Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Musical Tots

Driving along in my automobile, my baby beside me at the wheel….actually she’s behind me and safely strapped into her third stage booster seat, but you get the picture.  

And, for a while, it was just pictures she was keen on enjoying from her elevated position in the back.  Pictures of Princesses to be accurate.  We had CD’s too which shared with us the stories of Ariel and her undersea kingdom,  Cinderella and her ugly sisters and Snow White and her little acquaintances. Then last week, something changed.  She was bored with the Princesses and wanted music.  

“Please Mama, can we have some of your music?”  

After four years of nursery rhyme CD’s, and the  Zingzillas I had to check I was awake and not dreaming.  

I rifled around in the glove compartment and found 4 CD’s:  Jay Z’s Black Album, Eminem’s 8 Mile (about 7.9 miles too long), The Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Majic and The Very Best of The Smiths.  Choices, choices.

Now, I love The HOV, and I do believe, like Jay Z (note to sub - he dropped the hyphen last month) that, even though I was born in Dartford and not Brooklyn, I was born to hustle.   And as I ummed and ahhed, turning the 4 choices over in my hands I knew that although Jay Z’s music may speak to me, it probably shouldn’t speak to her….just yet.  

Putting the god of hip hop to one-side, I looked Eminem straight in the eye: my little girl enjoys a good tale and he is a good story-teller, but the story of a murderous stalker isn’t the best soundtrack to our lives at the moment.  So it was a toss up between Anthony Kiedis’ sock-wearing mob and Morrissey.

If I slid The Chili’s in the slot, and pressed play, then I knew memories would come flooding back, memories that might tempt me to tell all to Nipper about the time Auntie Wendy and Mummy went to see them at The Brixton Academy in 1991.  And while these memories will serve their purpose in ten years time during my lecture on the ills of drinking, I don’t think she needs to know about Auntie Wendy’s black eye sustained in the mosh pit during ‘Funky Monk’. Or how Mummy lied the next day for Auntie Wendy and told the University orchestra leader that the reason Auntie Wendy had missed practice the night before was due to a sickness bug.  Or how I’d explained that it was a  bug so violent and ferocious, it  had caused her to head butt the toilet seat, resulting in a black eye and a face that one would normally associate with a hang over…...

Morrissey it was then.

I was ready for her questions about the vicar in a tutu and shoplifters of the world uniting, but instead there was an eerie silence.  Perhaps the lyrics to Girlfriend in a coma were decipherable after all to a four year old and she was in trauma?  I looked in the rear view mirror……. her eyes were tightly shut, her mouth was open, Johnny Marr’s beautiful guitar had sent her to sleep and she was snoring gently to the dulcet tones of Stephen Patrick Morrissey. 

So it would seem, our audio experiment has unearthed an extraordinary finding - if you’re looking for a lullaby, then forget the nursery rhyme CD’s, the Tweenies-at-bedtime and Tinky Winky,  Marr and Morrissey are your men.

*First published by vine as part of their 'Mumblings' series in 2013*

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