In the first six months of parenting, these are the categories of music that one listens to:
- Music that makes your colicky, refluxy, teething little monster(s) fall asleep
- Nope, that’s it
This is mostly either whatever happens to be playing on shuffle at the moment when your midnight dancing around the living room finally works, or whatever lyrics you happen to remember at 4 am when rocking and sing/humming them back to sleep for the fifth time that night.
In the second six months of parenting, you start to move from desperate sleep-deprived dancing to something that could be mistaken for more joyful dancing, but is often just an effort to keep somebody distracted long enough for mama to take a shower. These tend towards songs that feature the word “baby” prominently in the lyrics, combined with parental in-jokes (Arcade Fire’s Here Comes the Nighttime is a byword for impending doom in our household) or “milestones” (Sylvan Esso’s H.S.K.T. being the first time I caught them doing anything I could label “dancing” under their own steam).
Here’s the “Year 1” playlist I built up over the course of this, largely from a cargo cult mentality that if it worked that once, it will again, right?, presented in roughly chronological order of significance. If you judge me for the music I will remember my kids’ infancy by, it’s a good sign you’re not a parent.
- Alice Cooper, Poison
- Erasure, A Little Respect, Always, Oh L’Amour (Depeche Mode was never a hit, though, oddly)
- Guns ‘n’ Roses, November Rain (a triumph of screaming to sleeping in a single song)
- The National, Fake Empire, Slow Show, Start a War (middle-of-the night low-pitched chest humming favorites)
- Lady Gaga, Bad Romance, LoveGame, Highway Unicorn
- Arcade Fire, Here Comes the Nighttime, Afterlife
- Of Monsters and Men, Little Talks
- OutKast, Hey Ya, Ms. Jackson
- Dom La Nena, Start a War
- alt-J, Breezeblocks
- Sylvan Esso, H.S.K.T., Play it Right
- No Doubt, Hey Baby
- U2, Ultra Violet
And yes, I closed additions to this playlist about 5 months ago, but it’s taken me this long to chronicle it. Parenting.