No More New Music

Mark Parenting, Popular 8 Comments

I knew having children would come at the price of some sleep, and possibly a little sanity, but I hadn’t realised there was a need to abstain from new music as well?

Before Sonny was born I was listening to bands that didn’t even exist yet. Now an email from NME reads like a list of random words purporting to be band names. Just because they slip in the odd Bowie or Muse I can still tell they’re mocking me.

Without realising it I appear to have drawn a line in the sand. I’ve heard enough now. That’s it. From here on in I’m only looking backwards. Here is my cut-off. Right here.

What I have though has always been shared with the boys. From the Smiths medley that would send Sonny to sleep as a baby, to the Rocky Theme that still accompanies the walk from the bath to their bedroom every night.

Our bedtime routine has always included a medley of one kind or another. There are the ones I can happily admit to, like Stevie Wonder and Elbow, and those I probably shouldn’t, like S Club 7 and the hits of Stock, Aitken, and Waterman? Last week I overheard Sonny singing ‘I should be so lucky’ as he ran around the park. Now I’m fearing for his first day at school.

Their latest favourite is ‘songs from the shows’, which I wouldn’t mind so much were it not for the fact it extends our bedtime by at least twenty minutes. To allow for costume changes, obviously.

We also have our own songs, Poo or Poop being a favourite.

“Poo or poop? Poo or poop? Have you done a poo, or have you done a poop?”

I know, it’s like the lost lyrics of Dylan!

I realised the error of my childish ways when they sang it to every woman unfortunate enough to walk out of the toilet in Sainsburys,  accompanied by the exaggerated wafting of their nose. That was an awkward, and unusually slow queue?

I’ve written off Sonny as a musical child prodigy but I’m not giving up on Luca just yet. His favourite day of the week is when we go to the fabulous ‘Little Groovers’ in Urmston ( He now spends more time singing to himself than he does talking. It’s lovely to listen to him as he busies himself with whatever he’s doing; a little more annoying though when the answer to every question I ask is ‘Horsey, Horsey’ or ‘Ram Sam Sam’!

Sadly, I can now see a time when my musical input won’t be welcome any more. It’s started already. No longer am I allowed to sing along to the CBeebies theme tunes. Any attempt at engaging Sonny with an impromptu Muppets ‘Mahna Mahna’ is met by the look of disdain it probably deserves. Even Luca is hinting at dropping me to go solo.

I realise that once gone, it’ll be years before singing will be useful to me again. Only when they learn to fully appreciate embarrassment will it be worth me even proffering another note? By then my musical reference points will be yet another decade older, albeit if I choose carefully, I suppose they could also be a decade more embarrassing too.

I also know there will come a day when I’ll be waiting in the car-park of the Apollo while some hideous love-child of Beiber upsets the boys by throwing a tantrum and being late on stage.

However, I also know the day will come when I hear the immortal words,

“For the love of God Dad, if we promise to listen to Primal Scream on this precious and mystical vinyl of which you speak, will you promise to never mention it ever again?”

To which I’ll blatantly lie and say,

“Of course! Just nipping up to the loft…”

Comments 8

  1. I can sympathise. I used to be an avid music lover. Now I can barely keep up with releases from my old favourites. But I’m looking forward to the day I can embarrass my children with my dancing…..

  2. YES, YES, YES!! It is no mere coincidence that all my favourite bands/albums existed pre 1996, the year my first born arrived. Of course I am not completely out of the loop, and in fact until the last few years was still out gigging myself, but the time I have to dedicate to just listening, let alone keeping up with new releases is minimal since the arrival of number three 18 months ago! I currently have a least 3 albums I want to buy, but I know i Will barely have time/energy to listen to them properly!! If its any consolation I know from past experience that once they go to school there is more time and space for adult pleasures! 🙂

  3. Yup it’s true, I had some desert-like years for music when the kids were little. Have regained some of my normal self now that my youngest is 6 and we keep trying to indoctrinate them in the love of good vinyl! You will get yourself back – and your new music!

  4. What you need is to make friends with a music blogger, then live your musical life through them. You might not always like what comes up, but you can at least feel a certain smug satisfaction at recognising the names of bands featured in the fine print of festival bills, and scoffing at the headliners who obviously sold out a long time ago.

    Works for me, anyway.

  5. we have a rule that every long ish car journey means a ‘musical education’. Saves us listening to Cleggy’s ‘songs from the shows’ medley.
    It involves 1) some facts about the band/artist, 2) listening to the music and 3) learning a song or two (complete with harmonies for a proper singalong.
    So far we’ve had Micheal Jackson, The Beatles and Simon & Garfunckle. I don’t want to waste The Smiths until they are ready to fully embrace it.
    I heard someone on the Radio say ‘I used to laugh in the face of anyone who didn’t know who was top of the charts…now I don’t trust anyone over 40 who DOES’. I’m with that.
    fee x

  6. Great post and I can totally relate to it. I completely lost touch with music when our first daughter was born and that’s what inspired me to write a blog all about it in the first place. It was Spotify that helped me get back up to speed on the latest bands (along with NME). Highly recommend playlists on there like ‘We are Hunted’ to keep up with the latest bands along with music blogger playlists like the Breaking More Waves one.

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