Candice Night’s Bedtime Songs
Candice Night is always thinking about music. So when the singer – best known for her work with guitarist husband Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple, Rainbow) in the medieval/renaissance/folk duo Blackmore’s Night – was pregnant with the couple’s first child, she began thinking about lullabies to sing to her daughter. Night and Blackmore have two children: Autumn, now 6, and son Rory, 4.
From these initial thoughts would eventually come Night’s new album of children’s bedtime songs, “Starlight Starbright.” Her ethereal, calming vocals are a perfect fit for lullabies. Night’s collection features classics like “Rock a Bye Baby,” a beautiful cover of John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and a handful of Night originals.
We recently spoke with Night about “Starlight Starbright.” While she won’t be singing lullabies, you can catch her with Blackmore’s Night on Sunday, Oct. 16, at The Strand Theater in Lakewood.
When and how did you get the idea to write a children’s album?
When I was pregnant with my daughter I had headphones on my belly so the child would be able to hear music. It’s such a strong foundation to have music present in a child’s life. I had visuals of me sitting in a rocking chair and softly singing songs to my child, even just humming relaxing, soothing tones to her. It’s the most pure, most innocent bonding moment, to be surrounded by love and comfort and woven into this amazing land of sleep and dreams. I recorded a few songs in demo form on the off chance that after I gave birth that I would be too tired to sing to her.
How did that evolve into making an album that would be available commercially?
I would tell my friends about what I was doing and they would say, “I never sing to my child because it would scare them!” It completely hit me that it’s a really true emotion. That people are actually afraid to sing to their children because they’re not confident enough in their own vocal ability. Part of me got very sad inside. Your child doesn’t know if you’re in tune or pitch perfect. So I said, ‘I’m going to take the demos and make them into songs so that other parents can use them.’
The album has connected not only with children but adults as well and even animals
I’ve had so many people come to me from different walks of life and tell me this is not just a kids CD. I had someone tell me their mother was in hospice and a week before she passed away they wanted her to be surrounded by positive messages for her transition to the other side and all they did was play “Starlight Starbright” and their mother had a smile on her face as she passed. A guy who works with rescue dogs, some of them are emotionally and mentally shell-shocked and he had a dog that was scared to get in the car so he could take him to a park. He said he played “Starlight Starbright” and the dog came in the car. Another person told me that her daughter had sensitivity issues and she played the CD and it was the first time her daughter was able to sit through dinner. It’s so emotional. I get tears when I talk about it.
How did you go about writing your original songs for the album?
Usually when I write for myself the melody and lyric line come all at once. For “Robin Redbreast” I was outside gardening on a beautiful spring day and the melody came to me. It was the perfect alignment of everything coming together, a beautiful spring day, my hands in the earth creating new life. For me it’s easier to create that way.
Your daughter Autumn gets a co-writing credit on “Lullabye in the Night.”
For one, “Lullabye in the Night,” she was 1 ½ and I’m folding laundry in the hallway and I hear her in her room and she’s got her dolls and sitting in the big rocking chair and she makes up this song out of nowhere and she created music and lyrics. She wrote “Lullabye in the Night.” I heard her just rocking and singing it and it was so beautiful. It was more than the lyrics and the music, it was that moment of purity and innocence and giving everything she had in the love sense to her babies, which were her dolls. For her music is like breathing.
Her stories are also in the booklet of the album.
She makes up these incredible stories. One of them “Cricket’s Love Song,” we’re sitting outside at night watching the stars and we heard the crickets singing and she said they’re singing to the moon. I said, ‘oh yeah,’ and let her go off on her trail. She told me how there was this one cricket who was in love with the moon and would sing to the moon every night but the moon was so far away and wouldn’t hear the cricket. And the cricket got all her family and friends to sign together in a chorus and finally the moon was able to hear the song of the crickets. I love it.
What made you pick John Denver’s “Annie’s Song”?
When Ritchie and I got married I asked him to pick the wedding song. I’m so emotionally tied to so many songs I cannot narrow it down. He chose the John Denver song and I thought, that’s perfect. I still sing that song to my kids. For that song, and so many other songs, like the Disney song (“Baby Mine” ) and the Cinderella song (“So This Is Love”), I just found that there are so many songs that if you look at the miracle child you just created, so many of these songs translated and can be used in these intimate and pure moments of sleeptime and expressing your love to your child.