally succeeded..
Today, glory be, the girls are coming forward and making their way to the new audiences that have been waiting for them. Among these are two lovely sisters, Lucy and Carly Simon, who have listened to songs and learned them and sung them since they were children. In keeping with the eclectic spirit of folk singing today, they sing songs of many lands, including their own, and all of them they sing with respect for the songs and for the people who made them. This attitude ought to be a minimum requirement for any singer in any field; but all of us who sing know that it is not, and we have all departed from it at one time or another, and in some cases, altogether. I am not going to claim that the Simon Sisters have reached the limit of their potential artistry; what I hear, and what I hope you hear, is the pleasing sound of two singers in progress, making their way, experimenting and alert to learn what their way is. As they sing with love for us who listen, I hope you will love them and their music as I do.