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The Dragonfly Races

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 1, 2008
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"ELLIS PAUL'S"The Dragonfly Races" may look and feel like a children's record, but it sounds like a record for people who have children: It's a collection of songs whose bounciness and subject matter are kid-friendly but whose content is sophisticated enough for adults. Paul's songs seem like fairy tales set to music. "Abiola" is a girl who stands up against a king deceiving his people for his personal gain; "The Million Chameleon March" tells of a lizard-led protest on Washington with a gentleness that evokes Peter, Paul & Mary ("If we could just play like we're on the same team/This troubled world would be all right"). Paul's soft, sweet voice works beautifully with his subject matter. Its unassuming understatedness parallels the underdog dragonfly who wins "The Dragonfly Races," and the stunning harmonies on the a cappella "The Little Red Rose" underscore the song's message about improving the world with small actions. Accompanied by CD liner notes that look like a children's book with Paul's own charming illustrations accompanying his lyrics, it's tough to say who will enjoy "Races" more, children or adults. With Paul's discreetly metaphorical songs, there's enough for listeners of all ages to ponder and appreciate. -- Catherine P. Lewis --The Washington Post

Paul is one of folkdom's most incisive and intimate songwriters. Now a doting father, his first family album, "Dragonfly Races," bubbles with buoyant, hummable songs that appeal to kids and parents - and incite good conversations between them. As simple as the songs are, they don't duck tough issues; a fairy tale, for instance, becomes a timely political allegory about leaders who peddle fear for their own purposes. Paul sings movingly about what really worries new parents and turns lazy dragonflies, gentle monsters, and resilient roses into useful metaphors for world peace, the power of faith, and the delights of a sleepy day. It's nice to see a world-class songwriter focus on kids without lowering either his sights or his standards. -- Scott Alarik --The Boston Globe

"Ellis Paul has done the miraculous: he's taken his soaring, soul stirring voice and brilliantly nestled it into 12 inspiring, tender, warm-hearted family songs on his new cd "The Dragonfly Races". Paul's craft has conquered new territory -- lyrically playful and soulful, and sonically rich.These songs will appeal equally to a whole new generation of young fans, as well as his previous adult fans...It's that good!" --Billy Jonas --Billy Jonas Singer/Somgwriter

1. Wabi Sabi
2. Because It's There
3. Abiola
4. Road Trip
5. The Dragonfly Races
6. The Bed Song
7. The Little Red Rose
8. I Lost A Day To The Rain
9. I like To Swing
10. Million Chameleon March
11. Pinwheel
12. The Star Inside The Apple
13. Nine Months To Fix The World

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Black Wolf Records
  • ASIN: B000ZZLL0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tina J. Bembry on June 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard "9 Months to Fix This World" on Acoustic Cafe on the radio, and the song has haunted me. I finally found the album and debated whether to buy it, as it is intended for children. But I did buy it, and I love it. The songmanship (you know what I mean!) is gorgeous, the lyrics are fun and lively, and it brings a smile to my face whenever I listen to the CD. So what if it's meant for kids! I need more simple but eloquent pleasures in my life!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By carly on May 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
My father bought this CD for my 1 year-old daughter. We have been fans of Ellis Paul's music for years. When my father heard that Ellis had produced a children's CD, he sent it to us. This is hands down, the best children's CD I have heard. The music is gentle, fun and meaningful. We picked up the lyrics to the songs quickly, and sing along together now. As an adult I appreciate the meanings behind the songs, and love having a CD I can enjoy just as much as my daughter does.
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Format: Audio CD
Boston-based singer-songwriter Ellis Paul has over a dozen CDs to his credit, and many accolades from fellow musicians. It is, therefore, a sign of the ascendance of kids and family music that after all that time this artist with such a career released his first album for kids and families, The Dragonfly Races a few years.

Paul has written (or co-written) a number of strong folk and folk-rock tracks here, with themes that will be familiar to listeners of folk music -- peace, or speaking truth to power. Indeed, the leadoff track, "Wabi-Sabi," talks about some things, as they get older, having "wabi-sabi soul." That's a good thing for Paul, but more distinctively, when was the last time you heard a kids' music CD use the word "soul"? It's a sign that Paul is not about to dumb down his material just because the audience might skew a little younger. And in many places, that choice pays off in spades. The most rousing track on the CD, "Because It's There," is an inspirational song about doing dangerous things "Because it's there / Because we could / Because we should / Because we dare..." It's a fabulous folk-rock song. Songs that tackle slightly more kid-focused topics such as swinging on a swing (the mid-tempo "I Like to Swing"), or pinwheels (the lullaby titled "Pinwheel," natch) do so with fun wordplay and imaginative lyrics.

I should note that the album has a definite political undercurrent, and I'm not sure it always serves the album well. It wasn't the content itself -- if you're a fan of Dan Zanes and Pete Seeger (as I am), nothing here will offend you. But I was much more taken with the CD when Paul is telling stories or reeling out his views of life in smaller-scale ways.
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Format: Audio CD
I had the luck to bump into an Ellis Paul children's show on Halloween at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and bought this album based on that show. The songs have quickly grown on both our 21 month old daughter and us! Having long been a fan of Ellis and his music, I was still a bit hesitant to purchase the CD, fearing it wouldn't cross over into "toddler world" all that well. Was I mistaken. My daughter loves I Like to Swing, Road Trip, and Million Chameleon March, while in addition I enjoy Pinwheel, A Little Red Rose, and Nine Months to Fix this World, as well as Because it's There (and the whole CD frankly). A few of the songs are simply well crafted Ellis songs, and not necessarily "children's songs". It has led me to dig out my old Ellis CD's even and reacquaint myself with them. If your family is a fan of Raffi, Elizabeth Mitchell, Woody, Dylan, and Seeger, don't hesitate to get this album to enjoy with your little one. Lastly, as opposed to some artists who have put out children's albums, these songs are not rife with 'adult' insider jokes, or unnecessary zany madness (that toddlers won't understand anyway). They are simply beautiful pieces of music, well written, and sung wonderfully by a man with a truly gifted voice. Thanks, Ellis, It is fantastic!!
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Format: Audio CD
The Dragonfly Races is a family-friendly music CD, with a colorful and whimsically illustrated "picturebooklet" of the lyrics packed in. The tracks range from songs with fantasy overtones, to light social commentary and multicultural themes, to the classic "You Are My Sunshine". Created by folk singer and troubadour Ellis Paul, The Dragonfly Races is rise-and-shine, toe-tapping fun for listeners age five to five hundred, and highly recommended. The tracks are Wabi-Sabi, Because It's There, Abiola, Road Trip, The Dragonfly Races, The Bed Song, The Little Red Rose, I Lost a Day to the Rain, I Like to Swing, Million Chameleon March, Pinwheel, The Star Inside the Apple, 9 Months to Fix the World, and You are my Sunshine.
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By Karen on June 17, 2015
Format: MP3 Music
I picked this up randomly at a book and CD swap. I had never heard of Ellis Paul, but the cover looked like a kids' CD, so I took it. It is now mine and my son's favorite CD. We've been listening to it almost non-stop in the car for six months, and I really don't consider most of the songs childlike at all. Kids love them, but they are just good, clean folk music. I have since bought five of Paul's other CD's, and my husband and I love each and every one of them. On most albums, we like every song. His music is so relatable and thoughtful. Wordy music, is what I call it, and with great messages for all.
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