The four Nursery Rhyme Collection double albums (Volumes 1 - 8) are aimed at parents who appreciate the beauty of 'real music'. This unique collection of traditional and contemporaray English children's music was recorded and produced by real musicians, performed on real instruments. It took 5 years to complete, many thousands of hours were spent to create the most stunning experience for both children and adults. On this website we provide some extra information, audio and video samples of the musicians involved, all lyrics to all songs and some additional fun things to do.
In 2008 we started producing the first of 'The Nursery Rhyme Collection' recordings. It took a full year to record from start to finish and after its release in 2009 The Nursery Rhyme Collection quickly became one of the best-selling Children's CDs on Amazon. Inspired by this huge success we recorded 'The Nursery Rhyme Collection II' which was released in 2011. The response of parents and music fans all over the world to both of these children’s music products was absolutely overwhelming and motivated us to further expand The Nursery Rhyme Collection product series. We therefore recorded a further two collections including another collection of standard traditional Nursery Rhymes (The Nursery Rhyme Collection III) and notably a double CD of classic Lullabies and Children’s Chill Out Songs to help children relax, calm down and fall asleep (The Nursery Rhyme Collection IV). Following a grueling 3 years of recording, we are now proud to release both The Nursery Rhyme Collections III and IV simultaneously (May 2014). You can pre-listen to each and every song from all collections on Amazon, iTunes and you can also stream them via Spotify and many other well-known digital outlets. Get your copies now and please spread the word!
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Find the writeups of some of the core musicians involved in the nursery rhymes recordings about their initial feelings towards the project. All writeups were written after the release of the first Nursery Rhyme Collection back in 2009.
You can hear all those musicians' actual studio performances on this interactive Musicans' website (PC requiered, won't run on mobile devices )
NOVEMBER 3, 2009
Invite to the musicians involved
I’d like to invite all of the musicians involved in The Nursery Rhyme Collection album to write a comment here about their experiences recording at Comfy Towers Recording Studios on this project (and others).
Let the readers know which and what songs you performed on, what instrument you played, how the session came about, how it went, how you feel about the results and other peoples’ parts on the album, your favorite track, etc…well anything you like to write really!
NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Thanks for the invitation! I always enjoyed our common recordings at your studio. I remember the recording sessions for the (Silver) Beatles Tribute CD back in 2006 which happened to become one of the best selling Beatles CDs on iTunes later on. Crazy world! And I just realise that it was one year ago to the day when we started the Nursery Rhymes Project. After the sessions we wondered if we should go for a release before Christmas 2008.
But instead of a quick shot this became the most ambitious Nursery Rhymes CD ever. 33 musicians, 6 months of recording sessions at Comfy Towers, 10 weeks of mixing and 3 weeks of mastering. So I am looking forward to launching our next project…
NOVEMBER 5, 2009
When I first got the call my initial thought was that you’d (editor's note: Ian, the producer) finally lost it….right up until the point when I arrived at Comfy Towers I thought that it might be some kind of wind up, but how wrong I was and how I had under estimated just how involved and enthused I would become in the project.
My kids are all grown up now and the nursery rhyme thing had sort of passed me by, so after the initial count in to 'Hickory Dickory Dock' I felt this real enjoyable buzz and I was just amazed that I knew each and every one of the tunes that were called. When I got home after the session I got straight on line to try and see just what children’s music was all about, and of course Ian you were right. Track after track was just so dissapointing and so lifeless that I realised what you were trying to do and how great this project was going to be.
Now that the album has been released it has been greatly recieved by many of my contemporarys within the music industry and many of my friends with children of not only nursary age but young teenagers as well. I even heard my son playing along with the album the other afternoon and he’s fifteen!
I have in my 30 years of making music played on literally thousands of recordings in countless studio envioronments but I can quite honestly say that this has been one of the most enjoyable projects that I have had the privilege to take part in.
NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Thanks for letting me be a part in this fantastic project. When you originally called me and told me what you were planning, I was a little sceptical to say the least! But you and Mike had “the vision” and knew exactly what you were doing.
I remember vividly the session I was involved with. A rainy Sunday, just Mike, yourself and me in the studio – you with a terrible cold and laying down the backing tracks to the 17 songs I played on. The time just flew by and a few hours later my small part in this project was done. I must say that the end results are just fantastic. My personal favourites are the two tracks by My Mate Kate – modern takes on old nursery rhymes – outstanding. Congratulations on “a job well done”. Let’s look forward to the follow up!
NOVEMBER 5, 2009
What a great project to be involved with! So much fun (if a little surreal at times…
I’m not often expected to make animal noises at work!), and a first class album at the end of it all.
Thanks for inviting us to be part of the Nursery Rhymes Collection!
Rebecca (and Jay) Leivers
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
One long day and night in Ian’s studio laying down keyboard parts for all those songs! My contribution fell into distinct categories-orchestrations (see the 'Skye Boat Song'), silly noises ('Jack and Jill'), adding to the style of the music (honky-tonk piano on 'She’ll be Coming') and general tone colouring ('London Bridge Is Falling Down').
My two children Tristan and Rosetta both aged two love the whole CD especially 'The Big Ship Sails' where they love to shout HEY in the right places!
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Picture the scene …… a miserable, freezing, February afternoon, the unforgiving north easterly wind easily penetrating the inadequately thin jacket that purported to be a complete winter wardrobe. A couple of pigeons hopped nonchalantly past the 83 pence and 10 pesetas nestling in the open guitar case, whilst a small group of passing teenage school children mouthed obscenities. Busking a newly arranged twenty six minute acoustic version of Space Ritual in central Nottingham was proving to be a totally unrewarding experience, artistically, and perhaps more importantly, financially. On the point of giving up and returning to the over crowded, damp and unheated squat, I noticed a guy on the other side of the street, seemingly displaying some interest in my unique performance. Claiming to be impressed with the inspired use of the three remaining, rusting strings of my 1973 Woolworth’s hardboard guitar, he introduced himself as a record producer. Now …… I had heard many a cautionary tale of such people, preying on vulnerable fresh faced young men (such as myself), promising fame and fortune, and ultimately delivering nothing (does the Simon Cowell/ Gareth Gates story sound familiar?) Anyway, unlike that Cowell fella, a latent sixth sense told me this guy was alright and could be trusted. It transpired the ‘producers’ name was Ian Watts – allegedly searching for additional musicians to assist with a Children’s Nursery Rhyme project, not exactly Hawkwind, but an opportunity, nonetheless, to spend a few hours in a warm studio with the rather enticing prospect of a hot mug of tea to bring some life back into my raw, numb fingers.
Three hours later, luxuriating in the warmth of the control room of the state of the art Comfy Towers Recording Studio, my initial fears had been allayed. I had just sat through the preliminary mixes of around 70 contemporary arrangements of the Singalongasong Band’s ‘The Nursery Rhyme Collection’. There was simply too much to digest in a single listen; a few imprecise mental notes were all I could muster: Was Nick Miller a real Sergeant Major barking out the parade ground, drill orders on’ The Grand Old Duke of York’? He certainly sounds like one. Likewise, Chris White’s hilarious rural rap on Old MacDonald suggests he may have been gainfully employed on Maggie’s Farm in a previous life. Nautical themes of 'What Shall We Do with the Grumpy Pirate' and 'The Big Ship Sailed on the Ally Ally Oh' were convincingly explored in a modern contemporary style by 'My Mate Kate', whilst subtle musical references to the Beatles emerged in the opening riffs of The Runaway Train and Allouette. Midway through the playback I was more than a little concerned that my tea had been ‘spiked’ with some kind of hallucinogenic substance – how on earth did the Teddy Bears Picnic start life as a take on Alex Harvey’s ‘Delilah’, seamlessly morph into an oompahh mid section, before reverting back to the stripy T shirted Scotsman’s interpretation? And, not content with the mind bending effects of the ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’, the listener is then confronted with some eastern flavoured psychedelia in the wonderful sitar/ ebow translation of London’s Burning. And, did I detect some Status Quo in One Finger One Thumb and a healthy dollop of the Jackson Five’s ‘I want You Back’ in the funky Ten Green Bottles? You bet I did. (I wonder if ‘Ten Green Bottles’ has ever been described as funky before?) But, throughout everything, the gorgeous, soulful voice of Rebecca Leivers remained at the forefront, rendering the more adventurous arrangements of these traditional selections immediately accessible to the younger listener…and what a perfect way of educating today’s younger generation to the popular musical styles of the last 40 years.
