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The Seal Lullaby

In the spring of 2004 I was lucky enough to have my show Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings presented at the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop. The workshop is the brainchild of legendary composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godsepll), and his insights about the creative process were profoundly helpful. He became a great mentor and friend to the show and, I am honored to say, to me personally.

Soon after the workshop I received a call from a major film studio. Stephen had recommended me to them and they wanted to know if I might be interested in writing music for an animated feature. I was incredibly excited, said yes, and took the meeting.

The creative executives with whom I met explained that the studio heads had always wanted to make an epic adventure, a classic animated film based on Kipling’s The White Seal. I have always loved animation (the early Disney films; Looney Tunes; everything Pixar makes) and I couldn’t believe that I might get a chance to work in that grand tradition on such great material.

The White Seal is a beautiful story, classic Kipling, dark and rich and not at all condescending to kids. Best of all, Kipling begins his tale with the mother seal singing softly to her young pup. (The opening poem is called The Seal Lullaby).

I was struck so deeply by those first beautiful words, and a simple, sweet Disney-esque song just came gushing out of me. I wrote it down as quickly as I could, had my wife record it while I accompanies her at the piano, and then dropped it off at the film studio.

I didn’t hear anything from them for weeks and weeks, and I began to despair. Did they hate it? Was it too melodically complex? Did they even listen to it? Finally, I called them, begging to know the reason that they had rejected my tender little song. “Oh,” said the exec, “we decided to make Kung Fu Panda instead.”

So I didn’t do anything with it, just sang it to my baby son every night to get him to go to sleep. (Success rate: less than 50%.) And a few years later the Towne Singers graciously commissioned this arrangement of it. I’m grateful to them for giving it a new life. And I’m especially grateful to Stephen Schwartz, to whom the piece is dedicated. His friendship and invaluable tutelage has meant more to me than I could ever tell him.

The Seal Lullaby

Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!

Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936

 

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  • http://www.youtube.com/xoclkox Courtney Lea K

    …Oh…My…God. LOVE! <3

    I wanna sing this so bad now!

    • Mary V W

      we are singing this song in choir!!!!! I'm soooooo excited!!!!! :)

  • Megan Aurore

    Last year with my high school's chorale we performed this piece. It was by far my favorite that we ever did, the exception Webber's Pie Jesu. Thank you so much for writing this and all of your music!

  • Katie Grace

    I love this song!!!! We are singing it in my Middle School choir and we all love it. I like the SATB arrangement better but we sing the SSA and it's still beautiful.

  • Rick Thornton

    Just finished hearing this piece for the first time, at my son's high school annual Cabaret. I had a headache and didn't really want to be there, but they played this piece… And I am still at a loss to describe the immaculate beauty and peace that this conveys. For one brief moment, my headache was forgotten and I was transported on a gentle breeze over a placid sea. Thank you so very much….

  • Amy Pond

    Our choir is singing this at the moment, we all love it! I can't believe they rejected your proposal in favour of Kung Fu Panda! It's completely ridiculous. Thanks so much for this beautiful piece of music, it is amazing. You have a lot of talent.

  • Ian Nool

    A men's arrangement for Seal Lullaby?! This excites me so. May I ask when it might be available?

  • Helen Tibbet

    This was sung at the Nevada All-State Concert by the High School Honor Choir. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I’m glad to hear there is a version for middle school also. Thank you.

  • justin morhardt

    This is a very beautiful song. I am a 16 year old baritone and we are currently singing this song for our concert choir class. My only question, for the SATB version of the piece, would have to be why end the song with simplicity. Granted, the song was written for disney, but throughout this work of art, you capture the minds of the listener by saturating the music with chords filled with melodic movements and ever so apparent timing and change during each of the different parts; so why end with just two notes? Why not end with a six chorded melodic ring? Is the message of calmness and ease supposed to be comprehended by the listener through this, is this what that is meant to achieve? Either way the piece is beautifully mastered and I commend you greatly. Thank You.

