Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do You Believe in Rock And Roll?

Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
That is my favorite line from a song of all time.

Another night...more music stuff. It's just a conversation that doesn't end, and unless you wanna hear about my sick skills as a Wii ski jumper this is what's going on in my head right now.

So, some different takes on childhood music. When I said, "childhood," for myself I was speaking of the music you remember being played in your house as a child. That (in my advanced age, thanks for reminding me Christy :) ) the music that my parents played was Carly Simon, Simon and Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfood, and some Helen Reddy. This is early childhood when I didn't get to choose. It was just played. Thank God my parents had good taste in music. I think perhaps that could shape who you become. Like a name. Sometimes you just become the name you are given. At least that's what I think.

So that brings me to the somewhat scary question of how am I shaping my children's childhood. They are subjected to music constantly. I'm not saying I have the best taste either. I like what I like. When they were very young the listened to a lot of The Grateful Dead, Eric Claypton, The Cowboy Junkies, Cat Stevens and many more. There was no Barney singing in my car. They knew the words to Better Than Ezra's, "Extraordinary" and Barenaked Ladies "If I Had A Million Dollars," before they knew the theme to Sesame Street. This is because I was a selfish new Mom that took my kids to the gym and made them go to the playroom instead of letting them stay home and watch tv. Poor little angels. I remember so vividly driving through the town we live in and them singing, "If I Had A Million Dollars, I'd be rich!" and they would say, "Are we rich Mom?" and every time I would answer with, "We have people who love us, so yes, we are rich."

Lovely little memories, move along a couple years to when we're rocking out to Kid Rock, Shaggy and A Tribe Called Quest. Now my kids have their own IPods and their own taste in music but they will sing along all day long to my music. They know the words to , "Lowlife," and "B.A.M.A." that starts with, "You know who run this cell baby," it doesn't occur to me all that often that this might not be a good thing. Perhaps they should be listening to that Raffi guy, I don't know. I'm not really about censoring. Some music you just need to run to, right Simple Answer? I do try not to playNickelbacks, "Rockstar" that much with them in the car, although I love that song, but because that has the one line that I don't want them to hear. It says, "We'll all stay skinny cause we just won't eat." I would rather them not hear that than most any offensive Kid Rock lyric there is. I guess that's my button to push. So what's my point tonight? I don't know. What kind of house did you grow up in? Musical? Did you love music because of it? Do you have the same taste as your parent(s)? One interesting thing I do know is that two of my brothers, Chris and Mark are as into music as I am. We all went from the little clock radios in our bedroom ( I used to make mixed tapes by taping off the radio, my kids would not even believe that now) to making mixed tapes from our records, to having huge cd collections to still to this day constantly on the search for new music... I think that has something to do with my parents. So I guess only time will tell.


Anonymous said...

First one.

My mom was IN LOVE with Peter Frampton. So I had that going for me, as well as (thanks to my aunt) Iggy Pop, Hall & Oates and STYX. My sister and I went to our first concert as tweens with my aunt and her friends. It was STYX. During the extended instrumental for "Mr. Roboto" my aunt and her friends decided to toke up. Needless to say, at the end of the show, they couldnt find the car, finally found it, got lost on the way home from the spectrum, and had to call my dad to pick us up at a gas station off Broad Street near Temple. Ahhh, memories.....
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
Finger to nose.
Big Mouse

Heather said...

I grew up listening to the Beatles, the Guess Who, ELO, Stevie Nicks, Yes and Warren Zevon just to name a few. My father was was very big into music and his stereo equipment. He even had his speakers measured the perfect distance from his recliner chair for the best listening experience. He played bass guitar in a band when he was younger, and I played clarinet in school and piano. So he would hook up his bass to the amp, plug in the mic, and make me either play the play the piano or the clarinet while blasting some of our favorites in the background. That was some of my fondest childhood memories of my dad! We used to totally rock out...even though we totally sucked!!! (Sorry dad!) And I still love all of that music.

Kathy S. said...

American Pie - one of my favorites. Age 10 or 11, dancing, singing and decoding the lyrics in my best friend's bedroom (totally late 60's/early 70's orange/yellow/red mod decor).

My own house was the Age of Aquarius; The Fifth Dimension ruled the turn table. Mom and Dad harmonizing as they sang along (something fun when 6, mortifying when 16.)

Thanks for allowing me to dust off these memories.

Lula! said...


I had to scream that, yeah.

I will be singing American Pie for the rest of the day.

I used to make mixed tapes on my little portable radio. Taping stuff off American Top 40, every Sunday, with Casey Kasem. Ah, the memories.

I was blessed with a father who introduced me to all kinds of music, at a very early age...Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, Tommy James & The Shondells, Cat Stevens, John Lee Hooker, Tchaikovsky, Carole King, Pablo Cruise, Van Halen, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Supertramp, The Beatles, Billy Joel...and on and on.

My kids have NEVER heard a Disney/Backyardigans/Dora/etc. CD in any of our vehicles. They're too busy requesting Three Dog Night...Muse...Rihanna. Yesterday Libbey said, "Can you play 'Mamma Mia?'" YES! That's just awesome.

