Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Night, Good Night, Sweet Baby

As an adolescent, I was moody, intensely emotional, and cynical.

Hell, as an adult, I am moody, intensely emotional and prone to bouts of cynicism.  As an adult I have the benefit of years of experience to back up my cynicism.

There is a family legend, or more accurately, an anecdote that tells of how my father, in his attempt to get baby Andie to sleep, would play me Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez records.

This story is always told with a wink, the punchline being that Dad's choice of baby bedtime music somehow contributed to shaping me into the moody, intensely emotional cynic I am today.

Music and sleep have always been deeply intertwined for me.  Music and life, really, but music has played a part in my dreams since I was a small child and would beg my mom to put a tape in the cassette player while I went to sleep.  My tastes were not exactly typical for a child of the late 80s and early, as my artists of choice ranged from Harry Chapin to Harry Belafonte, with some Stompin' Tom thrown into the mix.

How I ever fell asleep to Harry Belafonte baffles me.

Both my sister and I sang The House at Pooh Corner to our children. It may be the perfect lullaby.

I think that had I had children later, or discovered the Mountain Goats earlier, I would have found myself rocking my babies, singing songs like "International Small Arms Traffic Blues" and "Song for Dennis Brown"; songs with soft, lilting harmonies and lyrics about addiction and love doomed to fail.

Then one day, down the road, I'd tell them about how I sang these tunes to them when they were babies.. and if they were moody, intensely emotional cynics, such as myself, we'd chuckle to ourselves as if to say "Well, I guess we know where THAT came from."

Good old kid-friendly tunes. - SOURCE


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