I mentioned a while back that I’d put together a playlist for the Varmint. Here it is, with commentary (no Gn’R yet – Norie seems to think that it’s somehow not age appropriate. Maybe I’ll wait until the Varmint is at least six months before introducing the sweet croonings of Axl Rose.) Oh, and here’s the obligatory photo:
(The order is the result of iTunes shuffle, nothing more. Also, I’ve provided links to the videos for the songs, but the songs appear on this list based on the music, not the video):
“Walk Like An Egyptian” (The Bangles) – What can I say, I want my kid to be multi-cultural.
“She’s a Rainbow” (The Rolling Stones) – This song sounds like a children’s song, only awesome. (Seriously, this proves that “actual” children’s music doesn’t have to be so crappy).
“1 2 3 4” (Feist) – Perhaps a bit melancholy, but then so is most of the best children’s entertainment.
“Stand” (R.E.M.) – No “Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes” for the Varmint – we’ll teach our kid body parts and the cardinal directions with a real band with a real song that isn’t lame.
“That Was Your Mother” (Paul Simon) – Don’t want the Varmint getting too full of itself.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” (The Beatles) – The first of many Beatles offerings. Seriously, what better way to introduce music than with the band that, in the wise words of Beavis & Butt-Head “ruined music.”
“Rock Lobster” (B-52s) – I challenge anyone to listen to this song and not smile.
“These Are Days” (10,000 Maniacs) – If there’s one voice that I imagine any kid would be drawn to, it would be Natalie Merchant’s, and this is a great song to introduce that voice.
“Spice Up Your Life” (Spice Girls) – Yes, the Spice Girls are a guilty pleasure of mine, in large part because they’re just pure fun.
“Kind & Generous” (Natalie Merchant) – Two traits that I hope our child has in abundance.
“Hit” (Sugarcubes) – I hope the Varmint learns its traits from Natalie Merchant and its quirkiness from Bjork (though I’m fine with toning the quirkiness down a bit).
“Let’s Dance” (David Bowie) – I’ve always wished I wasn’t too self-conscious to dance. Here’s to hoping the Varmint can cut a rug with the best of them.
“You Can Call Me Al” (Paul Simon) – Another song that is just pure fun (despite the dark lyrics).
“Big Time Sensuality” (Bjork) – After learning the concept of dancing from David Bowie, this will be a chance for more practice.
“D’Yer Mak’er” (Led Zeppelin) – (Can’t find a video of this one) I figure children probably respond to rhythm more than anything, and this song has that in abundance.
“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” (The Beatles) – This is another song that could easily be an “actual” children’s song if was only crappy enough.
“Shiny Happy People” (R.E.M.) – R.E.M. + The B-52s = Fun^2
“Yes Sir, No Sir” (Kinks) – Completing the 60s trifecta, this song teaches a lesson that any child of mine will have to know well: sarcasm.
“Hello Goodbye” (The Beatles) – If children respond to rhythm first, melody is a close second, and this one is about as good as it gets.
“Stockton Gala Days” (10,000 Maniacs) – It’s never too early for a child to realize how important it is, on some levels, to never stop being a kid.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (Cindy Lauper) – Hard to say what lesson I hope this teaches until we know what we’re having, but either way I hope our kid will have a healthy respect for women, so the song is staying on the list.
“Wonder” (Natalie Merchant) – Should be required listening for all children.
“Your Mother Should Know” (The Beatles) – A little odd, but that’s not a bad thing.
“Roam” (B-52s) – Fun, fun, fun.
“I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” (Scissor Sisters) – Contrary to the title (and lyrics), this is another one that should get the Varmint shaking its booty.
“Two of Us” (The Beatles) – I hope the Varmint learns to cherish the small, important moments in life, which is what I’ve always taken this song to be about.
“It’s Oh So Quiet” (Bjork) – Rhythm first, Melody second, Dynamics third. Enter Bjork.
“Cannonball” (The Breeders) – Syncopation fourth.
“The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” (R.E.M.) – As dark as R.E.M. so often are, when they decide to be fun, they nail it.
“I Will” (The Beatles) – The song that played at our wedding, how could it not be on the list? (Thanks again Andy Klein and Laura Richardson.)
So there it is. I’ve always thought that music more than any other art is something that we associate with times and places, so it’s weird to go through these songs that represent so many different moments in my life as I prepare to bring a new life into the world. I hope the Varmint shares a list like this with me some day.