Daddy's Coming Honey!

The First Sound

The First Sound

Went to an Avett Brothers concert last week. Baby’s first concert. It just may be that he/she could have heard it.

When the Avetts came out on stage that night, they opened with “Tin Man.” After I went home, I was inspired to, like the bros., write a poem based on the Frank Baum character. Here is a lullaby poem for my child:

My child, when you grow up
you may be a tin man
only wherever you go
take always your oil can
for though your skin may hold
against the toughest blows
you’ll be rusting in the rain
and sometimes when it snows

My child, my tin man
beware of more than rust
for when you walk the yellow road
a sharp axe is a must
for though your skin may shine
the woods are deep and dark
and there trees you have to chop
much deeper than the bark

My child, when you grow up
you be a strong tin man
but if you ever lose your heart
you’ll wind up a tin can
for you may find along the way
good friends dear and sweet
if in that metal chest they hear
a tender, warm heart beat

According to the research, it is around this time that the baby is beginning to be able to detect sound. Or so they say. Apparently they also say that there are so many sounds in the womb—amniotic currents, GI tract reverberations, umbilical palpitations—that any noise the baby picks up from outside is mere muffled background noise. Rubbish. I know it can hear me.

We begin to think of lullabies, songs our parents or grandparents sang to us. We’re going to sing them already, just in case the child can hear us, so that when the child comes, it will recognize those tunes but with the freshness of being sung sweetly in their very ear.

I remember my mother used to sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me, and later I would get silly with it and add nonsense words: “You are my Meatballs.” Not sure where the meatballs came from. I would even sing this to our dog, Max. Both my mother and Carrie’s mother would read “I Love You Forever”, and sing the verse: “I love you forever,/I love you for always/ as long as I’m living/ my baby you’ll be.” My dad knew that singing wasn’t his gift, so when he tucked me in he would put his fingers over my eyes like he was casting a warding spell and whisper, “sweet dreams.” Instead, I had really strange dreams. But when I awoke I felt safe. Luke, however, had some freaky night terrors.

Now, we’ve all heard the theory that if you play Mozart for your baby in the womb it will grow up to be a genius. I’m sure that was a myth invented by rich white yuppies to make themselves feel more important for pretending to like classical music. I wouldn’t doubt a number of genres of music will stimulate the baby’s cognitive abilities from the start. If not that, the the child will get soothing messages from the outside. We’re gonna make sure this baby has good taste.

So I actually made two mix tapes, one a set of lullabies and another a mix of “wombiance”, instrumentals that will stimulate the child and give it a preview of the wonderful world outside. It does seem like a strange experiment. I mean, playing radiohead to a fetus—who knows what that would do?

So here’s our lullaby mix. I recommend making one of your own. Forget buying one at the store when you can personalize it. Try to learn them too. You can even sing them when they’re older. No shame:

Baby—Dave Matthews
He wrote this one for his daughters. Good for singing to a crying child

Dream a Little Dream of Me—Dean Martin
A staple lullaby to put them to sleep

Edelweiss—the Paul Jacobson version
My aunt’s favorite movie is Sound of Music. Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s really about the dominance of the Aryan race. We believe that’s important.

Somewhere over the Rainbow—Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version
Great for wedding processions and lullaby mix tapes.

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)—The Dixie Chicks
Carrie picked that one. Okay, I guess I like it too.

You are My Sunshine—Norman Blake
My mommy used to sing this one to me.

Sattelite—Dave Matthews
A modern version of “twinkle twinkle lil star”.

Lullaby—Jack Johnson and Matt Costa
I had to include it; it was called “Lullaby.”

Harvest Moon—Neil Young
a dreamy, rocking serenade. We’ll just skip the line about “being lovers.”

The Rainbow Connection—Kermit
My cousin would always play this on the piano and I would sing it in my Kermit voice. Ok, we still do that. I made a CD for my niece with me doing Kermit’s voice and I think she just now figured out it was me.

Waiting on an Angel—Ben Harper
cuz that’s what we’re doing right now

Sunshine on My Shoulders—John Denver
shut up. It’s a good song.

Catch a Falling Star—Perry Como
I actually never heard this one til high school.

La Mer (Somewhere, Beyond the Sea)—Charles Trenet
I guess we’d just sing the English version, but it would be fun to sing the French and see if our baby picks it up

Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby— Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch
Well, outside the context of that naughty scene in “O Brother,” its a nice lullaby

Wash Away—Joe Purdy
its a purdy song

Mr. Tambourine Man—Judy Collins
I never thought this Dylan hit would make a good lullaby, but I saw a woman sing it to a baby in a movie once and then I heard this version.

Swept Away—Avett Brothers
I want the baby to hear what I walked down the aisle to to wait for his mother

Blackbird—the Sarah McLachlan version
a classic Beatles ode

You Can Never Hold Back Spring—Tom Waits
Carrie can’t get over the gruff voice, but its a sweet one

Abraham—Sufjan Stevens
An ode to the man saved by a lamb.