Finally, Ian ran the backing track to an as yet incomplete version of 'Hush Little Baby'. Featuring the totally inspired and imaginative piano playing of Rick Benbow, this simple three chord tune was transformed into a jazz inspired odyssey. Handing me a battered old Hofner, (apparently the same model as used by John Lennon in the Beatles Hamburg days), I was asked to ‘do my thing’ over those strange augmented thirteenth piano chords. Incorporating all my best jazz licks, after a couple of false starts the job was done – I even managed to join in the fun of refashioning famous riffs to fit the arrangement – can anyone spot the adaptation of Paul Weller’s ‘Sunflower’ riff behind Peter Kalff’s haunting horn solo?
Postscript: As a result of that fateful meeting I have since renounced life as a street busker, preferring instead to commit my musical talents, (along with fellow Singalongasong Band musicians Chris White, Ian Cunningham and yes, that very ‘producer’, Ian Watts), to the UK’s top Kinks tribute band, The Kinx. The reggae/ madrigal fusion of Silver Machine will just have to wait a little longer.
NOVEMBER 6, 2009
I have played music with Ian since 1989, we have recorded over 80 original tracks, released records, played hundreds of gigs, festivals, radio sessions, done interviews, been loved, applauded, heckled & laughed at; got sober, got drunk, got lost and found …………….. “So mate, ” I say, “what the latest project?” ..… he says 'Wheels on the Bus' … I say …. nothing; for a few days, and then I suddenly find myself going “Round and Round, round and Round, Round and ….” you get the picture ….
I love the Nursery Rhyme Collection and I’m very proud to be part of it; it is recorded with the same love, care and attention as everything that comes out of the doors of CTS Studios.
My current favourites are; 'There’s a hole in my bucket' – the vocals are priceless, you can hear Henry’s frustration, and the vocals on 'Shoo Fly' sound like the sort of gem you hear regularly on 6Music. My kids love the sergeant major’s performance on 'The Grand Old Duke Of York' so much they have recorded their own cover version.
The album is a stroke of genius mate, thanks for talking me into it, you made it sound great!
Rock (a-bye-baby) ‘n’ Roll.
NOVEMBER 6, 2009
From turning an age-old nursery ryhme, such as 'Georgie Porgie', into a ‘Who-esque’ romper-stomper of a track, complete with Daltry-style vocals, through to the ‘campness’ of the middle section of Teddy Bears Picnic was, for me, a new chapter in my alter-ego as a musician. Being asked to venture out from my musical comfort zone has been an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed, though the true highlights for me have been witnessing highly accomplished ‘rock god’ muso’s, getting to grips with the likes of 'Ten Green Bottles' and 'Wheels on the Bus'. Hugely entertaining, providing unforgettable memories!
It was an honour to be invited to contribute, and to be included in a project, culminating in a fantastic end result, which will no doubt be enjoyed by many, for years to come.
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Hey mates ;-)
it was a great honour for me when I received Ian’s invitation to add some horn ideas to this beautiful music-production. Mike and Ian as well as all the participants of this fine cocktail of music especially made for children are real enthusiasts and great musicians.
Having performed with Ian and Mike with the Beatles Tribute Band The Silver Beatles we often found ourselves in a kind of magic athmosphere on stage. To be included in one of their projects means to be surrounded by professionals and real friends as well.