    • Sam Crust

      I would have to say that it's probably simple because of the idea of a lullaby. Do you want a lullaby to be loud and busy or soothing and serene. Now, I am not Eric Whitacre, but that is my take on it. By the way, I would like to commend you on your well thought out question/comments. As a 16 year old, I don't believe I had that much insight into the music I was singing.

      • justin morhardt

        Thanks. Btw I am 17 now and am planning to major in music next year during college. But As a 17 year old, I had forgotten about this song, i just recently found it again and would’t you know it, i stumbled upon this comment that I made a year ago, haha. It seems so long ago, but I still absolutely love this song.

  • Gregory Bennett

    Many thanks to Mr. Whitacre for putting his pen to paper and sharing this very special piece with all of us. My students at Middletown High School and I were very honored to have the opportunity to perform the "The Seal Lullaby" for you, and then have you conduct them in concert, along with their peers around the Hudson Valley on Thursday night. I will do my very best to carry your message of subtle simplicity within this song as we continue to perform it, and take it with us to our competition in Virginia Beach this week. Thank you for all that you shared with us. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to do it again some time in the future!

  • Myrte Vos

    The very idea of an animated DreamWorks picture scored by Eric Whitacre is absolutely mindblowing. I loved their latest work (How To Train Your Dragon) – imagine if the genius behind that movie met the genius of Whitacre…it'd be like Chuck Norris teaming up with Mr T to engage in epic battle with God himself. Someone get on this, immediately!

    As a side note, we've sung She Weeps in my SSA choir and loved it so much that we started on Seal Lullaby right after that. This is music that gets straight to the point – the heart.

  • Lauren Donoghue

    this is so fantastic and beautiful. every time i listen to this piece, i'm at a loss of words. the tone painting is simple, yet it interprets the emotion of the piece with ease. thank you eric whitacre for creating such a beautiful moment for choirs all over the world.

  • Kelvin

    A very gentle sweet song, it really never fails to keep me feel warm every nite. I love to sing this song. and hope to sing it again with all those who love this song.

  • Juliana Gudino

    At my school we are singing this song, (the treble clef) We absolutly love this song. We are performing it tonight at our last school Chrous concert of the year. We are super excited, great work on this peice.

  • Maz Barozmo

    Just returned from hearing The Seal Lullaby performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco by the Mirman School Concert Singers, a middle school-age treble choir from Los Angeles, as part of an MCP (Manhattan Concert Productions) showcase event. They did a fantastic job and I just had to write and say, one that I love this piece of music and two, the Mirman School choir blew me away. Hard to believe 10 to 14 year olds can sound like this! An amazing evening.

  • Amanda Forest

    Dude.

    Seriously?!

    You make this peice of epicness for them, and instead Kung Fu Panda was made? D'aaaww, what a world!!

    Mr. Whitacre, although I'm not in a choir of any sort, I've fallen in love with most of your choral works, and this one is definitely of no exception. Each and every note gives a crystal clear image of the gently rocking waters of the sea! It would've made the movie an instant success!

    Thanks for touching the hearts of people all over the world! I hope I get the opportunity to encounter more of your band peices in my life! :D

  • Spencer Oh

    Dear Mr. Whitacre,

    I was in attendance of the world premier of The Seal Lullaby arranged for Wind Symphony performed by Foothill High School Wind Symphony, directed by Travis Pardee. Although I attend one of their rival schools, may I vouch for how amazing it was to hear. They performed it beautifully and you could feel the music in their hearts. It was a precious moment for me, and as a musician, I wish I could have jumped on stage and join with them in such beautiful music. They really did the piece justice, and may I say thanks for your talents and abilities in writing such amazing music that blesses our community. Thanks again!

  • Jean Martin

    Why isn't this on Itunes? I sooooo want it on my Ipod! Thank you , thank you, thank you Eric for such beauty!

