A few weeks ago, the MS readership increased by one small girl, namely Eva Grace, the brand new daughter of our valued contributor Randall Monty. When an mp3 blog wants to collectively congratulate, said congratulations must take the form of a list of posted songs and text. This is also its response towards condolences and a particularly delicious empanada. She is a limited medium.
So, the non-Monty members of our little corner of pixels have taken it upon themselves to each recommend a song that we felt the newborn might enjoy. With one notable exception, these suggestions have not been field tested in any way, and some are perhaps even wildly inappropriate. We leave it to the proud papa to enlighten us as to which those might be.
On with it, and congratulations from us all…
“Mayonesa” is neither the best song (under any criteria), nor a song for a newborn, let alone best song for a newborn, but certainly a fun Latin dance track with a silly name. And from what I know about babies they love fun, dancing, and silliness so there you go.
Translated from the Spanish word for mayonnaise, this cumbia-candombe hybrid was a giant hit in the Rio de la Plata region of South America circa austral summer 2001. I’ll save the Google search for those of you geographically challenged, I’m specifically referring to Uruguay, Argentina and environs. In 2001 I took an extended trip to the region and this song was defined by the infectious ridiculousness of the subject matter as much by the ubiquitous of the track. It was everywhere. I can’t really vouch so much for how many other countries Chocolate infiltrated with their hit, but I did hear the song a few times later that year in Spain. Twice to be exact, once at a disco and again in a television commercial for what else, mayonnaise. Little Monty, the world is flat, welcome.
I’m recommending this swinging rockabilly thang because of personal experience. My iTunes shows that “Freight Train Boogie” has a play count of 406, making it our most popular song of the past few years, because my twin sons had to hear it several times a day between the age of 1 and 2 (they are now 3). They demanded it by name (they dubbed it “Wah-wah” for obvious reasons.) John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” was a close second (393 plays).The song has a kid-friendly bounce and a nice woody bucolic feel. And that “ooh ooh wah wah” train thing is totally primal and childlike. Michael Stipe once said that “murmur” was one of the easiest words in the English language to say; ooh ooh and wah wah are even easier, hence their appeal to moppets. Many congratulations to you and yours.
P.S. Check out “Pink Thing” by XTC. That was my second choice for you.
Congratulations Monty! Because it sounds like a nihilistic nursery rhyme or maybe a School House Rock lesson in gun safety (‘My daddy has a gun, it’s not a toy but it’s loads of fun’), I’m giving you and your new babe ‘Fairy Stories.’ Additionally, I hear infants enjoy the sounds of other infants. And prior history tells us those Black Lips could use a Huggies diaper.
It turns out that my attempt to do a wide search for the term “baby” in a song lyric didn’t really narrow down the possibilities. So I picked the most famous song ever to be inspired by baby talk. I had to turn a blind eye to Muddy Waters and give the nod to Clapton’s version for after all, when you’re talking babies, you can’t really deny a song that’s featured on an album titled From the Cradle.
Congrats and best wishes to the Monty family and may your new one grow up strong and take after her Pa by displaying her unabashed disdain for Pearl Jam’s Ten.
Hello – I listen to some depressing, lyrically (emotionally) unstable music. No way for a baby to enter the world.
I ran through a number of songs. First that resonated was Sufjan Steven’s “Vito’s Ordination Song,” which always struck me as a good celebratory song – (wedding, graduation, successfully returning to abode with ice cream in slightly-frozen state), and it is a beautiful, if wussy song. But Eva Grace is not a son, and, even if we ignore genders, I can’t tell whether the father and son relationship is about Sufjan and God, or a fictional character and his son, or a same-sex relationship. Neither can anyone else.
So, Eva Grace will have enough confusion with religion at some point; that is not going to be my doing.
I thought the song structure of most shoegaze pop – anthemic – would be motivating, inspirational – but damn if all of those songs are not about love lost. And I can’t proffer the beauty by ignoring the scarily-titled “A Violent But Flammable World” of Au Revoir Simone.
For not more than four seconds, I thought, “Why not, ‘Stay Fly?’ by Three 6 Mafia? Underneath the warnings of not leaving your weed near DJ Paul, it’s fundamentally a song about motivation. The “hustle” is metaphorically translatable to the hustle Monty will insist on the soccer pitch.
Then I tried to reverse course and go with M83′s (short on the lyrics) “Teen Angst”, but the soaring synths might be a little too much for developing ears to bear.
I really wanted to go with something from Low – specifically from Things We Lost in the Fire, one of my favorite albums of all time. Not because I hoped to irrevocably depress Eva Grace before she could even start formulating emotions, but that the melodies are so gorgeous that (if we’re to believe these songs hold weight) she would seek out the entire album 18-20 years in the future – you know, when we’re battling our nanobot-controlled toasters. But it just didn’t fit.
Next, Nico’s “Time of the Season” – but it doesn’t really bespeak of my experience growing up.
So what does speak to my experience growing up? Nirvana (next); Public Enemy (I’d prefer she first learn about racial equality (read: existing racial inequality) without the undertones of sexism and anti-semitism.
So that lead me to Portishead’s “It’s a Fire.” It’s gorgeous, and it’s melancholy, but hopeful. And it’s my song for Eva Grace.
Portishead – “It’s a Fire”
My pick for the newborn may be a bit too on the nose, as it is basically a musical mobile. A hyper active toddler would surely have no patience for the sweet piano circles of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, but for a crib bound tyke, it seems like just the thing to soothe a confused little head. My lovable, though jam band loving, college roommate used to say in regard to the incomprehensible information infants were constantly given, that babies were perpetually “tripping balls.” Maybe these static and deceptively lovely notes will serve as a necessary calming influence. I know that when I feel like sobbing, spitting up, or shitting my pants, this is where I turn.