Alison Faith Levy mixes spirituality with youthful exuberance on her latest collection of children’s songs, You Are Magic. Rather than an ecological theme related to climate change or recycling, Levy chooses to focus on our relationships to the fanciful and mystical parts of our own imaginations. Specifically, how to make the connection of how individual creativity is cultivated by outside stimuli, whether it’s by nurture (family, friends, and school) or nature.
You Are Magic could be referred to as a prepubescent “coming of age” concept album. “Everything’s alive under the canopy,” Levy declares on “Canopy,” using the metaphor of a physical covering than encompasses people, animals, and our surroundings. With songs like “Now Is the Moment” and “Turn Around,” Levy builds confidence and anticipation for children whose talents have yet to reveal themselves. Similarly, “The Gift” addresses how originality comes to all of us, and not always when we expect it:
You can wait all your life for the gift to appear
But it doesn’t work quite that way
You can look everywhere for the gift there and here
But the gift is well hidden away
Levy first gained notice in the children’s music field as part of the late, lamented Sippy Cups, a troupe that presented multimedia experiences including acrobats, jugglers, and audience participation. She then recorded two original CDs before taking an extended (six-year) hiatus to teach music in Jewish settings for several years and pursue her Master’s in Jewish Education at Hebrew College in Boston.
If you’ve ever wondered where kids get their ideas (such as ones submitted to the Story Pirates), you’re on the same page as Levy. You Are Magic assures children that everyone have their own talents. She deftly sings how, in time, those talents will become evident. That’s the magic within us.