The Sugar-Plum Tree
It was a curious and wondrous thing.
One night I was in my studio adding some percussion to the “Quiet Rituals” track by Barry van Oudtshoorn, when my 4 young children (with whom I was long over-due to be tucking into bed and reading a bed-time story) interrupted me to enquire if they could sing for the new project. When I asked them what they had in mind, they immediately produced their favorite bed-time book (from which my parents read to me as a child and from which I should have been reading to them) and suggested that they recite their favorite bed-time poem. So I plugged in some microphones for them and, well, you can listen for yourself…
Lyrics: Eugene Field
Orchestral arrangement: Barry van Oudtshoorn
Vocals: my 4 children - Katie, Trey, Sean Patrick, Gillian
Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
’T is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you ’ve got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below—
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground—
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet and gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I ’ll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.