Music Reviews
6:29 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

For Families In Crisis, A Songwriter Offers Humor And Empathy

I don't know what I'd do if my child suffered a life-threatening illness, but I'm guessing my response would involve music. That was a big part of how Boston musician Alastair Moock reacted when one of his twin 5-year-old daughters, Clio, was diagnosed with leukemia last summer. He sang traditional songs and made up new ones with Clio, which the two of them sang together in her hospital room.

Moock's new album, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids, is based on his family's experiences with Clio and her fellow patients. Kids fighting illness and their families are its primary audience, but its message of clear-eyed hope and comfort isn't just for kids.

You don't need to have a child (or be one) to appreciate "Home When I Hold You," Moock's duet with fellow Boston singer Aoife O'Donovan. Moock crowd-funded the album's production so he could give it away to patients and kids' cancer units. With Clio now in remission as she starts her second year of chemotherapy, he's also free to take these songs on tour. The songs provide a combination of empathy and humor, offering strength to any families facing an uncertain future.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A moment now to hear what's catching the ear of our kid's music reviewer, Stefan Shepherd. It's a new album from Boston musician Alastair Moock. It's dedicated to Moock's daughter, Clio, who was diagnosed with leukemia. The album is called "Singing Our Way Through: Songs For The World's Bravest Kids." Here's Stefan.

STEFAN SHEPHERD, BYLINE: I don't know what I'd do if my child suffered a life-threatening illness, but I'm guessing my response would involve music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHEPHERD: That was a definitely a big part of how Boston musician Alastair Moock reacted when one of his twin 5-year-old daughters, Clio, was diagnosed with leukemia last summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ALASTAIR MOOCK: (Singing) Ooh, ah-ah, ee-ee, I feel fine. I'm a little monkey swinging on a monkey vine.

SHEPHERD: He sang traditional songs and made up new ones with Clio, the two of them singing together in her hospital room.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOOCK: (Singing) Ooh, ah-ah, ee-ee, I feel fine. I'm a little monkey swinging on a monkey vine.

SHEPHERD: Moock's new album, "Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids," is based on his family's experiences with Clio and her fellow patients. Kids fighting illness and their families are its primary audience but its message of clear-eyed hope and comfort isn't just for kids.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOOCK: (Singing) You're home when I hold you, honey. Home when I hold you, dear. Home in your daddy's arms tonight.

SHEPHERD: You don't need to have a child, or be one, to appreciate "Home When I Hold You," his duet with fellow Boston singer Aoife O'Donovan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AOIFE O'DONOVAN: (Singing) You're safe in your mother's arms, safe when she holds you tight. Safe when your momma holds you close, safe all through the night.

SHEPHERD: Moock crowd-funded the album's production so he could give it away to patients and kids' cancer units. With daughter Clio now in remission as she starts year two of chemotherapy, he's also free to take these songs on tour. The songs provide a combination of empathy and humor, offering strength to any families facing an uncertain future.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOOCK: (Singing) When I get bald, there I'll be out in the world, flying free.

SIEGEL: The album is "Singing Our Way Through: Songs For The World's Bravest Kids," by Alastair Moock and friends. Stefan Shepherd writes about kid's music at Zooglobble.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.