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Classic Rock and Lullabies February 5, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I stumbled across this blog today; her post about the songs she sings her daughter got me thinking. We expose our kids to all kinds of music-my husband owns just about every Frank Zappa album there is and plays the CDs when he putters around the basement. He also plays the Beatles when doing dishes. I like the Dixie Chicks, Maroon 5, and Alanis Morrissette. We both like Annie Lennox/Eurythmics, the Steve Miller Band, the Eagles. Also Steely Dan, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Paul Simon.

Do you notice what is missing from that list? Except for Maroon 5, there are NO NEW ARTISTS in our repertoire. We don’t watch MTV, we listen to National Public Radio in the car (except at Christmas, when it’s all Christmas music all the time!), and we don’t have the money to go to concerts. So we don’t know anything at all about current music.

I think, for me, part of the problem is that I am pretty particular about what the music I listen to sounds like. I like harmony. I sang in choirs from 6th grade to my last day of senior year of college, and I love singing in harmony. When I sing along to a CD, I don’t sing the melody. I find the harmony and sing that, sometimes jumping from high to low depending on what key the song is in. So my number one requirement for music is harmony. Two-part is okay but three or four-part is better.

Secondly, I like instrumentation. I like traditional rock instruments, guitar,bass and drums, and if there’s an orchestra in the background, that’s good too. I’d have to go back and listen again, but I’m pretty sure all of the above-mentioned artists use a backing orchestra.

So part one of this post is this: Please send me your recommendations for new music to listen to. I don’t have an MP3 player ( I know, I know) so if the songs are available to listen to online somewhere, that’d be great. I promise to listen and hopefully learn something new.

PART TWO: The One With The Lullabies
Ryan was a fussy baby. I guess he had what doctors call colic; which basically means “we know your baby cries a lot and we don’t know why”. It took a lot to get him to sleep-drives in the car, walking back and forth in our tiny living room, and singing. Even with all the singing I did in my life, I wanted simple songs that were easy to sing and could be repeated over and over. I settled into a simple trio of lullabies. “Row,row,row your boat” followed by “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and then “Are you sleeping?” also known as “Frere Jacques”. Sometimes I would sing it in French just to break the monotony. Always those three, always in that order.

And then one night, after I just couldn’t sing those three songs any more, up from the deep recesses of my memory came a song that has an importance to me that is another long story for another post. That song was the Carpenter’s “(They Long To Be) Close To You”. And ever since, that has been the fourth song in my Lullaby. I sang those songs to Nathan, and now I’m singing them to Kaitlyn. I sometimes add “You are my Sunshine”, although I change the lyrics to “you’ll always know, dear, how much I love you”, because why would I want to sing that you’ll never know how much I love you?

Part Two, then, is what songs do you sing to your babies/kids? Do you stick to the same ones or sing whatever comes to mind? I’d really be interested in knowing. And maybe I’ll find a new song to sing to the baby.



1. Mightymouse Mommy - February 6, 2006

Part 1.) I am IN LOVE with KT Tunstall. Heard her on NPR the other morning and stayed, while Chris tried to sleep in, sitting on the edge of the bed, so I could hear the name. She is IN-CREADIBLE Elizabeth. Her site is http://www.kttunstall.com/ and there are 3 or 4 songs on the page to DL or on NPR’s page, can’t remember.

The other artist I can’t get enough of lately is Matisyahu (pronounced Modest Yahoo almost hehe) – he’s a reggae singing, beat boxing, rapping Hasidic Jew believe it or not but his talent is really quite incredible and inspiring. http://www.matismusic.com/ is his website.

I also dig Lyrics Born, who is a rap artist that was also showcased on Fresh Air on NPR. His topics center around politics and social issues, are positive and uplifting while at the same time fiery and passionate.

Part 2.)

Songs I sing to Parker:

A song I heard called “If I were a Cloud” that talks about how you would still take care of someone if you were a cloud (“if you got too hot, I’d shade you. I’d never let the sunshine fade you.” etc.) It ends with “And if you ever looked above you, I’d try to spell I love you.” – it sometimes even makes me teary.

I also sing “smile smile smile” by Dan Zanes which is a wonderful song about, well, smiling. http://www.festivalfive.com/nighttime/song_smile.shtml are the lyrics.

I sing St. Judy’s Comet by Paul Simon a lot, which is actually a lullaby that he wrote for his son. I also sing Under African Skies by Paul Simon to Parker. Both of these I sang to Lou as well.

