The twelve songs in "Song Stories for Children", are the result of the relationship between a grandmother and her grandchildren. To encourage their creativity and help develop their imaginations, she turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration. Their enjoyment and eagerness to hear more, prompted the desire to write more. The songs are stylistically diverse and fanciful, gentle and compassionate, imaginative and fun.
Mary Keating began her acting career at the Cleveland Play House in Cleveland, Ohio. There she met her future husband, actor Charles Keating. Although she has performed sporadically over the years, her main focus was and continues to be, her family. She comes from a family of nine children, with a strong musical influence, beginning from the cradle. Her mother sang nursery songs to all of the babies, and that example carried on with her own children and then her grandchildren. Today's children are bombarded with fast images from the internet and television. These songs are reminiscent of a time when things were a little more gentle.
Although Mary wrote and sings the songs, she credits her son James for bringing them to life. James not only arranged and produced the CD, he plays the instruments, sings back-up and features prominently in "Silly Song". He engineered the recording and painted and designed the cover.
James is a classical guitarist, with a Licentiate degree from Trinity College, London. He has played his own compositions for the guitar at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York. He has written film scores for independent films, and composed music for an Off-
Broadway production of "Romeo and Juliet". He was a member of the band "Kilkaren"; lead guitar, vocals and composer.
Mary has also written songs for "Camp MakeBelieve", a program designed to help children understand their emotions.
Here's what a few people had to say:
"I wish I had this to play when my kids were small. These are witty whimsical songs with very clever lyrics. Ms. Keating writes with observed detail about animals, her imagination will delight any child. "Songstories" will be given out to all the small ones I come across from now on. " - Victoria Wyndham - Actor/Artist (Rachel, Another World)
"Thank you for "Song Stories". It is rare today to hear something for children which actually attempts to engage them as if they had intelligence and imagination." - Lew Fisher - Producer
"This CD is a delight from the Fish Song to Silly Song. Mary's voice is so sweet and clear and James' music - oh, the rhythms - it's a joy to hear." - Richard Halverson - Actor
"The CD is simply marvelous, your voice has sweetness and purity. I leave it on for the students along with Simon and Garfunkel and Judy Collins. Solace Loven - Artist/Teacher
"Alex and I have just played it through and reverted to second childhood! We are in awe of the cleverness of the lyrics, the beauty of your voice and the Renaissance talents of James." - Ian Stuart - Actor
"Who would've thought that a modern musical Aesop would emerge in a Grandmother from Connecticut. Mary Keating in her CD "Song Stories for Children" does for the listener what J. K. Rowling did for the young adventure reader. In this remarkably witty, sensitive and varied collection, Keating manages to get to the heart of the listener with an uncanny ability to put into music and words the experience of childhood through an assortment of animals. Each song is a story that fires the imaginations of young and old. For the teacher, the CD offers a myriad of fun learning activities, as toes will tap, playlets can be created and pictures painted from the vivid images and sounds of this extraordinary CD. A must-have for all children!" Marnie Winston-Macauley, syndicated columnist "Ask Sadie"
"Thank you so much for your delightful CD Song Stories for Children. We will be adding it to our collection ... You have a lovely voice and the Song Stories are fun to listen to." - Annie Reuter - Westport Public Library