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Obit: songwriter Tom Hunter (1946 - 2008)

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Lyr Req: Rock Me to Sleep (Tom Hunter) (18)

Barbara 20 Jun 08 - 08:23 PM
Ferrara 20 Jun 08 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 21 Jun 08 - 01:02 AM
Barbara 21 Jun 08 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 22 Jun 08 - 12:18 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 08 - 07:18 AM
Amos 26 Jun 08 - 09:52 PM
Anglo 27 Jun 08 - 01:23 AM
open mike 29 Jun 08 - 01:55 PM
open mike 29 Jun 08 - 02:05 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 09 - 08:49 PM
open mike 29 Sep 09 - 09:51 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 10 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,preschool teacher 01 Mar 11 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Liz Browder-Bohall 30 Mar 11 - 11:58 PM
GUEST,Frances 08 Nov 15 - 01:21 PM
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Subject: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: Barbara
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:23 PM

We lost folk singer songwriter Tom Hunter early this morning. He's written some amazing kid's and grownup songs, and was probably best known for his men's song "Tonight I Want You to Rock Me to Sleep". It's in Rise Up Singing. Many of us knew him from the SF Bay area in the 70's and he has lived for many years in Bellingham with his wife and family.
Thank you so much, Tom for all you changed for me, and for all of us. Your songs helped me through some rocky places.
Love, blessings,

This from his wife and kids:

Tom took his last breath this morning, June 20, at 3:39 surrounded by the three of us and an amazing amount of love. We cried, laughed, prayed, embraced, hummed "How Can I Keep From Singing" and sang "The Garden Song." We lit a candle.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: Ferrara
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 11:35 PM

"Tonight I Want You to Rock Me to Sleep" was the first song I was able to sing after my sister died. I don't remember how long it took me to be able to sing anything. A while.

I didn't know Tom. Years ago, Barbara played some of his songs for me and "Rock Me to Sleep" was my favorite song for years after that.
Still after reading some of the beautiful tributes at the link Barbara gave, I'm sad for the loss of such a rich, human being.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 01:02 AM

Whatever took Tom at such a young age? A man who could write such disparate songs as "My Washing Machine Eats Socks" AND "Rock Me to Sleep" should live forever. I guess he will. The condolences of everyone on Bainbridge Island who knew him go to his family and close friends in Bellingham. The Bannermans are all bummed- we aged parents and the now twentyplus kids who loved his concerts for Happy Days and Island School.
Carter B

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 02:52 PM

Carter, if you look at the website, you will see he died of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, more commonly known as "mad cow" disease. It does say there that what killed him was not the genetic/hereditary version of the disease, which makes it even more baffling to me how he could have died.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 12:18 AM

Thank you Barbara. I'm always slow to remember right-to-the-source web pages even when they are mentioned and the link given in blue. It's a lovely blog page as one would expect.
And the disease baffling indeed.
Thanks again.
Carter B

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 07:18 AM


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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 09:52 PM

I recently got the following from Linda Allen, and found it moving, regarding Tom's death.


We have fallen into the place where everything is music.    --Rumi

Dear Friends,
This morning I was sitting in my back yard listening. There was a soft breeze in the branches, a variety of birds calling, and then the swift, wonderful brush of a humming bird. My friend Tom Hunter, in the weeks before his death, when his vision had faded, could hear much more intensely. He and Scott talked about the sounds I'm hearing now -- how everything is music. Then I remembered the Rumi poem that you can read below. Tom liked Rumi. This poem felt particularly fitting.

Tom's death on Friday has been devastating to those of us who were blessed to have known him. He, Gwen, Irene and Aeden were there for me in every major transition of my years in Bellingham -- through my divorce, my marriage to Scott (Tom officiated), the baptism of our son (Tom officiated), the major and minor birthday celebrations, the Super Bowl games. Tom was always there. He was a minister, a traveling minstrel, a wonderful songwriter. I knew some of his songs before he moved to Bellingham over thirty years ago. One of my favorites is below.

Many of us here in Bellingham are wearing buttons. They say, "Keep It Going". When Tom had lost so much of his ability to speak, when friends came to visit, those were his words. So I keep it going. In August, I'll officiate a wedding, and will borrow some of his ideas for that. I'll be singing his songs for the rest of my days. I'll be
keeping it going through my work as a traveling minstrel, educator and minister.

Tom modeled many things for me, but his last gift was in his dying. I'd like to recommend that you visit his blog: , and read the amazing tributes that have poured in from around the globe. And take the time to click on "Beautiful Nighttime" where you can read Irene, Aeden, and Gwen's comments.
He died surrounded by loving family and friends and so much music! And he stayed in the place of gratitude until the very end. What a gift to us all.

There will be a funeral on Saturday and benefit concerts in July. On the blog, you can also find out about ways that you can help the family with donations, yard work, food, animal care, and more.

By way of "Keeping it Going" I'd like to let you know that beginning on July 1st, I'll be available as a presenter with the Inquiring Mind program of Humanities Washington. I'll be doing a power point, musical program called "Here's to the Women!" about the history of women in Washington State, with a special emphasis on the struggle for the vote. 2009, 2010 is the 100-year celebration of Suffrage here.

So here's Tom's song and the Rumi poem.
Keep it going,


All I can hear are the crickets
And the whistle from some lonely freight
I've been working so hard to make everything right
But for now it'll just have to wait

`Cause tonight I'd like you to rock me to sleep
I'd like you to sing me a song'
I'm tired of trying to figure things out
And I'm tired of being so strong

I've never been too good at asking
I'm more apt to do it alone
And it's strange how a lot of us think something's wrong
If we can't do it all on our own

It's funny how times when you're hurting
Make what's so faniiliar seem strange
So when you need help, it's hardest to ask
And it always takes so long to change

                   --Tom Hunter

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world's harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can't see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.

