This song is an antidote for:

  • Cynicism
  • Agitation
  • Seriousness
  • Joylessness
  • Selfishness
  • Selfish motives
  • Personal ambition

Listen to the song (download mp3):

Bonus Track (download mp3): 

Watch the session with Satyaki:

From A Tale of Songs, by Swami Kriyananda:

I wrote this lullaby for the album (The Mystic Harp) Derek Bell recorded on his harp. It is a blessing for a baby, that its future life be of benefit to others

Go to sleep, little dear, may the angels draw near
And with peace-dust sprinkle your eyes.
May the curtains of night banish pain from your sight,
That your dreams to heaven arise.
Forsake all care as your thoughts rise there
Through a vault of star-spangled skies.

Go to sleep, little one. Heaven’s blessings you’ve won
By the innocence of your smile.
May the whole of your life heal with calmness all strife,
And teach kindness, free from all guile.
Men’s hearts enthrall by pure love for all,
For it’s love makes living worthwhile.

The song as an antidote (Satyaki’s comments):

Irish Lullaby, for me, was one of the first songs that really helped me understand the idea of music antidotes back in 1998, when Swami Kriyananda first introduced the idea and assigned different songs to Secrets of Emotional Healing. Initially, I couldn’t understand why he’d assigned this song to the quality of cynicism. “What on earth,” I thought, “does this song have to do with cynicism.” In fact, I felt the same way with Go On Alone, which is assigned to anger. But then, as we were singing and listening to these songs as a group, I felt the powerful centering effect of the guitar strum in Go On Alone and understood how that centering related to Sri Yukteswar’s saying that “Anger springs from thwarted expectations.” Because you can’t have thwarted expectations when you’re completely centered in your spine, Go On Alone takes care of anger by evoking the diametrically opposite consciousness.

So, too, with Irish Lullaby. As I listened sensitively to the song, I felt the energy of my heart expanding in my chest and then flowing down my arms, which wanted to open as if to embrace the world. In that simple act I realized how much such utter acceptance was the opposite of rejection, which is to say, cynicism, which is the rejection of any possibility that there is love, joy, or meaning in the world.

Here’s what Kriyananda wrote for this quality in Day 13 of Secrets of Emotional Healing:

The secret of overcoming cynicism is to concentrate on the needs of others, and not to dwell on the thought that life, or other people, owe it to you to be different from what they are.

Kriyananda also said that he wrote the song as a blessing for a baby, that it’s future life might be a benefit to others. Clearly, an embracing attitude is essential for such service, and can be learned from infancy if surrounded by loving parents and relations that embrace you for who you are, rather than expecting you to fulfill their own wishes. The lyrics, too, are very reminiscent of the innocence of childhood, especially infancy, where the tiniest smile or laugh from a baby is enough to melt anyone’s heart!

As with other lullaby songs, which are wholly suitable to sing to infants and children, Irish Lullaby can also be taken as the Divine Mother (or Father, if you prefer), singing to each one of us as their beloved child. For indeed, the message of purity and innocence is perhaps needed mostly by adults!

Reinforcing this thought is that the instrumental Mystic Harp arrangement begins with some simple rising harp arpeggiations that have the effect of bringing one’s awareness up to the spiritual eye. This focus is appropriate, because it’s the point from which Divine Mother would sing a lullaby to us. It’s from here, in other words, the she delivers the message of the song, reaching down from the spiritual to the heart chakra to bring our love up from that place—where it can get mired in selfishness and personal desires—to a place of purity.

Go to sleep, little dear, may the angels draw near
And with peace-dust sprinkle your eyes.
May the curtains of night banish pain from your sight,
That your dreams to heaven arise.

As I said with the song, Wartime Lullaby, many children—and especially infants—aren’t all that wrapped up in thoughts of agitation and pain such that they need the kind of soothing implied here. Perhaps they have the pain of hunger or the discomfort of a wet diaper, but these words are far more relevant to our experience as adults! These words are thus trying to settle an agitated heart (thus serving for the quality of agitation), so that we can allow ourselves to withdraw from the concerns of the world whether into sleep or meditation. That withdrawal—pulling the heart’s energies inward and then directing them upwards—does help our dreams, which is to say, any outward desires we might harbor, to drift heavenward, toward the star of the spiritual eye:

Forsake all care as your thoughts rise there
Through a vault of star-spangled skies.

This idea of just letting go of the concerns of the world is reinforced at the beginning of the second verse:

Go to sleep, the day’s done.
Heaven’s blessings you’ve won
By the innocence of your smile.

“Be assured,” Divine Mother is telling us, “That when you’ve lived your day simply giving love through your smile, then nothing more is needed to win Heaven’s blessings, for in the least smile you give to others, you’re serving as a channel of My love!” And isn’t this the kind of reassurance we need so often, that all we need to do to experience God’s love is to simply give that love expansively to others? So often we get wrapped up in “important” projects for this or that, including those for spiritual causes, that we can become lost in seriousness and joylessness, and forget to smile. Indeed, its that’s kind of joylessness, which makes our day to day activity painful in itself, that limits whatever good our actions might accomplish, which in turn leads again to cynicism!

Divine Mother then reminds us of this truth in another way:

May the whole of your life
Heal with calmness all strife,
And teach kindness, free from all guile.

Calmness, here, is a positive quality of the throat chakra, and the freedom from guile specifically addresses the kind of personal ambition and egoic, selfish motives that also get us stuck at the medulla. “Have no ambition,” She’s telling us, “other than giving peace and love and kindness to others. For in doing so, you’ll find that every other desire you might have is fulfilled.” That’s what produces the purity of heart, and thus the verse ends with a few words about pure love, bringing the energy up to the spiritual eye:

Men’s hearts enthrall by pure love for all,
For it’s love makes living worthwhile.

Following the second verse is a short instrumental and somewhat reflective interlude, giving us some time to ponder the truth that love is the only real meaning. We can get so wrapped up in “the meaning of life”—and cynical when we don’t discover answers that are pleasing to the ego–when the answer, as given here, is simply, “Love!”

We then hear the second verse again—not both verses, but only the second—which serves to reinforce this idea of real love even more deeply. It’s something like Divine Mother encouraging us, now that we understand the truth of love, to go live it for real. “But rest first in that love,” she says, “and let yourself be wholly absorbed by it. Then stay in that love as much as you can when you go about your duties tomorrow. And then, when the day’s done, don’t forget to rest in my arms again, to let everything go, so that day by day, through your service to others, through your expansive love, through your loving devotion, and through your meditation on me, you and I become one.”