What non-sappy song should I use for a baby video?
January 17, 2014 9:48 PM   Subscribe

Accompany my baby! We took a picture of our son every week for his first year, and I'm making them into a video to show on his birthday. What unexpected or otherwise non-sappy song can I use to go along with this?

I'm trying to avoid anything sentimental or "on the nose" ("What a Wonderful World," "You're My Best Friend," etc.), or anything too indie-precious/Mumfordy (you know what I mean). Basically, I realize it is a cliche to make a slideshow of your baby and I wonder if I can somehow subvert this cliche a bit through music selection.

I've also considered not using any music, but dead silence doesn't seem like the right choice either. Any genre could be OK, although it does need to be family-friendly. What comes to your mind? Thanks, friends.
posted by zadermatermorts to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Foo Fighters and Tom Waits have probably been my non-Mumfordy choices.
posted by geek anachronism at 9:51 PM on January 17, 2014

What about The Puppy Song by Harry Nilsson? I always thought it had a happy bounce to it. And the puppy bit seems to fit a boy well.
posted by cecic at 9:56 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

"When I'm 64"
posted by third rail at 10:04 PM on January 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

"Kooks" by David Bowie.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Temper Trap, Love Lost
posted by aspen1984 at 10:28 PM on January 17, 2014

A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash.
posted by mosk at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2014

Not sure if this is exactly what you mean by indie-precious, but Jonathan Coulton's "You Ruined Everything" is an effort to subvert relevant clich├ęs.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

Judy is a Punk is great montage music and a bit of a Wes Anderson homage, though for the reference you have to look past gender.
posted by itsonreserve at 11:14 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Satisfaction, because it goes "baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby ..."
posted by RobotHero at 12:20 AM on January 18, 2014

Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by Benny Goodman
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 12:23 AM on January 18, 2014

If it were a girl, the Beatles "Eight Days a Week" would be perfect. Maybe someone else can use that one.

Is there a particular day of the week you always took the photos on?

I like the "When I'm 64" idea so far. Borders on sentimental in this context, but is irreverent and whimsical enough. And it has a deliberate beat you could sync up the photos to.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:32 AM on January 18, 2014

I love the suggestion of Judy is a Punk! In a similar Wes Anderson vein, how about Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard?

If you want something that uses the word "baby" I suggest this song by Os Mutantes.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:48 AM on January 18, 2014

MGMT -- Kids

Billie Holiday -- Getting Some Fun Out of Life

Jay-Z -- Anything

Aretha Franklin -- Good Times

Garbage -- Temptation Waits

Matchbox Twenty -- Real World

Jimi Hendrix -- Hush Now

But whatever you do, don't play Edith Piaf.
posted by rue72 at 12:58 AM on January 18, 2014

The Briefs "Poor and Weird"
posted by oh posey at 3:08 AM on January 18, 2014

XTC - Making plans for Nigel
posted by Prof Iterole at 3:44 AM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I made one of these with Feist's Mushaboom. Upbeat without being too mushy.

It worked out to 10 seconds for an intro and outro and 4 seconds per photo which seemed like the right length for people's attention spans.
posted by rutabega at 5:45 AM on January 18, 2014

So is beautiful boy by john lennon to on point or sentimental? Seems perfect to me.

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait to see you come of age
But I guess, we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes, it's a long way to go but in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans

posted by chasles at 5:52 AM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Satisfaction, because it goes "baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby ..."

Along these same lines, maybe Justin Bieber's Baby.

Unexpected? Yes.
Non-sappy? Yes.
Enjoyable to listen to? That wasn't one of the criteria.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:50 AM on January 18, 2014

The Devil in Disguise?
posted by ravioli at 7:12 AM on January 18, 2014

Alanis Morrissette, Guardian. It was inspired by her becoming a parent but it's not "on the nose"'about parenthood and it's upbeat and not sentimental.

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz would also be fun! The lyrics, read from the perspective of a parent, are actually quite cute.
posted by yawper at 7:31 AM on January 18, 2014

Bigger Than My Body by John Mayer would be both uplifting ("some day I'll fly, some day I'll soar") and, for a baby, funny ("I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for").
posted by yawper at 7:41 AM on January 18, 2014

Stay Up Late - The Talking Heads
posted by deadcrow at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, it was 26 years ago, but Fight For Your Right worked for us!
posted by thinkpiece at 11:03 AM on January 18, 2014

How about some Django Reinhardt? Here he is with Stephane Grappelli doing "Minor Swing."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:26 AM on January 18, 2014

Boys Don't Cry by the Cure
This Charming Man by The Smiths
You are a Runner and I am my Father's Son by Wolf Parade
posted by to recite so charmingly at 1:39 PM on January 18, 2014

Solange - Mama Loves Baby ("On the nose," but come on)
Liz Phair - Whip-Smart (Might skirt the edge of "family-friendly"?)
Haley Bonar - Bad for You (Cute, but also crabby)
The Suzan - Home (Upbeat! Incomprehensible!)
Looper - Up a Tree Again (Might be too precious)
Jean-Jacques Perrey - Brazilian Flower (Instrumental, perfect for all occasions)
posted by wreckingball at 4:56 PM on January 18, 2014

Jonathan Edwards with the Seldom Scene - Little Hands.
posted by kirst27 at 5:37 PM on January 18, 2014

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