The past month, we’ve been listening (and listening and listening…) to a new album Scott discovered called Rain for Roots: Big Stories for Little Ones. This compelling collection of ten folk songs teaches important Biblical truths with simple and lovely lyrics written by Sally Lloyd-Jones from her Baby’s Hug-a-Bible. Before we even heard the music, we were excited about this album because we adore Jones’ Hug-a-Bible in our home. We spend time reading it with Eleanor nearly everyday. This is one of the best Bibles I have seen for babies in that it is God-centered and Grace-centered, while also making the stories relevant for little ones. Not an easy feat! Consider the story below, “Jesus stops a storm”:
The questions tell the story, while engaging little readers; and the answer to all the questions is Jesus – Lord of all. The text goes on to apply the story to us saying, “He will answer when you call.” Not only is the text spot on, the illustrations are colorful and engage Eleanor in the stories. For all these reasons, we have been huge fans of this Bible and Sally Lloyd-Jones. You can understand our excitement when we heard she was collaborating with Sandra McCracken (Indelible Grace) and other musicians, Ellie Holcomb, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser on the Rain for Roots album.
Scott is a long time fan of Sandra McCracken and the other musicians from Indelible Grace, so he knew musically this album would be sophisticated, artistic, and God glorifying. He was right. Though simple enough for little children to sing (the artists’ own children sing on the album), the music will draw your heart out for God no matter your age. I pray as Eleanor grows, the beauty of these songs will help her little soul absorb truths about God and draw her heart out for Him. Through God, good music has the power to do that. Sandra McCracken writes a bit about this in her commentary at Christianity Today:
“…what a significant moment that is in a child’s life when he or she can absorb art and beauty by way of these clever little soul vehicles called melodies. This tender moment in a young life reveals something else about us adults, too. What we believe about a child, and the person who that child is becoming, is significant. As Charlotte Mason says ‘A child is a person.’ Children are not just babies becoming people, they are already people. In this way, we hold and relate to them with honor and respect. On one hand, we don’t need to idolize them in preciousness. Nor do we need to belittle them for their weakness.
This reality is a great equalizer, and it makes me want to consider that honor even in the hope that the simple songs they sing and memorize should also be great songs. Strong, singable melodies. Rich, meaningful truths. Beauty for its own sake. Joy for its own sake. And by all means, we hold in view that the songs honor the great truth of God that shapes their character as they sing. The same thinking pertains to those of us who write music intended for children, or to those who teach music to kids in schools or churches—the same high standards of excellence still apply. As C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’ The same is true for music.”
How I love singing these songs to Eleanor when we play and as I rock her to sleep. As I sing them to her, the melodies and lyrics set my mind of Christ and engage my heart in worshiping Him. I have a feeling this album will be well loved in your home as well.
You can download a free song to sample and buy the entire album (including a digital booklet with lyrics & chord charts) for $8.99 at Rain for Roots.