Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sing a simple song

Since we instituted a bedtime routine for Ess several months back, I sing two songs to her as she nurses in the dark. The first is "In My Life" by the Beatles... a relatively coherent version of the first two verses, anyway. I can never remember how it ends, so I wrap up with some humming that seems to do the trick nicely.

The second song is a little thing called "The river is flowing" that I learned in the newborn class I took with Ess. It's simple and short and it works well in what passes for the key(s) I sing in. I like that it's a signal to Ess that we're winding down, that as she finishes nursing and either falls asleep or doesn't in my arms, that it's time to go to her crib.

All was well and good with the nightly concert. But then "In My Life" started to bug me. I was sure I was remembering the words wrong -- I wasn't, as it turns out -- and what's more, the song is aimed more at a lover than a child. On top of which I was bored of it.

As a result, last night I decided to throw a new tune into the mix, something a bit more contemporary that would teach Ess about the music of her mama's youth. D and I had been in the car recently when "Nightswimming"* by R.E.M. came up on the shuffle. I started to sing along and realized that I knew every single word. And, hey, skinny dipping at night is a great topic, right -- even if there is a hint of a conflicted relationship tucked in there at the bridge.

So how come every time I sing it, it turns into "You Are the Everything"?


*If you scroll down to the bottom of those R.E.M. links, there are some (unintentionally) funny close readings of the lyrics.