It was always a pleasure for me to play music with these soulmates – i wish you guys lots of success with the Nursery Rhymes project – being shure that this type of music will find many friends amongst the parents as well!
;-) Love and respect,
NOVEMBER 6, 2009
Ayup Ian and the Nursery Rhyme Team me old muckers!!!
Just got back from from muckin’ out them pesky pigs. They been gruntin’ with excitement at the prospect of a mention on your new album of nursery rhymes.
They had extra rations of rottin’ fruit and veg as a special treat owin’ to their celebrity status.
I myself as 'Old MacDonald' must complement you on makin’ me feel at ‘ome in Comfy Towers Recording studio. It were a very nice touch spreadin’ all that gorgeous steemin’ manure and straw around to create the right atmosphere. I’m sure I managed to ‘it the right notes as a direct consequ,….. consqun….. Conquesen, ….RESULT of your generosity of mind.
The cider you provided was a bit off though mainly because it was past it’s sell-by date and labeled “washing up liquid”. I’m pleased you got good pictures of me “bubbling” through all the animals on my farm. I am particularly interested in ‘avin’ a copy of the one with me and Lulabelle the Peruvion long woolled breed.
So I wish you every success with The Nursery Rhyme Collection CD although it makes very strange noises on my record player, I think I need to change the needle.
Anyway my ole’ mates must go now cos I just notice my cockeral’s out and as well as upsettin the neighbours the fox ‘as got it’s eye on it. Better put ‘im back with the hens he’ll be safe there.
Aaaaaaaarl the best.
aka Chris White (The Kinx)
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
Just like so many of your other great muso friends, when I got the call I thought you were having a larf mate, 'Teddy Bears Picnic' in the style of Alex Harvey Band version of Delilah!!!! But what a fantastic project and so grateful to be involved, wish I’d of done more – put me down for any other projects – you got me and many others me thinks my owd friend. You are a very talented dude all round and this is just one of many fantastic projects/creations from you, but have to say agree it is a masterpiece and you are the genius behind this – awesome – much respect.
Take this opportunity to also thank you for currently producing my 11 track acoustic album “Things I need to say” down at the Comfy Studios. Again production is a talent you have and you certainly inspire me to create and push the boundaries, just as you have done with all involved with the nurseryrhyme album. It is so good to know you.
Kev Beal (one of the many guitar players)
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
YET ANOTHER FINE MESS YOU GOT ME INTO IAN!!
WHEN ANY ONE OF US GETS A CALL FROM THE CRAZY WORLD OF IAN WATTS,WE NEVER KNOW WHAT HE HAS IN MIND FROM US AS MUSICIANS,AND THE NURSERY RHYME PROJECT WAS THE CRAZIEST AND YET THE MOST SUPRISING FUN TO BE HAD AT COMFY TOWERS.
MY MEAGRE CONTRIBUTION, 'TEN GREEN BOTTLES' (TO THE TUNE OF ABC,JACKSON 5). WAS GREAT FUN,AND IM THANKFULL TO IAN FOR LETTING ME BE A PART OF THE PROJECT. GOOD LUCK WITH THE CD,AND THATS THE KIDS XMAS PREZZIES SORTED!!
STEVE FARMER(THINK FLOYD,THE VOW,ANDY WHITTLE BAND.)
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Having worked with you for many years on numerous projects none quite as quirky as this one. It was my pleasure to be asked to contribute to a fantastic idea. Recording at Comfy Towers is always fun, the coffee is very often cold by the time we get round to drinking it and the pubs are shut hmm I wonder why? I wait in anticipation and fear of the next project. Good luck with the album, luvs you all
NOVEMBER 11, 2009
Well what can I say?
What an honour to be asked to play some nursery rhymes with a twist! That is some crazy idea man! But of course it would work…Mr Watts was the guy creating this whacky concept. The album has turned out better than i could imagine and we all (My Mate Kate) had a great time in Comfy Towers, as always. Thanks Mr Watts!