  • Gizette Calixte

    I heard this piece and recommended it to my choir director for our women's choir and we actually ended up doing it. (The SSA version, of course.) We didn't have long to learn it but we picked it up pretty quickly. I was pleasantly surprised. I was shocked, actually. It was my favorite piece that we've ever done, let alone that year. Considering the short time frame and the fact that we're a bunch of kids in high school, I think we did a good job. Beautiful piece. I'm glad I can actually sing along with it.

  • Marc

    Well, at least Kung-Fu Panda was a good movie…

  • Jessica Hamilton

    eric, you really do know how to make everything undesired float away and leave the real person that we are to enjoy what we love. when i will have children, i'll want them to live with the support of music, and i'm happy that people like you exist and make music that doesn't damage anything good in younger people, especially. everytime i listen to your compositions, i'm shocked, even if i've heard the song twenty times. i can't imagine anything more pure and full of love. if i live to hear just one more song on earth, then i'll will it to be as sweet and wonderful as seal lullaby. thank you, and may God bless you.

  • Heather

    My favorite piece :) We sang this in my high school choir last year… most amazing piece, and its one you can connect with on an emotional level. it's truly amazing how music can change your life and who you are.

  • http://lucascolgrove.webs.com Lucas Colgrove

    We are singing this song in my choir this fall! It is a great piece, and it is one of my favorites that I have ever sung. It is very unique compared to some of the past songs that I have sung, in a good way, because it takes EVERYONE to the setting.

    And Mr. Whitacre, Thank you for composing this piece!

  • Anna

    My high school's concert choir sang this in San Diego last year at the Heritage Festival. We proudly came home with a first place and everyone absolutely LOVED the song!!!!

  • Charity

    I love this song my choir is singing this in our chorus season and i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's so beautiful.

  • Jann

    KCRW has been playing this song, it's beautiful. Thank you!

  • oliver

    This is the most beautiful song i have heared ever, i love it, you are the true meaning of the word genius.

  • Micah Glover

    When is the Wind Band arrangement going to be published? My HS band would love to do it, but we can't find it through Hal Leonard yet… The SATB recording on your new CD is amazing. It is such a tender and heartfelt expression of parenthood! If it is possible, I would love to the publishing date for the new arrangement.

  • Celia

    This piece is so breathtaking. I was so fortunate to help commission the wind symphony version of this song with my school's wind ensemble. I am a trombone any only played dotted half notes and the occasional quarter, but honestly…I didn't care. It's so in depth and is music that you can feel. Bravo and thank you for your outstanding gift in composing and bringing notes and rhythms to life!

  • Emma

    I get weepy when I hear this one. I'm confident that Kipling would have approved.

  • http://www.katherinekellert.com Katie Kellert

    Heard this tonight (and all this week) in a concert on which I performed with The Congressional Chorus in DC. As always, I'm stunned and moved at the beauty of your writing, and incredibly thankful that a living composer is creating incredible works like this now in my lifetime. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredible work.

  • Jody Franchi Ewing

    OMG, this is the most lovely composition I have heard in years!! And I was fortunate enough to hear it done by our own Gillette Wyoming high school Concert Band, performing along with Alpin Hong, classical pianist. It is a true honor that we have this amazing composer living amongst us. Please, please please Dreamworks….you must do the the White Seal. For the love of Rudyard Kipling fans all over the world! A true masterpiece in this song, by a true artist.

  • http://www.mail.com Jack

    I had the honor to sing this at the North Carolina Middle School Honors Chorus 2010. I absolutly loved learning this peice and singing it. The music itself is just to say the least, ingenious. How he makes waves with the music and creates this little seal in the arms of his mother and then weaves it into a disney-themed creation is absolutly stunning. I don't believe there was a dry eye in the audience when we sang it.

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  • Toree Ennis

    I LOVE this song! The Womens Ensemble at Pleasant Valley High School just got done singing it at our Christmas concert! I was very happy to be a part of that because your music is very well written and beautiful. Thank you for writing such a wonderful piece and i hope we will get to sing some of your beautiful music again! :)

    • Michael J. Welten

      Oh man! I go to East Stroudsburg North! I wish I was there to hear it!!

