Phoebe's Playlist

Here’s another post I’ve been wanting to write for weeks - months even.

Not long after Kates and I learned she was pregnant, I began delving deep into our music collection for the perfect playlist. Naturally, music is a huge part of our lives, and we hope it will be a big part of Phoebe's …

Perfect being the key word, the construction of this playlist turned into a tedious, obsessive process. I am a perfectionist after all, and when I really want something I'm gonna go after it whole-heartedly, not moving to the next task until the one at hand is complete. I'm digressing ...

Also noteworthy is that the making of this list only spanned what I have on CD and digital formats. Imagine what it would’ve been had I broken into my vinyl collection or my boxes and boxes of cassette tapes, and taken the time to record those songs into a digital format …

There were some tough cuts along the way -- Johnny Rivers' "Swayin’ to the Music" being one of them -- but they had to be made in order to keep the playlist to a good number - a two-CD set if you will. Then, some more cuts were made after Phoebe’s birth, because some of the songs I had chosen were gender specific. I toiled long and hard to get the right songs with just the right lyrics and just the right sound.

In the end, it proved to be exactly what I had set out to do ... It's a marvelous collection of music, comprised of the artists we love, singing the songs we love. A lot of the lyrics are pretty appropriate and meaningful, and there’s a couple really good cover versions on this list.

I rocked Phoebe to sleep using it tonight ...

So here it is, Phoebe’s (Lullaby) Playlist … Phoebe’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Playlist is forthcoming.

(Songs are in order and titles are linked to their lyrics - where applicable - for your perusal …)

Disc One
  1. Thirty-Something Main Theme … It is a quintessential theme for adulthood, and I think it’s one of the sweetest instrumentals ever composed.
  2. Here Comes the Sun (Bob Khaleel) … Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter. This was the first song Phoebe heard when we turned on the iPod after her birth, and I was holding her for the first time.
  3. April Come She Will (Simon & Garfunkel) … And while I was holding her for the first time, I rocked her and repeated gently "April come she will!" Phoebe’s due date was April 10, but there was a time we thought she was going to arrive in March, and even then we thought she was going to be a boy. I badly wanted to use this beautiful song on her playlist.

  4. Sweet Thing (Van Morrison) … Had to get a Van Morrison song on the list. And “Sweet Thing” is a sweet song.
  5. I Will (The Beatles) … Simple, sweet melody. And it’s The Beatles.
  6. Night Swimming (REM) … An old-school favorite of ours and probably our favorite REM song of all. Kates and I were unanimous about adding it to the list when it came on the iPod while we were driving home one night last winter.
  7. I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon (Shawn Colvin w/Ernie) … We adore Shawn Colvin’s music, and here she’s singing with Ernie - need we say more? We’ve long loved this song and the night we heard it live will always be a cherished memory … (Hear the song (with a really bad Ernie voice) and watch the video here.)
  8. Windmills (Toad the Wet Sprocket) … Another old-school favorite of mine that’s perfect for mellowing out …
  9. Homebird (Foy Vance) … Much of this song’s beauty lies in its sound. (Hear it here.)
  10. ‘Til Kingdom Comes (Coldplay) ... "For you, I've waited all these years / For you, I'd wait 'til kingdom come."
  11. Ice Cream (Sarah McLachlan) … Another longtime favorite.
  12. Gotta Have You (The Weepies) ... It's no coincidence there's a lot of Weepies music on this list. We've been listening to them a lot for the last several months.
  13. The Luckiest (Ben Folds) … If you know me at all, you know Ben Folds' music is something deep and special to me. Still, I didn’t start to fully get the sentiments expressed in “The Luckiest” until last fall.
  14. World Spins Madly On (The Weepies) … Sort of a dark song. But it’s The Weepies and, like “Homebird” much of its beauty lies in its sound. (Hear a sampling of the song here.)
  15. Songbird (Eva Cassidy) … Christine McVie’s original for Fleetwood Mac is a gem, but Eva Cassidy’s voice brings another dimension to it that makes the song even more beautiful. (Hear it here.)
  16. Love Has a Hold On Me (Amy Grant) … This one was on the cutting board, but after a strong vote of approval from Kates, I kept it on the list.
  17. Imagine (Avril Lavigne) … I wanted to add “Imagine” to the list, and out of all the versions out there I settled on Avril’s cover because she’s current, Kates and I love her music and her version has a sweet, childlike, girlish vibe to it.
  18. Answer (Sarah McLachlan) ... I will be the answer / At the end of the line / I will be there for you / While you take the time / In the burning of uncertainty / I will be your solid ground / I will hold the balance / If you can't look down (Hear it here)

