Songs I Sing to my Son

This is something of a follow up to my earlier post on the same subject.

Babies love to hear singing. Even if the singing is not that good. They love music too – we have a CD player in Pip’s room which is usually playing something decent. Currently it’s playing Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” album. Jazz from that era is great if a baby is trying to sleep. Hopefully all the music I play him will give him some musical taste, but I’ve also caught D playing him Kylie!

I’ve printed out lyrics for some of my favourite songs, picking those which have lots of words and a pleasant enough tune. My taste tends toward industrial music, dubstep, underground industrial hip-hop, rivethead and indeed 80’s American punk. Which makes finding songs to sing to Pip a challenge. It’s not so easy to sing Ministry songs for example, they have few words, they’re always weird and distorted, and Alien Jourgensen (yes that’s really his name) has a voice like a band saw. And… he tends to sing a lot about his heroin habit!

Choosing a song is complicated. As well as lots of words, it’s got to have some kind of tune that I can at least attempt to sing. The song “Pets” by Porno for Pyro sounded like fun, but when I went looking at the lyrics, there’s not really that many of them. Contrast that with “Grand Ol’ Party Crash” by Cage, which has a lot of lyrics delivered at a frenetic pace. Tried to sing that one, ran out of breath.

Thankfully Pip is too young to understand the content of the songs I sing him. I have found some which are to both our likings, such as “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Aeroplane, “Tomorrow Wendy” by Andy Prieboy and “Restin’ Bones” by Primus. Although… you notice all of these tracks are about drugs or death or both! I’ll have to learn some new stuff before he’s too old.

Now for an embarrassing confession. The only song I sing him that I know all the words to is… “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple. I learned the whole song after I heard the story behind the track. Short version: the band was in Montreux in Switzerland, on the shore of lake Geneva, to record an album. During a Frank Zappa concert a fan set the main venue in the town, the casino, on fire – hence “smoke on the water”. This was also where they were trying to record their album, so they had to find another place to record. I’ve been to Montreux, so for some reason this song stuck!

It’s the best thing in the whole world when I can sing him to sleep. He has to be on his way there already, but still in need of some help to fall asleep. The other night I sang him to sleep in my arms, he had a cute half smile on his face, which made me feel like I was really succeeding at this daddy thing.

Here then are some of the songs I sing to him now:

(Yay an Australian track.)

(Yay another Australian track.)

Songs to sing to my kid

Apparently kids like being sung to. We’ll see how long Pip puts up with that when he realizes I can’t hold a tone and always sing out of key! Thankfully, the songs I know don’t require much by way of tunefulness.

But, at the same time, not entirely sure that my favourite songs – the one’s I actually know the words for – are going to work for him. Some examples…

“Wake” by the delightfully titled Godflesh.

“Just One Fix” by Ministry.

“Grand ole Party Crash” by Cage, featuring Jello Biafra. “I wake up to a caffeine cigarette vaccine and bathe in water I wouldn’t drink before gasoline. Feel like a loser because I’m not in Fallujah…”

“(He’ll never be an) Ol’ Man River” – TISM.
Damn it, now I want to go to a TISM gig. Which would be hard since they’ve broken up and their lead guitarist is dead…

You get the idea. I’m sure I can sing these songs to him, so long as no-one overhears me, and until he starts wondering what “I’m on the drug that killed River Phoenix” means! Or I suppose I could learn a nursery rhyme or two. Sigh.

*Flails arms in the air* “I’m on the druuuuuuuug! I’m on the druuuuuuuug!”

Pip has Fantastic Musical Taste already

The other night, Pip was fretting a bit in my arms. I’ve heard that babies like continuous noises, like static and rain, so I went looking through my iPhone for some appropriate tracks. Yes, I actually listen to stuff like that of my own free will – even Lou Reed’s infamous Metal Machine Music – four vinyl album sides of pure feedback. Open that link at your peril!

Luckily for everyone’s ears, I didn’t have a copy of that particular musical masterpiece on my phone. So I thought I’d go for something instrumental and funky. And what could me more funky than original funk band The Meters? I played him this track:

And he was asleep before it even finished! My kid likes the Funk!

Immediately I made him a funk mix CD – actually just a mix of James Brown and Meters tracks – and popped it in our shitty CD play. It works! We lie him in his crib, and if he’s fretting we just put on Soul Brother Number One and off he goes.

Now, which musical artists can I introduce him to in his second week? Led Zeppelin? Is it too early for Black Flag?