When you have a kid, certain things are slow to change. For instance, in general you don't immediately throw away your death-metal albums and restock with Barney, because why would you? They don't know what they're listening to dozing in the car seat anyway . So you just go on listening to the same old songs with just a quick mental check to make sure there are no "fucks" involved that they may begin repeating later.
Well, we hope you really like the songs that you say you like, because we promise you there are selections on your playlist that your child will suddenly demand you listen to for the entire duration of the trip, and sometimes they make you wonder just how much damage you're doing to the kid.
The Beatles, "I Am the Walrus": The only one on the list we specifically tried to get the kid to listen to because we thought she would like it. Turned out she did, but the ensuing argument over saying "Koo Koo K'Choo" instead of "Goo Goo G'joob" makes you sound insane.
Will Screw Her Up By: Giving her severe pronoun-confusion issues thanks to the first verse.
Dolly Parton, "Jolene" Currently her favorite, and she knows all the words if you're not too fussy about consonants. Luckily, it's short... which actually means you just hear it more times.
Will Screw Her Up By: Using this song as the basis for her romantic relationships and giving her a paranoid view of other women as husband-stealing harpies.
Yusef Islam, "Roadsinger": She fell in love with this track nestled next to us watching the former Cat Stevens perform on The Colbert Report. Another one that she knows all the words too in a fuzzy, toddler way, though she always sounds a little sad when she sings it.
Will Screw Her Up By: Encouraging her to follow people into the desert in a search for meaning in life. We'd better leave Helter Skelter out where she can find it.
Peter Murphy, "The Line Between the Devil's Teeth (And That Which Cannot Be Repeat)": When she says she wants rock and roll, she means she wants Peter Murphy. Already a snob, for her the only true version of this song is the live B-side from the 1992 single "Hit Song." This, by the way, is not that version even though the uploader thinks it is, showing exactly where the kid gets it from. Also, we have no idea what her fixation with English musicians who have converted to Islam is.
Will Screw Her Up By: Probably not, actually. We're an adult who has memorized the lyrics, and we don't have a clue what this song is about.
Latch Key Kids, "Back in the Day": Don't worry, the album version she likes has a lot less "motherfuckers" in it. Our hometown boys' tribute to the heyday of Houston punk is one of the kid's favorite lullabies. Generally it puts her right to sleep.
Will Screw Her Up By: Fixating her on a past that has been misremembered though the lens of nostalgia. She'll probably spend her teens telling us what a good president Ronald Reagan was.
Jimmy Buffett, "Death of an Unpopular Poet": Our father sang it to us as a child, and we picked up where he left off as soon as we could. Sadly, she prefers the original tale to our rendition.
Will Screw Her Up By: Turning her into one of those Jandek or Lovecraft artists who toils in obscurity for most or all their lives.
Tori Amos, "Frog on My Toe": By contrast, this is the wife's choice of lullaby, and we just realized that we're both singing songs about death to a two-year-old. At least Tori has some good advice in her tune.
Will Screw Her Up By: Letting her know very early on that one day we're going to die and leave her with nothing but nail polish and amphibians.
Asmodeus X, "Voices of the Fallen": We named the kid after a good friend, Kat Cresswell, who lost her fight to cancer, and have showed her "Voices of the Fallen" video because Kat's in it briefly. Though we haven't had much luck encouraging a love of electronic music in her yet, "Voices," like, "Back in the Day" is a good long car ride sleepy tune.
Will Screw Her Up By: Wanting to hang out with Paul Fredric, who will then explain to her his theory on the Partridge Family actually being a Satanic propaganda machine. Also, Christ - everything we listen to is about death.
Jonathon Coulton & Ellen McClain, "Still Alive": We're Portal-obsessed, so obviously we pick up every bit of peripheral entertainment related to the game, including the hit song that was featured in the closing credits. The kid loves the cute robot voice almost as much as she likes the guitar line.
Will Screw Her Up By: Giving her the blueprint of passive-aggressive psychopathic behavior.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Voltaire, "Goodnight Demon Slayer": To her, it's just a fun little tune about monsters. To us the last verse is the saddest thing we've ever heard in a song. It's a bad world out there, and you can only hold them back from it for so long.
Will Screw Her Up By: Nope, not this one. This is the song every child should hear.