Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Song

I used to be a classically trained singer. No, I'm not kidding. Starting from the time I was 11, until I was in my mid-20's I took vocal lessons and sang everything from show tunes to opera. I was the annoying kid who sang solos you had to sit though in church. I was the lead in the school play. I was the only member of my college acting cohort who got excited when we did musical theater. And I was the one who supported myself as a singing waiter when I moved to San Francisco after school. Again, not kidding.

I stopped singing in public when I moved to Washington D.C. Lessons were too expensive, and no one really cared if a television producer could sing. I kept singing around the house though, and looked forward to the day I would have a baby to sing to as I rocked her to sleep.

Now she is here, and I have found it hard to know what song to sing.

I don't like lullabies. Sure, they sound pretty, but most of them are about gross commercialism, unlucky insects, babies falling out of trees, or lost love. In my imagination, I have always sung show tunes to my baby. I love them, and have known every word to most of the standards since I was a little kid. However, when I look down at Meg, the words go out of my head. I hate to say it, but I don't think she is a Broadway baby.

Actually, when I look at Meg few lyrics come to me. Few words too. She renders me dumb because I am so in awe of her. I think it happens to all parents. I mean, doesn't that explain baby talk? It isn't that adults want to talk down to babies, they just go stupid around them and can't do anything but babble. I think that's the reason one of the only songs I have been able to remember all the words to is "Witch Doctor." You know, the one that goes "Ooo, eee, ooo, ah, ah, ding, dang, walla, walla, bing bang." Yeah, it's just random sounds to a tune -- perfect for someone who has temporarily lost all knowledge.

Today though, I think I found a song. It's from an artist I have always liked, but not loved. It was the free download on iTunes last week, and came on randomly when we were driving to pick up Luke at school. Meg was in the back, and kind of getting fussy. When this song came on though, she stopped. And since then, every time I start to sing to Meg, this is the song that comes out of my mouth.

Isn't it a beautiful song? It has the nonsense sounds that I am, by now, very good at making, and it has a positive message that has nothing to do with mining deaths, or sheep love. Of course, it could change tomorrow, and I could go back to singing the grocery list, or making up songs like "who is a baby head."

Right now though? Meg and I are caught up, and enjoying our song.


LB @Wait, She Said What? said...

Beautiful song!

As I was reading the part from "Witch Doctor", the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie popped in my head. I now hear that song in chipmunk voices. That, and "Funky Town".

Candice said...

Aww, beautiful baby and beautiful song!

Chief said...

I downloaded this the other day from itunes. What I loed about her was she admitted that most of her songs are recorded with a $30 casio keyboard. So awesome!

Amanda said...

C'mon Lib - Mom used to make up words to sing to Cate. Usually they were commands for you and I.

I have burnt a copy of the Martha Stewart "Sleepytime" cd for you. Mom gave it to me when I was pregnant with Luke. It is fantastic music.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

I've always been partial to The Rainbow Connection, but I'm strange like that. I like the song you have on this blog, though. Enough to buy it. :) Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful song! I bet my Tuesday posts really bother you then, huh?

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

If a server ever sang to me I would stab them with a fork.

erin said...

I love the new layout. Totally perfect.
I took vocal lessons for ten years. My parents joke that all the money for lessons goes into singing disney songs and lullabies to my kids.
Here's the lyrics to the one I sing the most:
A tiny turned up nose, two cheeks just like a rose
This little boy (or girl) or mine
This little boy of mine
You'll never know just what,
just what your coming has meant,
I'll tell you something though,
you must be heaven sent,
you climb up on my knee,
and you look up at me
this little boy of mine
this little boy of mine

Little Girl Big Glasses said...

Love the song, and what a lucky peanut to have someone that actually knows how to sing singing to her. My poor poor children. In the midst of sleeplessness, I sang "rockabye sweet baby james" and "you've got a friend" to my oldest...when my youngest was born, I somehow channeled sinatra and "fly me to the moon" was our standard. Now the older one is all mellow and the younger one is a playa. Coincidence? I think not.

Amy said...

When my sweet one was new, I just made up songs. A couple of them have stuck and I can kind of remember them, but mostly we had kind of a narrative opera. She wouldn't fuss if I was singing the steps to making a bottle for some reason. I don't think I was ever in tune either. You could sing your power bill and she will love it.

DCD said...

Great song! I hadn't heard it before.

Our three go-to songs for bed are:

Mermaid Lullaby from The Backyardigans cartoon. (I don't think that's the actual name of it - but it's a very sweet song.)

Then, "Doe a Deer."

Then, "Show me the Way to go Home." Which both my kids have always loved.

So yeah, we're weird.

Aunt Juicebox said...

It doesn't matter what you sing to her, just sing. Instill that love in her as early as you can.

Dunc said...

I cannot get over that you were a singing waiter (or waitress, I suppose).....bwahahaha, I love it!

rachie! said...

I do love singing to the little ones! We make up a lot of songs, my favorite is "Mama can't fix it unless you tell her what's wrong" featuring lines like "learn some words so you can tell mama what's wrong" - haha.
We sing "this little light of mine" - I started singing it to him once a day when we were about 20 weeks pregnant, so he knew it when he came out. No matter what his reason for crying, he calms right down as soon as I sing it.
And then I sing a lot of regular songs to him. I'm not big on the lullabye's either, because mostly they are TOO SHORT! :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

I used to wonder what song I would sing to my kids and when Sprite was born, I kept gravitating to "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins since you can use a gentle falsetto and almost whisper the lyrics depending on how loud or quiet you want to be. It's been my go to.

Gina said...

I never sand traditional lullabies to my kids. It was usually She is His Only Need, Friend of the Devil or Row Jimmy.