  • Jenna

    Saw Kung Fu Panda. Hated it. Heard this song. Read the story behind it. Big fan of The White Seal. Whoo, yeah, Disney, way to go, getting rid of a good idea and putting a lame movie in its place! Haha… ha.. what the hell were they thinking?!

    Baka, baka, baka! All of them, baka!

    Yeah, it probably doesn't help that I was in a bad car accident on the way home from the movie theater.

  • Michael

    I am not a choir member or a singer. I do love music. When I first heard this song I was literally reduced to tears. We lost our son in 2005 to cancer, he was 27, and if I had known this song in 2005 I would have had it played at his funeral. He was a singer and he would have loved this song. It says everything that I would have said to him had I the skill. Thank you Rudyard and Thank you Eric.

  • Anna Jagged

    Sang this song with my choir.Absolutely beautiful. Bravo.

  • Tori

    Beautiful piece. I fell in love with your work when my choir sang Animal Crackers a few years ago. This year we sang Seal Lullaby.

    I am currently going to school to be a teacher, and one of my assignments was to create a children's book. I love your arrangement so much, that I illustrated Kipling's words and recorded myself singing your song for an accompanying audio cd to the book. Thank you for such wonderful music.

  • Brian

    Any idea when this will be released for Concert Band / Wind Ensemble? I'm itching to play it with my group ASAP!

  • robert livingston

    still looking for the wind band setting. please.

  • Teresa

    I must have to say that this gorgeous song was the beginning of an epic journey to being absolutely blown away by your music, as well as helping me accomplish more than I could imagine in such a short amount of time, Mr. Whitacre. When I was younger in high school and in "less advanced" choirs, I would hear the chamber choir sing this music (specifically "This Marriage and Lux Aurumque") and I loved it, but I suppose that I never truly realized exactly HOW much I loved your music until later on. Last year, my junior year in high school, the concert choir had the fortune of singing the SATB version of "Seal Lullaby," the first song I was able to sing by you, by mere luck! Soon after, I found out that the Illinois IMEA district I'm from was doing the SSA version as their women's piece for this year, my senior year, and in a stroke of motivation, I decided to learn the other songs and audition. Little did I think I would achieve any results, I got into IMEA District IX's choir, and I was singing the SSA version of "Seal Lullaby!" Probably my favorite moment of that was when Brad Holmes, the guest conductor and also an excellent composer, said that the district choir that I was a part of was one of his favorite choirs to work with, in nearly 10 years of guest conducting! A few weeks after that AMAZING experience, I found out, much to my disbelief, that I got into the Illinois IMEA All-State Honors choir! Unfortunately, none of the songs we are singing are "Seal Lullaby," but I'd have to say, that this is COMPLETELY thanks to you for writing your moving music to move me enough to want to perform your works again, even if it meant a rigorous audition! I will eternally be a fan of yours!

    • http://candliana.livejournal.com Hadeel Hejja

      IMEA ALLSTATE HONORS? ME TOO! What a small world! But seriously, I loved singing this at the District festival. I want to listen to this song forever.

  • Dan

    When I first heard this song, I was transported to the moments when I would sing my daughter to sleep. What a great song! I also was reminded of a conversation I had with my Dad when I was little. My great-Grandfather was Canadian, and a hunter of those sweet seal pups. He did not hunt for pleasure, but for survival. I couldn't imagine how anyone could look at that sweet face, and I was told that my Dad that my great-Grandfather struggled with this harsh reality. Anyway, this song reconciles the fact that we need to treasure those moments we have with our children, because each moment could be your last. Thanks again Eric, for capturing moments with your music. Your music continues to take me to places I didn't know I had.

  • http://mariapetrova.com/bodytalk Maria Petrova

    If Eric Whitacre were singing to me, I wouldn't sleep either.

