As described in my earlier post about how my husband and I have always exchanged tapes to commemorate special events, I managed to come up with a unique list that I thought both he and I would appreciate. A nice mix of his music tastes and mine, as if, appropriately, our tastes had a baby. Or, as Jeff Tweedy sings in Wilco’s puzzling “Muzzle of Bees,” “Half of it’s you, half of it’s me.”
1. “The Times They Are A-Changing” by Bob Dylan. I can’t imagine there being something that happens in your life that will change it quite as much as having a child does, or so everyone seems to lead me to believe.
2. “F.N.T.” by Semisonic. The title of this one refers to the chorus, Fascinating New Thing (not unlike the “P.Y.T.” of Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing). These guys from the 90s, most famous for their follow-up single, “Closing Time,” tell the F.N.T. “I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before that you’re lovely, that you’re perfect, and that somebody wants you.” And what’s more fascinating than a new baby?
3. “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child. This song was the inspiration for the entire playlist. Early on I really struggled with having a new body, and one which I really can no longer control. “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly,” spoke both to me seriously and playfully to my husband. If I can’t fight it, I might as well embrace a new bootylicious bod!
4. “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Buble. I think this would probably be the most obvious choice of all the songs on this list. I have to believe that he’s speaking to his future child when he says, “I promise you, kid, I’ll give so much more than I’ll get,” and not his future wife – because otherwise I’d have to believe it was written in the 1950s when white men were the only ones who held human capital.
5. “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright III. The two best things to come out of the movie Knocked Up: the ending credits and this song.
6. “Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. I seem to remember my husband once saying he liked TMBG in high school, and this song in particular. When I listened to it again it made me think of the process you go through wondering if you’ll ever have room to love someone else as much as you love your significant other. Who really knows what “blue canary in the alley by the lightswitch” means? But “Who watches over you?” Yeah, that’s me.
7. “Born at the Right Time” by Paul Simon. Just about the only folk singer from the 70s I can stand is Joni Mitchell. Seriously. James Taylor, Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel… blech. I’m more of the late 60s/early 70s rock fan myself. But again, this playlist was intended for not only my husband but for general audiences, and sometimes you have to compromise. I stumbled upon this one (thanks, Google!) and it actually made me cry, and became an earworm. Although it still always makes me think he’s talking about Moses for some reason.
8. “I Miss You” by Bjork. If he can have a song he loved from high school, then so can I. Going through old cassette tapes as we cleaned out the house I found a recording of this gem. Another play on the theme of all those hopes and dreams you have while you’re waiting for them to actually happen. “I miss you but I haven’t met you yet. I remember but it hasn’t happened yet.”
9. “Stay Up Late” by Talking Heads. Another Google find. Talking Heads, again not one of my favorites, but one of those weird bands the husband listens to every now and then. (I swear I will never understand his taste in music). This is kind of funny? Ironic? Twisted? The baby’s so cute I just want to make him stay up late... I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around, buddy.
10. “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon. Since at the time of the playlist creation we didn’t know the gender, I wanted to make sure we gave equal opportunity for the sexes. You couldn’t have a parent-to-be playlist without this classic.
11. “Getting to Know You” by Della Reese. The King and I was one of my favorite movies growing up watching my grandmother’s Turner Classic Movies network. This version keeps the optimism of the original musical recording but without the length and weight.
12. “What’s the World Got in Store” by Wilco. This was the only sure bet for a song and the song which inspired me to create the entire playlist. While on the plane returning from vacation at the end of June, my husband popped one earbud into my ear and said, “This one goes out to my little friend.” I immediately teared up and couldn’t get through the whole song – since I didn’t want to look like an idiot on the plane. One month later I requested they play this song for us – and they did. They then played “Muzzle of Bees.”
So there you have it! What would you have chosen for your playlist?