A Spirited Mother
The 18 songs were meant to inspire, soothe and celebrate the fact that the best interests of our children are served only by being true to ourselves.
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1. Teach You to Fly
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

I wrote this song as one way to relay to my daughter why I believed so deeply that it was best for her that her father and I not be together. To try to explain my feeling that the greatest gift I could give her was to follow my inner guidance and source of empowerment. In this way I would teach by example how to be true to yourself, a delicate message if the means to doing so includes breaking up a family. I feel that this song is my way of reinforcing what Kenny Loggins is saying in “The Real Thing”;, that it is worth anything to hold out for true “spirit blessed” Love.

2. Moving On
Lyrics by Debra Alt, Music by Chip Degaard

This song was written during one of the last months of my marriage as we prepared to move and separate our family of 3. At such a painful time it was helpful to tap into the source of creation to help find solace and beauty in the expression of moving on as a part of the flow of destiny.

3. One Heart at a Time
Lyrics by Debra Alt, Music by Debra Alt & Paul Scialabba

So many songwriters were compelled to offer their craft to help rebuild the emotional devastation of the 9-11 disaster. I wanted to create something that could help answer the overwhelming question of what a child could possibly do to help. The answer is the only one that I believe could make sense to a child and help shape their way of relating to the world, while adding a spark of hope to the bleakness of our stunned consciousness.

4. Just Your Way
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

When my father turned 50, it was a relatively torrential time between us and the inspiration for writing his song came out of a need for catharsis I was not fully conscious of at the time. I have come to believe it relays an important message about the need to accept those in our lives who are unable to fully give or receive love in a non-dysfunctional way. I’ve since learned to recycle that awareness into a core of compassion and forgiveness, and am now able to enjoy my father and see him in a whole new light.

5. Love Will Come to You
Written by Emily Saliers

I adore most anything the Indigo Girls sing, but this one has been in my “;consistent chill collection”; since I first heard it. For me there is a clear and tender image of a young woman singing to another to have faith that love will find her. The poetry with which it is said is sheer beauty and I wanted to include it as a particularly magical and artistic message of hope.

6. Never Never Land
Lyric by Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Music by Jule Styne

A favorite lullaby of ours, this is the first song I remember singing in public. I played the part of Peter Pan in a production when I was around 7 years old and I’ve loved the song since then.

7. The Real Thing
Written by Kenny Loggins & David Foster

Where do I begin …. the inspiration for “;Teach you to Fly”; for learning to listen to my heart and intuition, and for redirecting my life to a Spirit-led path. Also the first song I am aware of that speaks to our children of the need for divorce in lieu of living a lie when compared to the “Real Thing”. Kenny writes of how the song came through him while setting out to write about something entirely different. I believe that Spirit had an explicit purpose in leading Kenny that way, as I have come to see that I was one of the recipients intended to receive the gifts of the song. While my daughter and I struggled with our adjustment to the divorce that was a necessary part of our evolution, this song has been a major healing influence in facilitating language, understanding, and acceptance. I got the idea of recording this as a duet between a mother and father, the first time I heard Mickey sing a duet. I knew his soulful voice would enhance and further honor this miraculous song.

8. Conscious Cowboy
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

When I arrived at the airport for my first visit to Montana, I was struck by the sea of men in cowboy hats. While waiting for my bags, my friend was pointing out the types of men she’d be interested in meeting. We laughed in recognition that her search was for something more than just a Montana cowboy, thus the phrase, “Conscious Cowboy” was born. The song has always been fun to sing and I think it sends a great message about a woman being clear about what she wants, in this case both the primal desire for a masculine cowboy, with a sophisticated woman’s need for a man with a progressive way of thinking and being.

9. Looking into You
Written by Jackson Browne

Jackson has given so much in the way of piercingly beautiful songwriting. I first heard this song during my college days, when the journey into consciousness seemed so profoundly intense, as to mar most other sounds. Jackson captured for me that bittersweet quality of being a free spirit, while desperately longing for connection. I sing this song to honor the quest to find that balance, with the hope and prayer that my daughter finds it for herself without going through as much pain as I did in the process.