  • John

    Some pieces should never be made into wind band settings… and vice versa… this is one of them. I enjoyed it at Midwest, but still prefer the vocal timbre and text of the piece.

  • Brad

    Just gives me another reason not to like Kung Fu Panda…

  • Michael J. Welten

    Just heard this song yesterday on the light and Gold CD i got and it became my new favorite song by Mr.Whitacre. I even mapped out a story line to it in my head. I wish I had the kind of technology to produce it. =/

  • John

    … And that's why Dreamworks is going to lag behind Disney until the very end. Pop culture references and slapstick are all very good and well, but the chance they had to do something with this sort of depth they gave up in favor of… yet more pop culture references and slapstick comedy. I'm just so glad this song made it to the point it's at now!

    I wonder if one day we might look forward a solo voice version of this?

  • Dominique;p

    '…My very good teacher and friend- Mr. Freddy Martin- gave us this piece at the Georgia All-State clinic…And he told us the 'story', the one about how 'they decided to do KungFu Panda instead'…by the time we ended the 'Seal Lullaby' interpretation for band I very much think my heart broke, not primarily because of the evoking power of the piece, but also because such a jewel was rejected off the big screens– I feel very absolutely blessed to of been able to of performed this piece in a band =) Thank you Eric!!!

  • Joseph Spence

    Amazing! Love it! Simply a work of art. I would like to hear the TTBB version of this. I can't seem to find it anywhere, and I know that if it has the Whitacre stamp of awesomeness it can't be bad.

  • Hannah

    My high school choir is singing this for our spring concert on may 5 and 6 at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN. I'm a soprano 2 for this piece and we worked very hard on it ….Our choir instructor is thrilled to present this piece to our audience Thank You Eric

  • Natasha Chang

    I had the pleasure of singing The Seal Lullaby for the first time at the very first APAC festivals my school participated in. I just want to thank you for inspiring me with your music. To create a piece like this reminds us of the beauty that is what music is, none of that pop music but true beauty in the form of what you have just written.

    Your music inspires me and every time i heard it, it gives me goosebumps! So thank you for presenting the world with true beauty.

  • Jeffrey Ballance

    This is my third favorite of your pieces, behind October and the Wind arrangment of Lux Aurumque. I do love the vocal version – I am victim to frequent muscle spasms in my back, (despite being 17), most of which are pretty dramatic events… When I do have them, it does help to listen to something pacifying, and this is usually the best choice. It's gotten me out of a couple of rough spells.

    However, I do generally like wind pieces better, especially yours, but I haven't been able to find a recording of this piece. It would be great if one was added to the site or something. Thank you for the gift of your music!

  • Jo Hammond

    I gave up singing a few years ago to become an author. Earlier this week I had my arm twisted to participate in a local choral concert in this seaside town of Gibsons, BC, Canada. Your seal lullaby is one of the songs we will be performing. It is a strange coincidence that my recently published book, (Edge of the Sound) that tells of my working life on the sea has a chapter where I sing to the local seals during a slack moment. It tells how they react differently to different songs. I'm sure they would go for this one!

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  • John Garrett

    Last school year, I made it into my high school's Wind Symphony, and as a freshman, I thought it was the greatest thing to happen to me. For festival, we played October, and I fell in love. I instantly transitioned from heavy metal music to this soothing wind ensemble music written by Eric Whitacre. A few months ago, I listened to this song, and it found its way into my heart, along with the rest of your choral pieces. I am now a bass in my church's choir. Thank you Mr. Whitacre for opening up a whole new realm of music to me.

  • Hannah Jones

    Had the opportunity to sing this on my college choirs spring tour and I'm still not tired of it. It is pure beauty.

  • Justin Smallwood

    This song brings a tear to my eye. I hope he does this song for the next virtual choir….Speaking of which when is the next one starting.

  • MusicGirl4

    This song is soo beautiful..my high school choir is singing this now! for the seniors and it is so beautiful..the seal lullaby is my favorite choir song we have ever performed!!! it always makes me cry too lol… Beautiful work Eric!!! your AMAAZZING!!!