Oh—Dave Matthews
this is a lullaby directed toward the elderly, but it works for babies

Out of the Woods—Nickel Creek
their most lullaby-esque song. For now I’ll sing “I wish you out of the womb”

Smile—Nat King Cole
one of the first things every child learns to do

Dearest—Buddy Holly
silly little song

Better Together—Jack Johnson
written for a couple, but also works for a family

Everyday (solo version)—Dave Matthews
everyone knows the hyper picic version, but this soft one is great for a lullaby

When You Come Back Down—Nickel Creek
Carrie’s favorite Creek song. And we expect our baby to keep coming back to us when it grows up. This song will guarantee that.

Big Rock Candy Mt.—Harry McClintock
Because I just love to sing and whistle this song.

We’re Going to Be Friends—Jack Johnson
They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Like a Songbird That Has Fallen—Reeltime Travelers
this ditty from “Cold Mt.” could really be used for anything; its deep with multiple meanings

Laugh it up. I put a Coldpay song on here. This one’s for you, Andy.

Sweet Afton—Nickel Creek
ok, their second most lullaby-esque song

The Greatest Sum—Avett Bros.
Nothing can keep me from my baby. Except the hands of God. I mean, I have to admit, they could. I wouldn’t like it. But they could.

All I’m Thinkin’ About—Bruce Springsteen
The Boss can put out a good lullaby

The Fox—Nickel Creek
this one is more fun when they’re a toddler

And here’s what our “wombiance” mix looks like. I must say, it seems rather odd, but I can’t wait to try it out:

because everytime I hear this song I imagine its like being in a womb

I also imagine I’m in a womb when I hear this song

In This Temple As in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
Alanson, Crooked River
Tahquaamenon Falls- all by Sufjan stevens
when I hear these songs I picture a little autistic kid walking through a store full of glass statues and being amazed by them, windchimes going off in his head.

Hurley’s Handouts—Michael Giacchino
this is that Hawaiian tune from LOST when Hurley gave away all that food

First and Last Waltz—Nickel Creek
waltz, baby, waltz

The Carnival of Animals:
The Swan, the Aviary, the Aquarium, and the Tortoises—Camille Saint Saenz
each of these pieces reflects an animal. This is a fun orchestra piece.

Carmen: Entr’acte to Act III (arr. for Flute and Harp): Intermezzo—Nora Shulman version
this was meant to be a “put the baby to sleep” piece. very soothing

Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude—Yo-Yo Ma
this is that one from that commercial. You know, that violin piece.

This is such a great piece. They use it in the end of The King’s Speech.

Goldberg Variations: Aria da Capo—Simone Dinnerstein
This one sounds like an angel is learning to play piano

Gavotte and Passepied—Handel
I have no idea what you call the instrument, but its very music-boxy

a very zen piano piece

Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman—Mozart
which the world would later know as “twinkle twinkle little star”

Rage Over the Lost Penny
Moonlight Sonata
Fur Elise
And I suppose you’re going to tell me he was really deaf

Fantasie Impromptu Minor—Gabriela Montero
Girl can flat out slay a piano. Serenely, though.

La Notte: II Sonno—Vivaldi

Dance of the Reed Flutes—Tchaikovsky
hehe. nutcracker.

Largo from Xerxes—Bach
a flat out boring piece, sounds like a wedding between two ninety-four-year-olds. But its good for a nice nap.

Suite 2 in B minor: Bouree II
Ave Maria—Bach
not so boring pieces by Bach

Moonlight Serenade—
Glenn Miller (yeah, we’re done with the classical)

Any Other Name—Thomas Newman
I can’t describe this one. It’s just…airy.

Koolen—Eric Serra
my wife loves this one. It’s from The Fifth Element. She says its good yoga music

#34—Dave Matthews
a purely instrumental soft jazz loop

Kid A—Radiohead
no, not the whole album. I don’t want my kid to come out paranoid.

Ágætis Byrjun Itro
Meo Blódnasir
Sé Lest
Samskeyti—Sigur Rós
how can I explain the music of this Icelandic band? I had a couple friends go to a concert of theirs. By the end complete strangers were crying and hugging each other.

Rollercoaster—Kimya Dawson
Listen to this one, then try to hum it to yourself with someone else sitting beside you without giggling.

The Orb of Dreamers—The Daniel Pemberton TV Orchestra
How do you know we’re nerds? This is from LittleBig Planet.

Flim—Aphex Twin
thank you Josh Ball for introducing me to this song. This is what I imagine it would sound like if you got sucked inside a Wii.

Enter Serenia—Jack Wall
yet more proof we’re nerds. This is from Myst.

Dreams of Venice—Jesper Kyd
dreamy opera music

Vide Cor Meum—The City of Prague Philharmonic
another good opera for babies

Concerning Hobbits
Many Meetings—Howard Shore
we’re gonna have a Hobbit baby

Did I overthink this lullaby thing? You bet. But do I love it? Yes.
Check these tunes out if you’re thinking of getting into the lullaby experimentation. Oh, and if you have any other good ones, let us know.

ladidadidadida ladida. ladida.


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