                   --Jalaluddin Rumi

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: Anglo
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 01:23 AM

Oh dear. This is very sad. Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease. Exactly the same thing that took Margaret MacArthur from us so tragically, and apparently such a rare disease. I was devastated by the loss of Margaret; I didn't know Tom, alas, but I feel for all around him.

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Subject: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: open mike
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 01:55 PM

Tom Hunter was a wonderful musician who has shared inspiring songs with people of all ages for many years. He will be missed.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: open mike
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 02:05 PM

the songs of his i recall are "You Can't Make a Turtle Come Out",
"To Stop the Train" (a hand gesture song based on a sign in a train)
Monster in the Closet, Come Into My House, The Shirt Song, and more

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 08:49 PM

if someone can please send me the lyrics for sleeping beauty from tommy hunter that would be great.. I need this song for my wedding for me and my daddys first dance.. is my email... please help me out thanks


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Subject: RE: Obit: Tom Hunter
From: open mike
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 09:51 PM

you have a different is the guy you mean...Tommy Hunter

you can listen to it here:

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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter Tom Hunter (June 2008)
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 03:49 PM

Dear daughter, I tiptoed in your room tonight and I looked down at you
smilin' in your sleep. You were so lovely my heart nearly broke and I
thought how much like Sleeping Beauty a little girl is. When I tuck you in
at night I never know how old you'll be when you wake. One evening you
Crawl on your dad's lap and throw your arms around his neck.
The next morning you might be much too grown up for that sort of thing.

You're so quickly approaching the awkward age, too young to drive the
car and yet too old to be carried in the house half asleep on daddy's
shoulder. I have a secret that I've never told you, Sleeping Beauty,
you're going on a very exciting trip. You'll travel from yesterday all
the way to tomorrow. It's a rapid journey and you'll travel light,
leaving behind you - measles, mumps, freckles, bumps, bubble gum and

I promise not to feel too hurt when you discover that the world is more
important than your daddy's lap. Yesterday you were blue jeans and pig
tails, the neighborhood's best tree climber. Tomorrow you'll be blue
organdy and pony tails and you'll view the world from a loftier perch - a
pair of high heel shoes.

Yesterday you could mend a doll's broken leg with a hug; tomorrow you'll
be able to break a young man's heart with a kiss. Humh! Humh! Yesterday
you could get lost one aisle away from me at a supermarket - now I have
to worry about losing you down another aisle to some strange young man.
You see, just at the point where you're growing pains stop, mine begins.
Yesterday you were kind of a pain in the neck when you were around,
tomorrow you'll be an ache in my heart when your not.

Tomorrow you'll lay aside your jump rope and tie up the telephone lines
and that little boy that used to push you in the mud; well, he'll fight to
sit out a dance with you. The clock is countin' the minutes for you and the
sky upstairs is savin' its' brighest stars; - and the sun is waitin' with
its' shiniest day.

Oh I, I can't expect you to live in a doll house forever. Sooner or later,
the butterfly sheds it's cocoon and the smallest bird must try its wings.
But when you grow up and out of my arms; when you finally get too big for
my shirts, I'll still recall how you used to scatter dust and dolls and partially
through ev'ry room in the house; but you spread sunshine too. The dust is
settled, your mom picked up the dolls; - but the sunshine will always fill
the corners of our hearts.

So, here I am talking in your sleep, because, well if you saw this look on
my face, you'd laugh and if I spoke with this lump in my throat, I'd cry.
Yea! honey when I looked at you tonight you were a Sleeping Beauty. So, I
tiptoed over and I kissed you - you didn't wake up, I knew you wouldn't.
According to the legend only the handsome young prince can open your
eyes and I'm just the father of the future bride.

So you sleep on pretty thing, tomorrow you'll wake and you'll be a young
lady and you won't even realize that you've changed courses in the middle
of a dream. But you might notice a little change in me; I'll look a little
different somehow. A little sadder, a little wiser, but a whole lot richer.
Tonight, I kissed a princess and I feel like a king...

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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter Tom Hunter (June 2008)
From: GUEST,preschool teacher
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 05:56 PM

I am writing this on March 1, 2011 in Kansas City, Mo. hoping that the family of Tom Hunter will see this. I work with children daily in a small classroom. I frequently play 2 CD's of Tom's music, "In the Air" and "Many a Mile". I love music and the songs sung by Tom and friends have brought joy to me and to the children. I was heartbroken when I recently learned of Tom's passing. May we all find comfort in the music Tom left behind; his songs will go "many a mile" with me.
Peace be with you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter Tom Hunter (June 2008)
From: GUEST,Liz Browder-Bohall
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 11:58 PM

March 30, 2011    gwen, Out of the air popped a Tom song as my children and I were talking.( which happens quite often). I jumped on the computer to find the words and was crushed beyond, well, anything to discover so suddenly, without warning, without knowing, that I had lost a huge part of my inner soul, my being, loving and cherished memories flooded back to me. My pour adult children stared at me as I cried harder then I have in years. I feel blessed to have known Tom and I am honored that my children were able to meet him when he came to Indiana in 2000 on a whim for my late husbands 50th. Thank you for being you
Liz Browder-Bohall hammered dulcimer from San Francisco in the late 70's

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Subject: RE: Obit: songwriter Tom Hunter (1946 - 2008)
From: GUEST,Frances
Date: 08 Nov 15 - 01:21 PM

About Variant Jakob Creutzfeld (that is the name I learned in medical school 40+ years ago, I have no idea why the order of the two last names used to name this disease were switched.)

Anyway, research shows that V. Jakob Creutzfeld can be caused by prions from infected beef.

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