  • MusicGirl4

    I keep singing this song over and over in my head.

  • Kady

    Absolutely lovely. I've been listening to it non-stop for the past few days, and I would just like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to create such a moving piece of music. It tugs at heartstrings that I didn't even know could be tugged at, and really shows the beauty of what not only a choir can do, but what music can do. As well, many thanks for making this into an SSA piece- now it means that my choir and I can perform this, even with an absence of male singers. Your talents are numerous and stunning, and it makes me so happy to see such wonderful music. Do keep up the incredible work.

  • Michelle Flores

    i'm doing this piece for All-state. i'm so excited to be singing it however i won't be here for the summer. If you would please post the Soprano 1 part in SSA that'd be sweet and i'd be able to learn it. Please and thanks!!

    • Ethan S.

      Texas All-State?

  • Dominique;p

    hermm….. ? =_= ? maybe its just me i think im a bigger fan of the wind symphony transcription….thats just my own opinion, possibly because i’ve performed it in that form so yeah…

  • Violet Ng

    doing this song for choir… heard it for the first time at choir rehearsal today and immediately fell in love with it… haven’t hear something so nice, beautiful and peaceful for some time…. :)

  • Emma

    This is divine. There is no other word for it.

    I fell in love with your work when I heard the wind band version of “Sleep” – and then fell in love with the work even more when I heard the choral version. I never thought that any other piece by you could ever rival Sleep…but this is simply beautiful.

    I conduct my choir (SSA) for an Arts Award. I was planning on doing another song, but I think I’ve found something even more beautiful.

    Keep it up, Eric. Your music is so beautiful and inspirational. And please write more SSA music! :)

  • denise mcauley

    Simply beautiful! THankyou for sharing it! I was coming home from work this afternoon having just returned from my Maternity leave and heard this on Classic FM! It moved me to tears! THankyou!!

  • Erika Potts

    We sang this in my high school varsity choir two years ago and it still makes a frequent appearance during my shower solos! Truly one of my favorite pieces ever :)

  • Dakota Price

    We just got this piece for Wind Symphony yesterday. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a shame that Kung Fu Panda was chosen over this; an animated film with the score composed by you would make my life. The little bits you did for Pirates 4 was enough to make me squeal like a fangirl. Beautiful. All of your music is beautiful.

  • Justice Cormier

    we’re singing this piece for all region and i just want to say its a beautiful song and i think every scool that had a chance to work with this song liked it

  • Rebecca Pitocco

    Cant wait to preform this song among others this week in Southern Pines, NC. This piece is most definitely my favorite!

  • Sarah

    This song has a very deep and special meaning to me. My choir director had this song all picked out for a festival and everything, when we(all of us in his Show Choir) got the news that a member of our choir, who is also a dear friend of mine, had just lost his father to a heart attack. It was a big shock for all of us, and we all gave him and his family our love.

    When my director announced that we were dedicating this song to him and his family, we all cried. We learned the whole thing in less than two rehearsals and knew it was going to be special. At the festival, we sang this song in a beautiful auditorium and when the words began there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

    Mr. Whitacre, I’d like to thank you. Your music means so much to me. It isn’t just a song – it’s a life: it lives and breathes and moves and takes my breath away. Thank you. You truly are an inspiration.

  • Bryan Pless

    I sang this at Western Michigan University…was one of the most emotional performances I have been a part of.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/lemusivan Ivan Lemus

    Hi, I belong to a choir in Guatemala called “Capella Cantorum”, and we love singing this beautiful song. We have recorded it and upload it to my YouTube channel “lemusivan”, I hope you guys can take a look at it and let us know if you like our interpretation of it. Greetings to all from our beautiful Guatemala.

