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Author Topic: Parenthood
Amor de Cosmos
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Eric Clapton, Chrissy Hynde, John Martyn, Loudon Wainwright. They, and plenty of others, have written songs about the joy, tragedy, fear, and hope being a parent. Some favourites:

Joni Mitchell Little Green
The song she wrote for the daughter she gave up at 16. I dissolve into puddle whenever I hear it.
Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who have made her
Little, green, be a gypsy dancer

David Bowie Kooks
A jolly little song of affirmation. Ziggy was sharp enough to realise that any kid of his was likely to catch it, in or out of school.

Kate & Anna McGarrigle Babies if I Didn't Have You
Brings me as close to understanding the Mother/child bond as I'm probably going to get.

Jesse Winchester Well-a-Wiggy
A Doo-Wop nursery rhyme.

[ 18-06-2002, 20:41: Message edited by: John C ]

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E10Rifle
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Songs about parenthood, like songs about what a cruel oppressive beast fame is to poor sensitive artists, are usually shark-jumping harbingers. I can't think of many that are all that great - Isn't she Lovely is the worst track on Songs in the Key of Life, and the other one that springs most immediately to mind is Billy Bragg's Brickbat . He's not really been the same since.
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Amor de Cosmos
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True mawkishness always lurks but parenthood is an integral part of human existence and should be fair game for any artist worth their salt.
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imp
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There's that Talking Heads song on Little Creatures, possibly of the same title, that goes, "See him drink from the bottle/See him eat from the plate/Cute cute something something/Don't you want to make him stay up late?" Reads a little cloying, but it sounds okay on the song, and when I first heard it, it was the first time I ever thought in my life that it might be alright to be a parent (I was 19).

Then there's Sinead O'Connor's Universal Mother album, much preoccuppied with family and containing My Darling Child: "Me little Ninja/Me little dancer/Me little streetfighter/Me little chancer." Again, cloying or beautiful depending on your mood and persuasion (I love it).

Less advisable is allowing your young children to sing on your recordings. Virginia Astley allows daughter Florence to murder I Know A Tune We Could Sing on her Had I The Heavens lp. I'm sure it was a lovely idea, but I wonder what was going through the sound engineer's head as he witnessed this off-key, pre-pubescent warbling. It's not like in a real band where you can yell, "Oi, you're f*cking flat as f*ck, sort it out."

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Ray O'Vac
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The BMX Bandits LP "Gettin' Dirty" has a track on it called "Waiting For Baby" which details the hopes and fears of Duglas and his partner. It's not a bad tune but the lyrics are vomit-inducing. And it features a baby giggling. Yeeeeeuuuuuuuurrrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!!!!
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Gordon Bennet
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Has there ever been a more beautiful lyric than The Greatest Love of All?

Probably.

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E10Rifle
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True John, parenthood is indeed a big part of human existence, but pop music is a young person's game, and is best when it deals with, you know, The Kids' concerns and activities, which are more likely to be inappropriate sex, melodramatic heartbreak, drugs, drink and general mayhem.
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Gordon Bennet
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quote:
parenthood is indeed a big part of human existence, but pop music is a young person's game
So's parenthood if you come from Grimsby.
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Amor de Cosmos
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Maybe I should've added The Pistols Bodies or Graham Parker's Squeezing Out the Sparks to my original list. "Inappropriate sex" and "Melodramatic Heartbreak" often lead, directly or indirectly, to parenthood, as many teens can testify, cf. the Joni Mitchell song above.

Also it's onetouchmusic not onetouchrockmusic or even onetouchpopularmusic, no boundaries.

[ 19-06-2002, 18:54: Message edited by: John C ]

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Andy C
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Parenthood certainly has a tendency to bring out the worst. Is there anything that reaches the nadir quite so precisely as Liam Gallagher's Little James?

But on the other tack, the illicit and outside-the-bounds-of-society's-approval strand, there's Ode To Billy Joe.

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Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan
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Little James contains some of the best lyrics of all-time: "You live for your toys... even though they make noise".
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Diggedy Derek
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There's loads of beautiful jazz ones- Wayne Shorter's Infant Eyes, John Coltrane's Syeeda's Flute Song. They're really expressive, with pensive, hankering solos- the sort of thing you can't really sing without sounding like a total cheese meister. Anyway, I think for something as tender as parenthood, songs without words are likely to capture the mood more than some half arsed lyric.

Alison Moyet's Weak In The Presence Of Beauty probably falls into the latter category. Bleurrgh.

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