  19. All Through The Night (Shawn Colvin) ... A beautiful, prayerful lullabye

  20. Lullaby (Dixie Chicks) … This one is heart-achingly beautiful.

Disc Two
  1. Sooner or Later (Michael Tolcher) ... This is the edgiest and most upbeat song on the playlist, and it could've easily gone on the Rock 'n' Roll, but there's the gentleness in the lyrics, and the parental sense of wanting to see your daughter succeed, made this song too hard to pass up.

  2. Everything (Michael Buble) … A recent hit, this song was another one of those that would’ve made our Soundtrack for the Last Nine Months.

  3. Song For You Far Away (James Taylor) … I had to get some James Taylor in there, and this was the one to get in.
  4. The Heart of Life (John Mayer) ... I hate to see you cry / Laying there in that position / There's things you need to hear / So turn off your tears and listen
  5. Keep It There (The Weepies) ... The thing I love about this one is the way the lyrics read like a nursery rhyme, and the melody is beautiful, too. For the purpose of this playlist, it's my favorite Weepies song.

  6. Northern Sky (Nick Drake) … Nick Drake's stuff is one of a kind, and this is one of those that gives me chills every time. (Hear it here.)

  7. Sunrise (Norah Jones) … Sunrise, sunrise / Looks like mornin' in your eyes (Hear it here.)

  8. Love Song (Treat Williams) … A great cover of a great song I discovered just a few months ago. The cover version, not the actual song.

  9. Somebody Loved (The Weepies) … Sun turns the evening to rose / Stars turning high up above / You turn me into somebody loved

  10. Blackbird (Sarah McLachlan) ... It's Sarah McLachlan's angelic voice on one of the most beautiful Beatles songs around.

  11. Stewart’s Coat (Michelle Branch) ... Just give me many chances / I'll see you through it all / just give me time to learn to crawl.

  12. All the Pretty Li’l Horses (Shawn Colvin) ... Hush-a-bye / Don't you cry / Go to sleep, my little baby.

  13. Let It Be (Brooke White) … Like “Imagine,” it was important to me that this song also made the list. Brooke White charmed us big time this year on “American Idol,” and after her amazing rendition of the song, it seemed only appropriate to add her version. (Watch it here.)

  14. Never Saw Blue Like That (Shawn Colvin) ... Sung at our wedding this song has as much meaning to Kates and I as any on this list. (Hear it here.)

  15. A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door (Bill Ricchini) … As Kates and I were driving up and down the state’s eastern coast after my grandfather died last Easter, this song seemed to come on every time we turned on the iPod. I couldn’t resist putting it on Phoebe’s playlist. (Hear it here.)

  16. I’ll Say I’m Sorry Now (Shawn Colvin) ... For everything I do / That will tear into you / Let me say I'm sorry now

  17. Last Sunset (Glen Phillips) … A gentle gem from the great Glen Phillips, former frontman of - do you know? - Toad the Wet Sprocket. (i.e. one of my all-time favorite bands and the artist behind the “Windmills” song above.)

  18. Stars (The Weepies) … A dreamy, good lullabye. (Hear it here.)

  19. What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong) ... A classic that needs no explanation. (A nice clip here.)

  20. January Rain (David Gray) … Another sweet, sweet instrumental - this one conjures up warm visions and dreams, and gives Kates and I the chills every time.

  21. Lullabye (Billy Joel) … This one made Kates cry a couple weeks ago as she was rocking Phoebe to sleep to the song. Take a look at the lyrics and this one explains itself. It's perhaps the most perfect song on the list, and the perfect way to end it. (Hear it here.)

1 comment:

E and K said...

Wow, Mark...I'm so impressed with all the time and thought that went into that! I wish I had as much appreciation for music...I'm slowly learning as my husband also enjoys good music and listening to all different types. Pretty cool for Phoebe.