  • Shea Wilson

    Hey Mr. Whitacre,

    I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but I wanted you to know something. I wanted you to know that your music is always present in my heart. It always echoes in my mind, always presenting an encore. Heartwarming is your music… moreso than any other heart reflects. Your heart has the ability to touch and soften mine. Your music is a beacon of pury beauty, and I can’t begin to comprehend it. I love how there’s always this intimacy in your music gained through the consonance that’s ever so present. I don’t know why you always write with consonance, and I don’t know why I’m so attatched to your music… but I am so very glad I am.

    I cannot begin to comprehend your heart, but someday… I hope I can. You have a myserious and vast heart; a heart that shows nothing but love, happiness, sorrow, and joy… Your music will always be in my heart.

    Shea Wilson

  • Barend

    Ahhh I love this song. I sang it with my choir and we were enchanted by the lyrics and music. Your awesome

  • Ed

    Such beauty. I would die if this movie were ever actually made.

  • Amanda

    This piece of music is incredibly beautiful. I am in a wind ensemble and I play Flute 2 on this piece. every time I go to band class I always beg to play this song because it is full of such beauty and delicacy. I also performed your song Water Night in a Region Choir this year and fell in love with that too. Mr. Whitacre, you are so fantastic and I hope to continue studying your repertoire.

  • India

    I LOVE this piece. I had the chance to learn it for TMEA Region Auditions this year, but we didn’t perform it. :-( I REALLY EXTREMELY VERY MUCH think that next year’s Virtual Choir should be this piece. It’s so beautiful, original, and just fantastic over all.

  • http://www.facebook.com Meredith B.

    My High School Select Choir is singing this for our Spring concert. We are all so excited be cause it is such a beautiful song and we are all huge fans of Mr. Whitacre. Thanks for writing such lovely music. My High School Band is also playing October. It is going to be amazing.

  • Angel

    That was soo wonderful!!! I’m singing this song is chorus right now and I was looking at the notes and they were dead on.

  • Tommy

    Hello Mr. Whitacre!
    I got told by my teacher that 20 students from my school was invited to sing with the Vancouver Chamber Choir next year under you direction. We were told that we would be singing Seal Lullaby, Cloudburst, and Sleep. Because of the teacher strike situations, there is to be no extra curricular activities happening with the schools, meaning that I might not be able to sing under your direction! I was absoloutely torn when I heard that! I hope that it all gets resolved and that I get to sing under the direction of a living genius!
    Thank you for writting such beautiful music Mr. Whitacre,
    Tommy

  • Pam

    I used this piece in my wedding for when the grandparents and parents were walking down the aisle! The lyrics seemed very fitting, I chose the instrumental version though.

  • CDL

    Heard this for the first time recently…there’s such a purity and transparency to this piece, yet a striking depth and gravitas.

    I do hope you’ll keep writing lullabies–and film music. Any chance this film will ever be made?

  • http://windsong5.com Edmond De Mattia

    Dear Eric….I would like to see an arrangement of The Seal Lullaby scored for—oboe–Clarinet–Bassoon–Piano and soprano. I served as oboist with the US Navy Band in Washington, DC–1948-1968–I am perhaps the oldest living still performing oboist at 83 years old in the US. We perform mostly free in private homes and fund raising concert in the Florida Sarasota area. I heard your interview and felt this would be wonderful music for small ensemble. If you ever make an arrangement for the above instrumentation, I would be interested. THANKS FOR THE JOY OF YOUR TALENT………Ed

  • Amelia

    Our band recently decided to read through a bunch of Whitacre’s pieces and I instantly fell in love with this piece. We read through, and worked on, October, The Seal Lullaby, Cloudburst, and a couple others. We thought we were going to play The Seal Lullaby for our spring concert, but just days before decided to switch and play Cloudburst. I convinced my director to let me keep my copy of The Seal Lullaby, and ended up playing it for my piano recital. It truly is an incredibly moving piece, and will always be my favorite.

  • Jean-Yves

    So nice, this song!! If only the next Virtual Choir could be this song….
    Eric, you’re so a great composer!

