Posts tagged ‘Music’

August 10, 2011

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

Sometimes I think that I was born in the wrong decade.  The clothing styles and music trends of my parents’ generation appeal to me in a way that those of my own just—don’t.  Some of it is certainly idealizing the past (a past I admittedly did not experience) and romanticizing a different time.  But some of it is that some things were simpler; people were kinder. I imagine when people went into stores (or shops!), clerks actually looked at customers, asked how they were doing, and maybe even meant it.  Music lyrics were . . . subtler, to say the least, and more of them were about young, innocent love than anything else.


It seems the Jacob is plagued with this whole born-in-the-wrong-decade thing as well.  Unfortunately for him, he’s about fifteen years too late to fulfill his destiny—which is clearly to be an oh-so-adorable member of a teen-heartthrob-type boy band.


We’ve seen already that the boy likes to dance, and sing, and even drum.  He’s since started to make these sorts of performances on demand.


And we know that he loves when I sing Justin Bieber to him (another young man stuck in the wrong time . . . and yet thriving!).


The clincher was yesterday, when I was mimicking sounds Jacob was making and found myself launching into (I apologize in advance for getting this stuck in your head) “MMMBop.”  If you could have seen the smile on the little man’s face!  If he could speak, I’m sure he would have begged for two younger brothers and a drum set.


But alas.  It simply isn’t meant to be.  Until someone invents a working time machine.  Then, move over Nick Carter!  Jacob is ready to rock this place.


May 16, 2011

A Mother’s Hallelujah

One of my favorite things in the world to do is to drive around my hometown in New Jersey in the summertime with the windows down and the radio up.  I’m not ashamed to sing and (carefully) dance along with the music, even when stopped at a light.  The warm breeze, good music, and no street with a speed limit over forty miles per hour so I feel safe and in control—it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Now that we live in Brooklyn without a car, my opportunities to take to the open road are limited.  But this weekend I had the chance, and with it came something else I love: discovering a new song that really hits home.

When I heard “Better Than a Hallelujah” by Amy Grant, I instantly related to its beseeching sense of hope.  My daily prayer has taken on a new tone since I became a mother.  When I am not thanking God for the gift of my family, I am asking for His grace, for His strength, for His mercy to help me serve my family.  In that vein, check out how the song begins:

God loves a lullaby
In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

Could it be that this song was written just for me?  I have definitely been that woman!

Motherhood, like so much else that is asked of me, can often feel overwhelming, and conversation with God each day, even when I’m too tired to really give it my all, even when I’m not sure I believe it, is the foundation that keeps me going.  Here’s what the song goes on to say about all that in the chorus:

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

I find I relate to this idea differently now that I am a parent, as well.  I have a stronger sense of God as my loving and merciful Father, because I can’t imagine not being able to forgive Jacob for anything he might come to me with.  I love him so thoroughly, so purely, and absolutely nothing can change that.  I want to help him grow, to get him through the rough spots, and, of course, to learn how to enjoy the good things.  If I multiply that sentiment by infinity, I can start to get an idea of how God loves me.

Although the song also suggests a “drunkard’s cry”, a “soldier’s plea not to let him die”, a “woman holding on for life”, a “dying man giving up the fight”, I am so pleased that it begins with a quiet, not-so-dramatic moment with a mother and her child.  It’s a good reminder—for moms and non-moms alike—that the everyday, ordinary experiences of our lives, moments that seem inconsequential, are not to be overlooked as chances for good, honest prayer.  I’m reminded again of the reflection I considered on Holy Thursday, “Jesus doesn’t need our perfection, he only asks for our faithfulness.”

I hope this starts your week off on the right foot.  Where will you find God this week?  Where will you let Him find you?  If you’re feeling bold, leave a comment and let us know!

February 2, 2011

Baby’s Playlist

Life with a newborn is like life in a musical.


In an effort to entertain both Jacob and myself, I probably sing about eighty percent of every day—slightly less if there are other adults present, but even that isn’t a guarantee of the semblance of sanity.


Most of what I sing is what I’m doing from one moment to the next, i.e. “It’s time to change your diaper, your diaper, your diaper!”  When I’m trying to get the little dude to fall asleep, my song is usually a simple repetition of whatever spur-of-the-moment nickname has come to mind to mimic the rhythmic swaying I’m using to lull him off to La-La Land.  And when I’m nursing, it’s often one of my favorite hymns. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jacob knew the words to “Be Thou My Vision” already!


As I said, though, the soundtrack of our day is as much to entertain me as Jacob.  And so I often find myself calling on my somewhat embarrassing repertoire of pop music that features the word “baby.”  It’s sad to admit how naturally these songs came to mind.  But I only speak the truth here, so there it is.  My motherhood has transformed me into (among other things) a walking, talking iPod, and here’s what’s loaded up:


“Baby” by Justin Bieber. I wouldn’t even know this song if it weren’t for The Sing Off.  I only know the chorus, which is essentially the word “baby,” like a dozen times.  But it gets a major smile from the little guy, so I’ll take it.


“All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo. Without fail, every time I hear (or sing) this song, I am transported back to dances at my middle school.  I think this song was played at every single dance—and we had one every month!  Usually I just sing the opening “Baby, baby, baby, baby,” etc., but if John’s around, too, we can do a mean duet, which the Peanut seems to appreciate.


“Who Loves You” by the Four Seasons. Actually, I’m not at all embarrassed by this one. It’s a classic, and the chorus is surprisingly relevant to a baby:

Who loves you pretty baby?
Who’s gonna help you through the night? [The context is different, but it fits.]
Who loves you, little Jacob? [My edit, clearly.]
Who’s always there to make it right?

I get the most giggles later for “Who’s gonna love you, love you?  Who’s gonna love you?” because I’ve incorporated a tummy tickle at each instance of “love you.”  And you thought no one could improve on Frankie Valli?  Touché.


Well, on that note, here’s where the real embarrassment comes in. You know how you repeat back to a baby the grunts, giggles, and other noises he makes to you?  That’s where this last one came from.  I didn’t know the artist behind this song, but a quick Google search revealed it as Master P.  That’s right, I sing “Make ‘Em Say Uhh” to my baby.  But only the chorus, really.  The rest of the lyrics kind of horrified me when I read them online.  If Jacob ever asks where this one came from, I think I’m going to have to make something up.  If it comes up, let’s just say, the tooth fairy has a day job, okay?

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