Songs for Mama And Baby That Don’t Suck – Punky Mom Mixtape by Nina
I grew up with a mother from the hippie generation and a sister 16 years my elder. I’m not sure either one of them knows what kids music sounds like – which means I’m not very certain of it either. I was bouncing around the house in diapers listening to Fleetwood Mac, Cream & The Beastie Boys. My mom made up her own songs to put me to sleep and my sister probably introduced me to the Wu Tang Clan a bit too early.
Much to my sister’s chagrin, when I turned 13 years old I told her I wanted a Good Charlotte CD for my birthday. She took me to Best Buy, probably because the record store she was working at didn’t have it in their collection, and purchased the disc for me. She stood in my doorway before I could press play and threw a CD on my bed. I looked down at a picture of a topless woman in a flamenco pose, Pixies Surfer Rosa. “When you’re ready for real rock music, listen to this.”
So, of course, when I became pregnant everyone’s suggestions of listening to Mozart for Babies etc. sort of went out the window. I downloaded a Bach cello suite played by Yo Yo Ma which didn’t soothe me or produce any kicks from baby. I also had a lot of anxiety with my pregnancy – normal mama stuff – will I be a good mother? Will I have enough money? Will I have a healthy baby? I found music was my therapy and that the most kicks were produced by the Wu Tang Clan.
I played Mos Def Black on Both Sides more times than I would like to admit. A playlist an ex-boyfriend put on my iPod played repeatedly, encompassing everything from Nico to Fugazi. Baby loved it all and it calmed me down, so it stuck. My friends joked he would know Old Dirty Bastard’s voice from the day he was born.
The first month or so after I brought him home we played a lot of Bob Dylan Girl From the North Country. We had Reptar Three Shining Suns on loop; when he needed to be bounced around, strangely enough, Mos loved Harry Belafonte, and of course the Wu Tang Clan.
It hit me when he started making cooing noises that no matter how innocent the mouth, the N word would never be an appropriate word for my babe to slip, so I quickly removed Wu Tang from our repertoire.
I still couldn’t deal with nursery rhymes. I honestly find them creepy – the cradle will drop?
You Are My Sunshine just depresses me and I can’t even name others. I tried downloading those crazy baby tunes that take popular songs and make them baby friendly with dings and chirps. Kiss by Prince, Big Pimpin a la Jay Z. The Pixies versions are unrecognizable and I wanted to rip my ears off after the third go round.
Finally it hit me to start making my own soothing baby playlists with songs of my own choosing. Now I am sharing some of my favorite relaxing time songs with you. Don’t worry I left off the Wu Tang Clan. For now.
- Love That Conquers – The Swell Season
- House Of Diamonds – Bowerbirds
- Rolling Sea – Vetiver
- Rollercoaster – M. Ward
- Passenger Seat – Death Cab for Cutie
- Spanish Sahara – Foals
- UMI Says – Mos Def
- Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan;Johnny Cash
- Three Shining Suns – Reptar
*Editors Note. We welcome Nina back to Punky Moms as a guest writer. If you haven’t read it already Nina’s first piece for us It Is My Goal To Raise Gentle Boys was published on the site last month.