They had the radio on in the operating theatre. On Monday evening, as our new baby son was delivered into this world, this is the song I was listening to...
Show me the wonderIf I'd written that into a story, it would have seemed too good to be true.
I have seen the purpose of the universe
Obviously, I have no time right now for compiling Top Tens. So here's one I compiled earlier, to prepare us for our new arrival...
I always swore I'd never become a Dad-Blogger, and I won't, but I hope you'll indulge me these next few Top Tens. Your regularly scheduled dose of cynicism will return very soon. Until then...
10. Colin Meloy - Wonder
Lead Decemberist Meloy ponders all the bits and bobs that going into creating a new life...
My darling, what wonder have we wrought here?9. Creed - With Arms Wide Open
It's weird and it's wonderful, dear
An ankle, an earlobe, an elbow bone
It's weird how it wonderful grows
And it was only me and you
That made this three come out of two
What if Colin Farrell played Eddie Vedder?
Well, I don't know if I'm readyI don't know a whole lot about Creed, but you can't google-search "Songs About Becoming A Parent" without some wise-ass suggesting this. And rightly so.
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life
If I had just one wish8. Lou Reed - Beginning of a Great Adventure
Only one demand
I hope he's not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open...
It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
A little me to fill up with my thoughts
A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams
A way of saying life is not a loss
It might be fun to have a kid I could pass something on to
Something better than rage, pain, anger and hurtSee, Lou, this is why nobody invites you to parties anymore.
7. Embrace - Three Is A Magic Number
A man and a woman had a little babyOriginally written by Bob Dorough for an American kid's TV show, though the most famous version / adaptation is by De La Soul. Embrace covered the original though, keeping the multiplication tables... but also focusing on the lyric above. And now I understand it.
Yes they did
They had three in the family
And that's a magic number
6. Billy Bragg - Brickbat
Billy will return on another list with a top song about his own father... but this one's more about how becoming a dad had a profound effect on his philosophy...
I used to want to plant bombs at the Last Night of the Proms5. Will Smith - Just The Two Of Us
But now you’ll find me with the baby, in the bathroom,
With that big shell, listening for the sound of the sea,
The baby and me
From the hospital that first nightI'm sorry, there's something in my eye.
Took a hour just to get the car seat in right
People driving all fast, got me kinda upset
Got you home safe, placed you in your bassinette
That night I don't think one wink I slept
As I slipped out my bed, to your crib I crept
Touched your head gently, felt my heart melt
Cause I knew I loved you more than life itself (life itself)
Then to my knees, and I begged the Lord please
Let me be a good daddy, all he needs
Love, knowledge, discipline too
I pledge my life to you
4. Paul Simon - That Was Your Mother
Paul Simon's written more emotional songs about being a parent, but I kind of like the cheek of this one. Because it's possible to feel like both Will Smith and Paul Simon at the same time...
Well, that was your mother3. Kate Bush - This Woman's Work
And that was your father
Before you was born dude
When life was great
You are the burden of my generation
I sure do love you
But let's get that straight
Because, after seeing what Louise has been through over this last week (and before): men have it easy.
Pray God you can cope.2. David Bowie - Kooks
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world.
Ooh, it's hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.
I always liked this song, but I never really got it till recently. Written for Duncan Jones, the director of the excellent films Moon and Source Code, a long time ago... by his dad.
And if you ever have to go to school1. Brad Paisley - Officially Alive
Remember how they messed up this old fool
Don't pick fights with the bullies or the cads
'Cause I'm not much cop at punching
Other people's dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we'll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown
It's no secret that I had some resistance to the idea of becoming a parent. As a younger man, it was a path I never saw myself taking. Even when Louise and I got together, it was something I struggled with. I've never been what you'd call kid friendly... so I just kept praying it'd be true what people say: "It's different when they're your own."
It’s not the double kick of an ultrasoundI wasn't ready for the emotions I'd feel during the pregnancy. The way it changed me. In the weeks leading up to the birth of our son, I listened to the new Brad Paisley album, Wheelhouse, a lot. And whenever this song came on... I couldn't help myself...blubbing like a baby.
Or a piece of paper on file downtown
It takes more than a beat and a breath and a name
It’s when you’re so in love and so in pain
Yeah, it’s a tragedy to go through history and simply just exist
You’re gonna realize how quick it flies by and everything you missed
And suddenly you’re standing there in scrubs
Love has found new flesh and blood
It’s a feeling you weren’t ready for
When you’re looking in eyes that look like yours
Parents! (I know there's a fair few reading this blog.) Which song most expresses the biggest change in your life?