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"
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"
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"
Pretty gorgeous song with a terrific video.
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.
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"
Leave your own favorite parenthood songs in the comments, though if anyone says "Cat's in the Cradle" you are totally fired.