Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Playlist

This project was inspired by the Talking Heads song "Stay Up Late."

The chorus is total pop/rock standard: "Baby, baby please let me hold you. I wanna make you stay up all night." But what's so fun is that this time, it's not a metaphor for sex--he's really talking about a baby. It's a song about loving the cuteness of your baby so much that you don't want to put him to bed: “Cute, cute little plaything. Why not make him stay up late at night?”

So I thought, what if I made a whole list of songs addressed to "baby baby" but to me they really were about my babies?

For example, Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" is allegedly about a boyfriend, and in that case it's psycho and wrong. But address the lyrics to your children instead, and suddenly it's very a propos: "You'll always be a part of me. I’m part of you indefinitely.”

So here's my list of songs you can pretend are about your children, or that really are about families, or are by families. We've been having a lot of fun doing our chores to the tunes of The Jackson 5 and Sister Sledge. Once my list is nice and long, I'm going to burn a disc for the van. So brainstorm with me, please. What other “baby baby” songs could really be about our babies?

Just What I Needed, The Cars
Because you gotta remember, these kids are just what you needed.
Best family line: “I don’t mind you coming here and wasting all my time….I needed someone to feed.”

Stay Up Late, Talking Heads
Beautiful anthem to just lovin’ your kids.
Best family line: “Having fun--for no money.”

You’re the One That I Want, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta
Because you gotta remember, these kids are the ones that I want.
Best family line: “Oo-oo ooh.” (Even Jesse can sing along.)

Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey
Best family line: "Now you want to be free So I'll let you fly Cause I know in my heart Our love will never die."

Our House, Madness
Can you say nostalgia?
Best family line: “Mother’s tired, she needs a rest.”

We Are Family, Sister Sledge
Sing it, sisters.
Best family line: “We’re giving love in a family dose.”

Lightning Crashes, Live
This one came out the year Roscoe was born and really describes how we felt about it.
Best family line: “Lightning crashes, a new mother cries.”

ABC, Jackson 5
I defy you to not start bopping along with that cute baby Michael
Best family line: “Without the roots of love every day, girl, your education aint complete.”

Suddenly I See, KT Tunstall
Best family line: “This is where I wanna be”

Ode to My Family, The Cranberries
More nostalgia. See, even rockers love their mommies.
Best family line: “'Cause we were raised, To see life as fun and take it if we can.”

Creatures of Love, Talking Heads
Teach your kids the truth about the birds and the bees with this one--I love it.
Best family line: “Well, I’ve seen sex and I think its alright. It makes those little creatures come to life…From the sleep of reason a life is born. We are creatures of love.”

The Obvious Child, Paul Simon
Best drums ever.
Best family line: “Had little a son, we thought we’d call him Sonny...Sonny gets sunnier day by day.”

My Tennessee Mountain Home, Dolly Parton
You could also include her “Coat of Many Colors.”
Best family line: “Watch the kids a' playin' with June bugs on a string.”

Whole Wide World, Wreckless Eric
About a son following his mother’s advice to search the whole wide world for his woman.
Best family line: “And then in a year or maybe not quite We'll be sharing the same next of kin.”


  1. I love this idea! I want a copy! I know there are tons of songs like that but it might take me a few days to think of them all. The only one I can think of right now is Martina McBride "Baby I love you". There's a little too much about the physical stuff in there - but I always think about my babies anyway.

  2. I'm always trying to think of songs to dub onto a tape that could apply to my kids.

    Oh wait, did I just say tape?

  3. We LOVE that Talking Heads song! I'll have to try to come up with more songs that apply. What a fun idea.

  4. This was really fun - itunes here I come!

    annievalentie - we're dating ourselves, huh? and funny, I never feel very old!

  5. Here's my "Baby Love Songs" playlist. Some of them are a little cheesy:

    Can't get enough of you baby (Smashmouth)
    In my Daughters Eyes (Martina McBride)
    My Girl (The Temptations)
    Close to You (The Carpenters)
    This will be an everlasting love (Natalie Cole)
    Baby its cold outside (the one from ELF)

  6. There's some Zeppelin song where Plant croons "baby, baby, baby, . . . like a dozen times. Oh, wait, I think that's in "Whole lot of Love". No, not appropriate.

  7. Sheryl Crow sings : Sweet child of mine"

  8. Paul Simon's song Graceland talks about taking a son on a road trip.

    My kids love "Peaches."

    "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads is how I feel sometimes.

    "Baby You Can Drive My Car" will be appropriate in a couple of years.

    Maia thinks "Brown Eyed Girl" was written for her, (but you can borrow it).

    Keep us posted on the final list.

    (p.s. I remember pulling over and shedding tears in Provo the first time I heard "Lightning Crashes" on the radio.)