10. Zoe’s Room
Written by Diane Ponzio

When I first heard Diane perform this song, I cried tears of recognition of my own childhood longings, as well as that of a cautious and hopeful parent. It also brought home my appreciation for the precious opportunity I have to enrich my child’s experience of growing up. This song continues to move me in immeasurable ways, and I believe relays an endearing message about our generation of parenting.

11. All the Way
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, Music by James Van Heusen

I have loved this song since I first heard the likes of Dean Martin and Sinatra sing it, always evoking enormous emotion around romantic love. I still get a feeling of longing when I sing it, yet I also see now how it can impart a feeling of the importance of loving unconditionally. What a beautiful way to impart that message and invoke stirrings of love.

12. Born of Light
Lyrics by Debra Alt, Music by Debra Alt, Mickey DiMichele, Harriet Schock, Paul Scialabba

When I heard about the volunteer work my mother was doing in a shelter for abused and neglected children, it was around the time I started to think about the kind of organization I could donate to from the sale of my CD. I wanted to support a group I felt was in alignment with the theme of this music project. I see “;A Spirited Mother” among other things, as an expression and gift from parent to child, parents particularly abundant in the resources of time, wisdom and inspiration to share, the very things children in shelters will probably never know from their own parents.

13. L’Chi Lach
Music by Debbie Friedman, Lyrics by Debbie Friedman & Savina Teubal

My daughter and I fell in love with this song when our cousins sang it at a Bat Mitzvah service. In Genesis it is written that the Lord led Abraham from his home to the Promised Land where with his blessing he would build a great nation. In the context of a Bat Mitzvah service, I heard it as an expression of letting go of those we love the most, to allow them to go forth on their journey of growth. I found it to cast a particularly lovely light on our Jewish tradition of honoring a child’s entry into man/womanhood. I hear it as, as much an expression of a parent seeing their child off, as it is a child letting go of their need for their parents.

14. Lady’s Heart
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

Walking on a beach, feeling full of life and longing, I wrote this as a poetic expression of passionate self-containment. I hope my daughter grows to appreciate the candor of these feelings, and to temper her own longings with the highest of standards. It is my fervent wish that she grow to be a lady of noble heart, with an extra prayer that the cultivation of her own heart’s desires will lead her naturally to her soulmate or twin flame. May she come to know as I have, that love inevitably shows up when we are most self-fulfilled, and never when we are looking for it to complete our lives.

15. Son of Hope (JFK Jr. )
Lyric by Debra Alt, Music by Chip Degaard

When JFK Jr. crashed in the summer of 1999, I was struck by the media’s attention and the public’s general reaction to the tragedy. I wrote this song in an attempt to extract meaning from the world’s intense reaction to another Kennedy loss. The song spawned my daughter’s interest in the Kennedy family and created an opportunity to explain the message I tried to portray. That is how easy it is to put those in the public eye on a pedestal, and how that pedestal often serves as a misdirected focus for a hero figure. Ultimately the message being that we need to see our own lives as important as those of the famous lives we glorify.

16. As You Grow
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

This lullaby was written for my daughter when she was about 4 months in the womb. I decided to write something I could sing to her throughout my pregnancy, and then see if she recognized it when she arrived. Sure enough her Dad and I sang it to her during the first few minutes of her life and after a moment or two we caught a brief smile on her newborn face.

17. Sweetest Heart
Lyrics Written by Debra Alt

I wrote this song for my mother as my daughter was nearing her first birthday and my mom her 60th. I was glad for the opportunity to express a love that has taught me much about the joyousness of bonding deeply with the women in my life. I had always wanted a daughter so I could re-experience the connection to three generations of women that I enjoyed with my mother and grandmother.

18. Road to Zion
Written by Mike Hudson

This song was added toward the end of the project out of a desire to include a prayer-like song . Mickey’s attraction to it was contagious, thus it became the final piece of a long labor of love. I couldn’t resist its simple beauty, nor the opportunity to see him arrange something he loved with that unbridled passion of his. Zion is as old as the Judaic-Christian idea of paradise, and as new as the unified concept of God we need to learn to come to. As my dear friend Vicky put it so well, it is a song that says we are all blessed with an inner wisdom expressed through the heart, which helps to lead us to the light.