And err…let us know when you want to do some fusion-punk-opera-rock TV theme songs ;) All the best,
NOVEMBER 8, 2009
My old mate Mr Watts is a Sensible, Knowledgeable man. But when he came to me asking if i would like to play on a ‘Bunch Of Nursery Rhyme Tracks with 'My Mate Kate', I actually thought he’d lost the plot! I mean, why on earth would he want a Loud, Modern twist on Nursery Rhymes? They’re meant to be traditional . . Aren’t they ? ?
How wrong could I have been! On hearing playback of the other fine tracks, I could see that this was really gonna work. So many different styles, sounds, instruments, musicians that have made this double album what is. A fine product that I would personally recommend to anyone with children ready to inspire.
I had the privilege of playing on two songs with my band 'My Mate Kate'. We recorded 'The Big Ship Sailed On The Ally Ally Oh' and 'What Shall We Do With The Grumpy Pirate', two high energy, in your face tracks. I’m sure I speak on behalf of the band in saying we had an absolutely fantastic time in Comfy Towers as always, and the Beatle’esque touch with the Ludwig Kit, Rickenbacker Guitars and Hofner Bass added and extra sparkle to the session ;-)
Personal highlights off the album for me are the very smooth 'Pop Goes The Weasel', 'The Owl and The Pussycat' and how could you not love 'The Teddy Bears Picninc'! We all gotta have some Nursery Rock in our Lives ! ! !
Well done Ian & Mike, Sterling job ;-)
NOVEMBER 7, 2009
Well what can i say you caught me out once again. I poped round to Comfy Towers on some Billy Fury business and within ten minutes you had me playing drums on the Nursery Rhyme Collection. (how do you do that) I have to say we gave teddy bears picnic some wellie on your downbeat kit. Then to top it all you roped the rest of the band in an then and our roadies (My Mate Kate) nice move.
At first I thought you’d gone potty but it turned out to be a fantastic project and I had a great time. Hope you let me have a go on the next one. Take care mate and love to all the family. Best Wishes
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
This was an album that needed to be made.
We have those nursery rhymes & tunes that we all grew up with -
but in the background lies the feel, harmonies & real instrumentation
of a wonderful era of British music that maybe can be passed down
to our next generation.
Teach the children well!
Well done Ian.
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
Hi there Dr Wattson,
You contacted us regarding your latest epiphany durnng 2008 …
Coming from a gritty rockabilly background imagine our delight when you informed us that I`m a little teapot was to be our contribution, despite having prepared several arrangements of more masculine pieces from the nursery rhyme genre.
We were also slightly disturbed when you insisted we do the actions …
Thanks for the inclusion Ian
It was a hoot
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
It was an honour to be approached by Ian to master this record and give it the final polish. Nothing less than exceptional musicianship and mix consistency throughout and with the highest standards embedded into every second of every piece , bringing out the last hidden magic in all of these 70 nursery rhymes was genuinely one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling jobs I have done in a long time.
I am happy to say myself and Ian have struck up a great working relationship and friendship since the project was completed.
Congrats to all involved, it’s a blinder of an album and surely one of the best of the genre ever produced.
Find the full lyrics to all songs featured on our 4 double CDs. We also provide some extra information regarding origin and background of each song where available.
In this section you can enter some free children's online games related to our nursery rhymes recordings. Please note that all games need a current Adobe Flash player installed, so they will only run on a PC or Laptop.
69 Lullabies and chill-out songs that will help your child to calm down and fall asleep.
The album is available as a 2 CD box (double CD) or download from:
Alternatively you can download from iTunes
Mat Williams is a Folk musician who contributed many Folk instruments parts to all our Nursery Rhyme Collections.
This CD was recorded and produced by Ian Watts, with a guest appearance of Rebecca Leivers, Lead Singer on all Nursery Rhyme Collections.
The album is available as aan Audio CD or download from:
Alternatively you can download from iTunes