When I was assigned Currently Listening this week, I decided that I had to listen to a whole bunch of music to figure out if anything drew any kind of emotional response beyond “Hey this is fun” within me. I turned on my Spotify radio and just let it play for two hours, and after those two hours I came away with the realization that “Oh this was fun.”


Full disclosure, I have never been the kind of person that found some sort of comfort within music. Music has always been in the background, rather than in the foreground of my life. I had resigned myself to writing about a TV show that I often listen to, but don’t really have to watch, because its technically a loophole.


Having made that decision, I set out to do with what I had done at 9:30 PM sharp for the past two years without fail. I peeled my little brother Yasha off of the couch and told him that he had to go to bed, dressed him in his pajamas, tucked him in, and started telling him his bedtime story. This bedtime story has been a seemingly never ending tale that I have no clue how to complete, so I simply keep adding to it. To my best recollection I started this storyline right around 1 year ago.


As soon as the story was finished, I did what I had done every single time I helped Yasha go to sleep. I started scratching his head and singing (I cant sing, lets call it broken humming) the same Russian lullaby I had heard countless times.


Spyat ustaliyi igrushki knijki spyat

Odeyala I padushki jdut rebyat

Daje skazka spat lojetsya

Shtobi nochyu nam prisnitsya

Ti pojilay



Basic translation:

All the tired toys are sleeping,

And the books are sleeping too,

Blankets and pillows are waiting for you.

Even stories go to sleep

To show up when you dream deep

Your wish

Good Night.


And when I finished, nostalgia hit me like a tsunami of emotions that I had almost just forgot. It was weird, I guess it was because I was searching for nostalgia that I found it, but I had hummed this same lullaby to him for two whole years and only now did all of these emotions drift back.


I remembered when my mother sang it to me with her beautiful soft voice. She had scratched my head just like I scratched Yasha’s and without fail, by the second iteration of the lullaby, I was dreaming. I remembered being little and feeling that no matter what the big world threw at me, there was one constancy, that my mommy would always be there at night and usher me into sleep. When I was little I used to fear the dark, and that lullaby made that go away, I remembered when I was eight and my mother couldn’t sing me the lullaby because she had started working full time, I had laid down and hummed it to myself and my fear of the dark vanished.


Nowadays, as my mom continues to work full time because my father left the family, and I take over her job with Yasha, I recognize that I can’t do the job my mother did with me, but the best I can do is continue the tradition of the lullaby.  So, maybe one day Yasha can hum it to himself and know that the dark can’t touch him because the lullaby and by extension his family are protecting him, and always offering safety and security.



-Eytan Galanter

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