And both Lou and Parker were initially soothed with House at Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina, Lou from inside the womb with a recording of me singing the song to him. As you know, his delivery almost took my life and after 36 1/2 hours of labor, by the time I had him I was literally in shock and could not hold him. But they placed him on the gurney next crying and I began to sing House at Pooh Corner to him and he IMMEDIATELY stopped crying.. Which of course caused me to break down sobbing myself, with love for my new son.

2. Mightymouse Mommy - February 6, 2006

the audio clips were on NPR


a little bit about her – she’s Japanese and Irish and was raised in Scottland, everything you hear on the npr songs she did herself, right there, live, with the use of some box but all the vocals and instruments are her.

3. mama_tulip - February 6, 2006

I’m with you — I don’t know a lot of new music because I’m stuck with my faves and my classic rock. I like a little bit of the Black Eyed Peas’ stuff but I’m not familiar with all of it, and I really like Coldplay, although I’m sure now they aren’t considered “new”. Julia likes them, too.

As for songs I sing to my kiddos — we sing everything around here, from classic lullabyes to classic rock to camp songs. Julia’s favourites range from Depeche Mode to The Chemical Brothers to The Beatles (she loves it when I sing Julia to her) to this crazy song I learned about a bear at camp that involves lots of clapping and me shouting “Uuh!” after each verse.

4. Jess - February 6, 2006

I’m into indie stuff; I can send you recs if that’s your bag. Sounds like it might not be, though. A good place to visit is iTunes. You can search by new stuff, genre, most downloaded, etc.

Also, you need to get an iPod. And quick.

5. Nancy - February 7, 2006

Yeah, for new music iTunes is a good place to start, as Jess suggests. You can search for artists you know you like and see what other people who like that artist also listen to. That’s how I’ve found some good artists as of late. (Jess has gotten me into indie stuff recently; otherwise I’d still be stuck in the classic/college music I loved years ago).

It’s funny, I don’t sing lullabies to the kids, but we do make up and sing goofy songs about them or the cats. And last night I sang “Mr. Roboto” to them because Baby-A’s been walking around jabbering in what sounds like Japanese. She and her sister really loved “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto”. 🙂

6. Dawn - February 7, 2006

Sigh. Much of my music is totally 1991 – pre-Nrivana. Cause I was a senior in college and just didn’t get the “grunge” thing. Terrance and I just talked about this, how I have fixed a moment in time and can not be moved.

For Em, I sang Latin Madrigals. And if I had not yet revealed my total drama music geekiness, I just did.

“Dona Nobis Pacem” was her fav. That and “Bicycle Built for Two”..and “Golden Slumbers” by the Beatles.

7. Meg - February 7, 2006

Hi. Thought I’d check you out after you commented on my blog. I’m like you… I listen to my old college faves and the occasional new tune if I hear it on the radio and the artist blows me away. So basically I’m still into REM, U2, Ani Difranco, Dave Matthews and Pearl Jam and then Maroon 5. New stuff? Aqualung and Carbon Leaf are pretty good… I try to catch the VH1 countdown each saturday morning to hear what’s new. I only like about 30%, but it gives me an idea of what’s out there.

I sing to my dog all the time. I take songs anyone would know (anything from disco to current to oldies to Yankee doodle dandy) and change the words to go with her name or what’s going on. I’m sure it sounds bizarre but the dog seems to like it.

8. Stacy - February 9, 2006

I have always liked “A dream is a wish your heart makes” from Cinderella, “Stay Awake” and “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins, and “Once upon a December” from Anastasia. I always thought they made nice lullabies.

9. Mother GooseMouse - February 9, 2006

Elizabeth, I worked for a record company, and yet I still played mix tapes on the stereo on my office. Tapes, not CDs.

That said, I agree with Nancy and Jess. iTunes is a great place to start. I have been listening to Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, and the latest from Depeche Mode and the Beastie Boys. I also want to get a hold of Death Cab for Cutie, the newest Nine Inch Nails, Jack Johnson, and Howie Day.

As for lullabies, I make up songs most of the time. Sometimes I sing “Hush Little Baby”, sometimes “You Are My Sunshine”, sometimes “Alouette” (repetitive). Kyle used to sing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. Before putting both girls to bed, we sing “Goodnight Sweetheart”. But again, most of the time, I just make up songs.

10. BC - February 9, 2006

HEY! I like Green Day, Rush, Soundgarden, The Offspring, AND MC Paul Barman!

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