I can't think of my favorite lyric of all time. It'd probably be something by Simon & Garfunkel, though...Paul Simon is my favorite lyrical poet.

But, if I had to pick one for today--my yucky, crazy day, that is--it'd be one from Blue October:
"And where crying isn't secret, it's the art of how we grieve..."
"Where loneliness is history, told to pack its shit and leave..."
(From Drilled A Wire Through My Cheek.)
I need this kind of angst in my life...just for today.

OK, I'm through with the longest comment ever. But I LOVED this post, Amy. It made me super happy.

Amy Taylor said...

Oh my God. When you asked me what my fave Wii game was, my first answer was the ski jump, but I thought it sounded lazy so I didn't write it. When I read this post I laughed out loud. So much so that my kids were wanting to know why in the hell I was laughing... and smiling! I took my oldest to see james taylor a couple years ago. i cried through the whole thing because of the flood of memories that came with every opening note of every song.... except steamroller... at that point I wanted nothing more than to hump his leg. Simon/Garfunkel, Chicago, Yes, CCR, Madonna, Rick Springfield, man. Us 80's kids really got the shaft.

Andy said...

Van Morrison - Into the Mystic. If a song could be a woman, I would marry that one.

Brother Chris said...

Readers may know of a great saying that goes: "Sometimes the book chooses you". I think this is true of music as well. It's poetry that adds the dimension of sound and touches us in different, meaningful ways that clearly can transport us from the temporary ho-hum back to some other more magical place.

When I was a wee lad and listened over and over to Billy Joel sing "Slow down, you crazy child, you're so ambitious for a juvenile..." I was quite certain he'd written this song exclusively for my listening pleasure.

The other wonderful component is the sharing of a song or piece that makes us shiver. Amy Taylor's comment about crying through the whole JT concert is touching - it makes me feel that she not only loves the music and the memories, but she wants her child to see how impactful those things can be to an adult, and to share them with her cub.

Great comments throughout on this one sister dear. Good Work outta you!

Amy said...

Jen-I hate when that happens, my caretakers are to stoned to find the car. God!
It all kind of makes sense now...

Heather- that is so fun. What a great dad. And I know what great taste you have in music, cause you always like my mixes! ;) My back hurts.

Kathy- I wish you could post a facebook video of your mom and dad. I am picturing characters out of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Ah Lula, I thought you might like this one. I could spend all day talkin' music with you and I love that lyric. I'm writing it down.

Amy- I love everything you write all over the internet but topping the list is wanting to hump JT's leg and using the words Rick Springfield and the shaft in one sentence. That's fun.

Andy- I like that idea. I need to think of the song I would marry. I'm thinking on that one.

Chris- You are so insightful. It makes me smile. And do you know that when one of your friends was asking me about you they mentioned you and that Billy Joel song. Isn't that weird?

Anonymous said...

you know i think you are the greatest mom..and i aspire to be just like you in so many ways. but. you knew that was coming. i have to send the social workers over for exposing those darling kids to kid rock. seriously reform amy! reform! we just don't have enough information on how something like that could ruin a kids life!

Amy said...

BA- you know I do blame "I'm Comin' Out." on so many things. Maybe you're right...

Kathy S. said...

Amy - think more the "The Wonder Years". Yeah, I know, clashing images, especially when "What's the buzz..." was also spinning the split-level. Saw JCSS with the folks on stage. Loved it. Bit disappointed with the movie (not how I had imagined.) Still can sing every word, much to my kids dismay.

Anonymous said...


i grew up with a father who thought music was "noise" and preferred quiet (still does) and a mother who thought and thinks that the sun rises and sets just for music. thank god mom won out. i grew up with show tunes, beatles, gordon lightfoot, the hustle, mr. bojangles, cat stevens... you get the picture.

consequently, we have music on in my house always. i will admit that i did the barney songs and sesame street songs, but also always incorporated my own music in as well. thankfully, the toddler songs are history by now. my ipod is a mix of my music, my brother's music, and requests from the girls. music makes my world go round. perhaps that is why we currently 4 musical instruments in the house now as well. rock on!!!


incognitomom said...

We play lots of music in our house too. My two year old knows the words to songs by Avril Lavigne, Snow Patrol, Katy Perry, Matchbox Twenty, Pink, Coldplay, etc., etc. He also knows lots of 'kids' songs too.

Growing up music was always playing in my house. My dad has never outgrown the doo wop and motown sounds so my brother and I know songs that most people our age have never heard of. Even my 12 year old nephew knows some of those songs. My mom listened to whatever was in the top 40 at any given time. It's kinda cool to have a mom who knows most of the songs playing on the radio even though she's now in her sixties.

So, yeah, we love music too. Between my husband and me we've got almost every genre covered and it looks like our son is going to love music as much as we do.

Anonymous said...

why is BA always so negative:(

Lora said...

we don't allow kiddie music too, unless it is by bands that we already love (the BNL Snacktime record is great!)

i would lose my ever loving mind if i had one of those kids who listened to raffi and barney and all that crap.