Friday, June 28, 2013

Songs that make you think of your kids

Parents, do you have songs that automatically put you in mind of your kids, for whatever reason?

You probably do, and I'd be interested in knowing them. Feel free to post your kid-associated tunes in the comments below (those who got here via Facebook can also post there).

Here, for what it's worth, are the songs I connect with my children:

ELISSA (Age 19) - Billy Joel's "Goodnight, My Angel"
When Elissa was a baby, I would take care of her all day from the time she got up around 8:30 or 9 a.m. until the time I left for work around 5:30 p.m. This was one of the greatest times of my life, and it gave me the chance to put her down for naps every day. Sometimes when she was almost asleep but not quite, I would sing this song to her and she would close her eyes. Probably to avoid my singing, but I like to think it's because it comforted her. One of Billy Joel's best songs, for my money.

CHLOE (Age 16) - Sting's "All Four Seasons" and Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl
You really wouldn't know it by the young woman she is today, but Chloe could be a tad, um, volatile when she was little. To the point that my family was genuinely frightened of her. The year she was born, Sting came out with "All Four Seasons," a song he wrote about the fact that his little daughter's emotions could (and would) turn on a dime. Perfect timing, perfect association. And "Brown-Eyed Girl" was one Chloe and I would sing together in the car years ago, so I'll always connect it with her.

JARED (Age 14) - Stompin' Tom Connors' "The Hockey Song"
Bonding with your dad over sports is a cliche of the American male, but it's still a genuine thing for millions of fathers and sons. Jared and I share a lot, but I think my memories of young Jared will always be the time we spend at hockey games. If you to Lake Erie Monsters' games early enough, you can always hear this classic by Canada's own Stompin' Tom Connors, who passed away just a few months ago. Hockey, for the record, really is "the best game you can name."

MELANIE (Age 12) - Elizabeth Mitchell's "You Are My Sunshine"
There are, by my count, 4 kajillion versions of this song floating around. But none are better than Elizabeth Mitchell's, and it always makes me think of little Mel. Melanie will be a teenager soon, but she will forever and always be "little Mel" to me. She was the baby of the family for a long time before Jack came along. I remember singing this song to Infant Mel when she refused to fall asleep at night. It rarely worked, but it gave me a chance to hear it, which was a decent trade-off for the sleep deprivation that resulted.

JACK (Age 7) - Colin Hay's "Looking for Jack"
Jackie has always loved to come across his own name in books and music. This was one of my favorite tunes of all time even before he was born, but you can bet it shot up my personal list once we decided to give the name Jack to our second son. Colin Hay, by the way, tells a good story about this tune's origins involving Jack Nicholson and a Simple Minds concert.

So let's hear it: What songs make you think of your kids?

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