I’ve been waking up with Barney’s theme song playing in my head. Or Pocoyo’s. Or Mickey’s Hotdog song. Or sometimes, it’s the lullabies we play at night which are a collection of instrumental music set to classic nursery rhymes.
It’ll play in my head several times throughout the day. And I’ll hum these tunes involuntarily, unconsciously. And like some kind of degenerative mental disease, it’s slowly making me lose my mind.
So I made a new playlist. It’s about time the kids' musical education started anyway.
Since this was going to be a lullaby playlist, designed to play all night on repeat, some criteria had to be met.
a. the songs had to be interesting enough so that you could play them over and over and yet retain your sanity. (although one could make a case about any song, no matter how good, if played on repeat, would drive anyone insane.)
b. the songs couldn’t be too noisy or fast. (a real challenge since a lot of the music in my library are noisy and uh, fast. with screaming thrown in for good measure.)
c. the songs have to get the kids sleepy. (and still somehow use instruments like guitars, drums and bass, played by people usually associated with the word ROCK.)
d. no copping out by downloading the lullaby versions of modern rock songs. (because the xylophone version of Smells Like Teen Spirit just hurts me inside.)
39 songs. Roughly 2.5 hours. Hurriedly cobbled together with bedtime fast approaching. Because I don’t think I could survive another night of row, row, row your boat motherfucker.
Some artists that made the list:
a. The Smashing Pumpkins. They are able to create some of the most sublime sounds that ever came out of a guitar, drums and bass. On “To Sheila”, it feels like a dream. A safe, innocent, yearning, hopeful dream. Also on the Adore Album, “The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete” I imagine this song as a boat taking the kids off to dream about pink oceans under a pinhole night sky.
b. Pearl Jam. Eddies’ voice is like the hot soup you drink when you’re sick in bed. “Thumbing My Way” calls all lost souls back home. There isn’t a more honest or kind voice out there.
c. Rufus Wainwright. Just an incredible storyteller who doesn’t as much sing as he does croons, like that feeling when your mother would run her fingers thru your hair while you sleep. I secretly hope that by listening to his song while we sleep we’ll all be dreaming in “Barcelona”.
d. Sigur Ros. The beauty of “Ágætis Byrjun” is that the words don’t matter. And because we cant understand what he’s singing about, we are able to hear it from such a pure perspective. We take it as pure expression. Almost like classical music but with the familiarity, warmth and emotion of a human voice.
e. Tori Amos. Another one of those songs that I wish would bleed into our dreams. “Goodbye Pisces” feels like we’ve arrived at a really good place. Like laying in the middle of Fiddler’s Green, watching the clouds. Or a Miyazaki film.
These are some of the songs we’ll be listening to tonight. I’ll be looking to add more as I further comb through the library on the hard drives. And if you have lullaby music you love, share them in the comments. My subconscious thanks you in advance.
I want the kids to have rich memories with music. To know these songs that echo how I feel every time I carry them to sleep. Like the final word before they remember they’re dreaming.