Sunday, March 06, 2011

15 Songs About Parenting

God willing, in a few months Laura and I will have a baby, a son. Today I came across the great Randy Newman song "Memo to My Son" and got to thinking about what were some other great songs about being a parent. Through a combination of Googling and also thinking about my own favorites, here is the playlist I came up with.

Lou Reed, "Beginning of a Great Adventure"
I love this one. Probably captures most closely the way I am feeling right at this moment -- anxious, excited, bemused, talking to myself a lot.

David Bowie, "Kooks"
So good.

Slick Rick, "It's a Boy"
Possibly my favorite new discovery of the day. Great music video includes a Lil Slick Rick, Lil Flavor Flav, Lil Kool Moe Dee and others! Rick the Ruler's take on parenting: "Hope I don't spoil a n**** rotten."

Talking Heads, "Stay Up Late"
Technically about being a sibling to a baby, I know. But so good that we're going to allow it.

Randy Newman, "Memo to My Son"
Wry, warm. Terrific.

Brad Paisley, "Anything Like Me"
About finding out that you are having a son. Ending of the song is a killer.

Loudon Wainwright III, "Daughter"
You remember this from the closing credits of "Knocked Up." Well, it's pretty great.

Harry Belafonte, "Turn Around"

Wu-Tang Clan, "Better Tomorrow"
Admittedly only partly about parenting. But the chorus -- "You can party your life away, smoke your life away/ but your seed grow up the same way" -- is definitely a way of thinking about how to be a parent.

Drive-By Truckers, "Outfit"

Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"
Beautiful.

Cat Stevens, "Father and Son"

The Coup, "Me and Jesus the Pimp in '79 Grenada Last Night"
Not a fathering manual, this one. Maybe this is a good example of what you should not do as a father. Less depressing: "Wear Clean Draws" by The Coup.

John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

Sade, "Babyfather"
Pretty gorgeous song with a terrific video.

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Honorable mentions:
Tupac, "Letter 2 My Unborn" (good, but like everything Tupac did, it is really all about him); The Beatles, "Hey Jude" (seems parental, but too oblique -- a song Paul wrote for John's son); Paul Simon, "Graceland" (involves a father-son road trip, though its real theme seems to be lost love); several Eminem songs.

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Extra credit: 3 Songs About Pregnancy
R. Kelly, "Having a Baby"
Safe to say no one but Kells could pull off the gonzo playacting of an entire pregnancy in an R&B song, culminating in shouts of "Push! Push!" Good God.

R. Kelly feat. The Dream, Tyrese and Robin Thicke, "Pregnant"
Basically just biting a Tracy Morgan joke, but funny anyway.

Ghostface Killah feat. Raheem DeVaughan, "Baby"

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Leave your own favorite parenthood songs in the comments, though if anyone says "Cat's in the Cradle" you are totally fired.

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