  • Timothy Shorey

    I would really like to hear the solo version that you sent into Disney.

  • Jade

    We’re singing this for my women’s ensamble in school. This song is so beautiful.

  • Nicholas Nevin

    I love this piece of slowness and love. It makes me picture a glowing and colorful wave skimming along the beach. It makes me think of seals sleeping on a shining rock. It feels as if the rock and the seal had a connection of a sooth surface upon their body. It made me smile in the most fantastic way. I thank you Eric Whitacre. You made my heart feel loved agian.

  • Adam R

    This was the first song of Eric Whitacre’s that I ever sang, in my High School choir. Since then, I’ve sung Lux and Sleep, and hope to be able to sing Cloudburst this year. Eric’s music is amazing, such a joy to sing.

  • Ben DaCosta

    Eric –

    Is there any way the original recording of your wife singing solo could be made available? Her voice is so sweet, I would love to hear it on this exquisite piece.

  • Pierre B

    So excited to sing this in our beneficial concert. :)

  • Jamai

    I was so sad when our music teacher didn’t let us sing this in 8th grade when she said we would. :( And then this year one of our choirs is singing it, but it’s not mine. I just have to stick with the one i bought on itunes, but i really want to learn parts for it. I think this should be a virtual choir piece sometime! I would be so excited and happily join!

  • courtney

    I hope he chooses this song for vc:5

  • Carson

    It would be cool if they did make the white seal.

  • Alien_Piglet

    The Seal Lullaby really reminds me of James Horner’s and Danny Elfman’s music. It’s got the same eerie, watery feeling to it as in my favourite soundtracks from Casper and Edward Scissorhands. :)

  • Christian Topp

    We played the wonderful windband Version Last Sunday for a Girl, that died on cancer. very emotional Moment for Audience and Orchestra.

  • sobrone

    If you are a parent or even more fortunate to be a grandparent, too, and you are not brought to tears by listening to The Seal Lullaby and Goodnight Moon. They fill my heart with memories and the knowledge that my life,too, goes better when I have the innocence of the young in those two songs. This poem and song in particular is also about protecting and cherishing our children. Totally emotional and cathartic.

  • sobrone

    Again, I have to edit my own copy. If you are not brought to tears, then you are perhaps from another star system. All of Eric’s songs are favorites and this one and Alleluia I start each day with.

  • Tim

    An absolutely beautiful song. I can never like Kung Fu Panda again.

  • Gerli

    It’s a really sweet song and I’m glad there’s a SSA version of it. Why don’t you have more songs for women’s choirs? It would be great to have some of your pieces for 4- or 8-voice women’s choirs.

  • Gone From SATB-BFSU

    We’ve adapted this masterpiece into choiring,as it did deeply touch our hearts and spirits.And I’m so grateful to have the luck to hear such fantastic melody.

  • Kristen

    I’ve been looking to purchase a string edition of this piece, but I cannot locate it! Does it exist? Can anyone help!?

    • Megan Davies

      Hi Kristen.
      It’s funny that you mention that as it’s something that Eric has been talking about recently – it doesn’t exist at the moment but it’s definitely an idea he likes the sound of. Watch this space…

      • Kristen

        Thanks, Megan! *fingers crossed for sooner than later*

  • cjrick02

    there is a band arrangement for this piece. I got to play it freshmen year, and it was just beautiful.

  • Judy J

    My choir is singing this song as part of our St. Patrick’s day concert at Macomb Community College.
    Beautiful!

  • pamb

    My daughter sang this at the Utah State Honor choir last weekend. Hundreds of beautiful voices perfectly in tune. So beautiful. Thank you for the inspired piece.

  • Fabrício Bragança

    Tão calmo, tão gentil.
    Uma canção, um sonho, ou ambos. Indivisíveis.
    Acalentando, afagando, fazendo nossa alma cantar, sonhar, cantar e sonhar. Ambos possíveis.

About Eric

Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five star reviews and became the no. 1 classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release... view full bio