Music Reviews
4:39 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Peter Pan And Don Quixote Find The 'Home Of Song'

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:38 pm

I remember my youthful summers as a time of reading and exploration — diving into books, seeing new places and rediscovering nearby ones. After listening to Home of Song, the first album of family music from Minnesota singer Paul Spring, I think we spent summers in much the same way.

"Peter Pan" is one of a few tracks that draws inspiration from classic literature, as Peter and Wendy join Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote as characters in song. Growing up one of 10 children raised by two college literature professors, Spring says they were a family united by reading. They spent many years living along the Mississippi River in Winona, Minn., and so the river itself (and, of course, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn) all make appearances on this album.

Now a high-school English teacher, Spring draws as much inspiration from his own childhood as he does from Mark Twain and Cervantes. Home of Song is an ode to books and stories, and to the families who nurture them. I don't know if the family who reads and sings together stays together, but albums like this one make a convincing argument.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, some music suitable for children. Our kid's music critic, Stefan Shepherd, has this review of an album that draws inspiration from popular works of literature.

STEFAN SHEPHERD, BYLINE: I remember my youthful summers as a time of reading and exploration, diving into books, seeing new places and rediscovering nearby ones.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAUL SPRING: (Singing) Close your eyes tight and even more tight and look into the bright sunlight. Colors start to swirl and pretty soon you'll be looking at the mermaid lagoon. Pretty Wendy, don't be silly 'cause I won't be hanging out with Tiger Lily. You're the only one...

SHEPHERD: After listening to "Home of Song," the debut family music album from Minneapolis singer Paul Spring, I think we spent summers in much the same way.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPRING: (Singing) And I wish I was Peter Pan. Always a boy, never a man. Wendy, darling, take my hand. Let's fly away to Neverland.

SHEPHERD: That's "Peter Pan," one of a few tracks drawing inspiration from classic literature. Peter and Wendy join Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote as characters in song.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPRING: (Singing) Mississippi River...

SHEPHERD: Growing up one of 10 children raised by two college literature professors, Spring says they were a family united by reading. They spent many years living along the Mississippi River in Winona, Minnesota, and so the river itself - and, of course, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn - all make appearances on this album.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPRING: (Singing) I would jump in the Nile, but I don't like swimming with crocodiles and I ain't a fan of the Amazon. I just want to swim with Huck and Tom in the Mississippi River, the only one that knows how to deliver. Mississippi River, the only one that knows how to deliver.

SHEPHERD: Paul Spring, who's now a high-school English teacher, draws as much inspiration from his own childhood as he does from Mark Twain and Cervantes. "Home of Song" is an ode to books and stories, and families that nurture them. I don't know if the family who reads and sings together stays together, but albums like this one make a convincing argument.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPRING: (Singing) So come away with me, sing out loud and strong. Find yourself in a home of song.

SIEGEL: The album "Home of Song" is by Paul Spring. Our reviewer, Stefan Shepherd, writes about kid's music at Zoogobble.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.