In Spring of 2014, Kristin called me at work and asked if I could meet her for lunch. It was a cold-ish day, and we met at a little Greek place south of downtown in Indianapolis. At lunch, Kristin presented me with four CDs she’d just bought that morning, and asked me if I knew what they had in common. The records were Pablo Honey by Radiohead, Ágætis byrjun by Sigur Rós, Ready To Die by Notorious B.I.G., and Years of Refusal by Morissey. I actually couldn’t figure it out, but after a little prompting realized that all four album covers featured babies. She was pregnant and we were having our first child in November.
Not long after that lunch date I started working on this playlist. It started when I was moved to tears listening to Chris Staples’ song “Dark Side of the Moon” (I’m actually not even sure that song is written for a child, but for me it forever will be). I started compiling songs that were either written for/to children, or somehow represented that to me.
Since then, we’ve had another child (both boys), and things are often more hectic than not, but whenever I play these songs they remind me of the wide-eyed wonder of first becoming a parent, and how incredible it is to be entrusted with these little souls.
It’s late getting posted, but here’s my playlist about parenthood:
I want to love you, I want to pass it on
I want to give and give until it’s all gone
I want to know you, while we have the time
Because that’s all I’ve got to leave behind.
Lying down, I notice what you see
Below us, your arms are like the trees.
I know I haven’t said enough.
I know we haven’t said enough.
How I will protect, and how each day matters.
…I know we haven’t said enough
But I know I’ve never loved this much.
Isn’t she lovely made from love,
Isn’t she lovely?
Hello my only one, remember who you are
No you’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes.
Where would I be right now
If all my dreams had come true
Deep down I know somehow
I’d have never seen your face.
This world would be a different place
Darling there’s no way to know
Which way your heart will go.
Can I make her happy?
I guess that I have not got long
Promise you’ll tell her
She’s my favourite girl
In all the world.
Life for you my prince has just begun
And I thank you for choosing me
To come through unto life to be
A beautiful reflection of his grace.
Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the night’s when the Northern lights perform
There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there’ll be sorrow.
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes it’s a long way to go
But in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans.
There is yet
That follows me
Wherever I go
And supports me
He always has a hope for me
Always sees me when nothing else
And everyone have left
That ghost is brighter than anyone
And fulfills me with hope
Those beams assure me.
mp3: Low – In Metal
Partly hate to see you grow
And just like your baby shoes
Wish I could keep your little body
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while,
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dad’s best jeans.
Will you carry the words of love with you?
May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth,
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young.
At nine in the morning
After nine months of waiting
You were born and I saw your face
And you looked up at me.
…Someday, someday soon
You and I will both be gone
And lately, I can’t help but think
That the love we feel will live on.
I can’t wait to hold your little hand
…How to give it all to someone not yet born
That must be how
We’ve learned to love.
I have never loved someone
The way I love you
I have never seen a smile
And if you grow up to be a king, or clown, or pauper,
I will say you are my favorite one in town.
I have never held a hand
So soft and sacred,
When I hear you laugh
I know heaven’s key,
And when I grow to be a poppy in the graveyard
I will send you all my love upon the breeze.
And if the breeze won’t blow your way
I will be the sun
And if the sun won’t shine your way
I will be the rain.
And if the rain won’t wash away
All your aches and pains,
I will find some other way
To tell you you’re okay.
It’s your young voice that’s keeping me holding on to my dull life.
Tags: Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, Bjork, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Chris Staples, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Kanye West, King Creosote, Lauryn Hill, Low, Mason Jennings, Mates of State, My Brightest Diamond, Stevie Wonder