Tune list for the Perplexed
July 29, 2008 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Music for new parents: I am compiling an iTunes gift playlist and need some input and suggestions.

New parents with first child. I figure they got plenty of diapers and casseroles and wanted to give them tunes. One is a graphic designer while the other is a IT guy. Mac and PC household. Besides "Three is a Magic Number" and "Little Potato" I have no idea what else to put on the list. Help me, the debilitated in music person here. What tunes for new parents that has got a good beat, can be hummable and may bring a smile or two to the sleep deprived?
posted by jadepearl to Shopping (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder is always great for new mums and dads, any opportunity for sleep deprived weeping is eased by the upbeat tune.
posted by Augenblick at 9:09 AM on July 29, 2008

The Rockaby Baby! series served our twins well when they were infants and gave me a smile at the same time. Various titles including Lullaby Renditions of [The Beatles | Led Zeppelin | Nirvana | Nine Inch Nails | Pink Floyd ].
posted by jaimev at 9:16 AM on July 29, 2008

They Might Be Giants are very kid friendly, and are also awesome in general.
posted by Grither at 9:16 AM on July 29, 2008

Err, Rockaby -> Rockabye
posted by jaimev at 9:17 AM on July 29, 2008

Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) by John Lennon, even if it's a girl. Zion, by Lauryn Hill.
posted by lunasol at 9:19 AM on July 29, 2008

"Dreamland" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. A book and a beautiful song.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2008

"It Must Be Love" and "Our House" by Madness are insanely catchy, hummable, and delightful to listen to a million times in a row, for parent and baby alike.

"Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea" and "Moon on Your Pajamas" by Paul Weller -- the first one is much more jaunty, the second one's a lullaby.
posted by scody at 9:40 AM on July 29, 2008

I've given these albums by Steve Weeks to a few friends and family, and everyone has liked them.
posted by genefinder at 9:50 AM on July 29, 2008

"Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley
posted by SheIsMighty at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2008

"For Baby" by John Denver
posted by phunniemee at 10:05 AM on July 29, 2008

"Wonder" by Colin Meloy, written about the birth of his first child. Acoustic and mellow, but new parents might like how sentimental it is. Here's a youtube of it live.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:09 AM on July 29, 2008

Anything (or the whole thing) from "Now the Day is Over" by The Innocence Mission. Grown up enough for the grownups, soothing enough for the kid. It's lovely.
posted by rtha at 10:16 AM on July 29, 2008

"Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks

"Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog or Sarah McLachlan

"All That Matters" by Mark Knopfler

"Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" by Chantel Kreviazuk and Riane Maida

"Goodnight Children Everywhere" by Sixpence Non The Richer

"So Tired" Eric Clapton
posted by Abbril at 10:30 AM on July 29, 2008

er None the Richer
posted by Abbril at 10:31 AM on July 29, 2008

"Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee
"We're Going to Be Friends" by Jack Johnson.
"Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright
posted by alpha_betty at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2008

I was not aware of that Innocence Mission release for kids, rtha. Have been a fan of theirs for a while, and I will have to get that!

jadepearl, it sounds like you may have already considered this, but this gift might be most useful to the parents if you rethink it as a playlist for putting baby to sleep, that the parents will also hear, rather than as first and foremost for the parents. I could be wrong, and there's probably no hard and fast rule or anything, but I think alot of new parents won't be listening to music for themselves early on; they may be trying to keep the house quiet so baby can sleep or too wrapped up in baby to think about catching some tunes. So if you give them music for them that the baby won't like, they may not make use of your gift which you are actually putting alot of thought into. Now, music that will put the baby to sleep, that will also make the parents smile: golden.

With that in mind, here are some past AskMe posts that have discussed good music for babies. Good luck!
posted by onlyconnect at 11:06 AM on July 29, 2008

Here's another one; the first link above might not be as helpful as some of the others.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2008

As jaimev suggested - rockabye baby is great!
It gets really old listening to the same kids music over and over again, this gives parents the chance to listen to music they like as well.
posted by doorsfan at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2008

Alison Krauss sings "Baby Mine" You know the song from Dumbo when Dumbo's mother has been locked up and he goes to visit her and she rocks him and carresses him with her trunk... gets me every time!
posted by vermontlife at 11:43 AM on July 29, 2008

OK. This is the list so far:

Three is a magic number -- Blind Melon
Little Potato -- Metamora
The Bananna Splits (tra-la-la song) -- Ralph's World --yeah, sly homage to Mr. Marley there
One and One Makes Two -- Johnny Cash -- hey, its Johnny Cash!
Three Little Birds -- Bob Marley
We're gonna be friends -- White Stripes
Dreamland -- Mary Chapin Carpenter
Summertime -- Peter Gabriel
California Stars -- Wilco and Billy Bragg
Beautiful Boy -- John Lennon
Rainbow Connection -- Sarah MacLachlan
Lullaby -- Dixie Chicks
When you wish upon a star -- Rosemary Clooney
Somewhere over the Rainbow -- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole -- you had me at ukulele
House at Pooh Corner -- Kenny Loggins -- not sure about this thematically but hey, why not??
Baby Mine -- Alison Krauss -- an emotional kneecapper, alright.
Stairway to Heaven -- Rockabye Baby -- Little dude needs some sleep.
posted by jadepearl at 12:16 PM on July 29, 2008

The Rockabye Baby stuff is pretty hit-and-miss, in my experience. Some of them are 100%-pure MIDI synthesizer specials, while others are made with honest-to-god instruments. The Radiohead one is especially good.
posted by sportbucket at 12:30 PM on July 29, 2008

You are my Flower, You are my Sunshine, and You are my Little Bird are all albums of children's music made by members of Ida. They are adorable, and I listen to them even though I am (nominally) a grown-up.
posted by dizziest at 12:37 PM on July 29, 2008

"we can all get along (with dinosaurs)" - The Terrible Twos

"moonshadow" - Cat Stevens
posted by gursky at 8:20 PM on July 29, 2008

I really wasn't a Beatles fan until my kid came along, and just be chance, "Blackbird" was the first song that played after she was born. "You were only waiting for this moment to arrive..." I'm tearing up a bit just thinking about it.
Now we all love the Beatles, especially the early super-poppy stuff. Very big for toddler dancing.
posted by pomegranate at 10:56 AM on July 31, 2008

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