Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

NS October 6th, 2009


While driving in the car the other day, I put in a classic rock mixed cd that I made a few years ago and skipped forward to the third track — “Dream On” by Aerosmith, circa 1973 (song and lyrics here).

As I belted out the lyrics and slapped my palms on the steering wheel in time to the riffs, rocking out in a big way, I realised that the children had been silent for a couple minutes. Knowing that silence is very rarely a good thing, I sat up a little higher in my seat and strained to get a glimpse of TNC in my rearview mirror. She had a face like thunder and was looking very cross indeed. I turned the music down a notch and asked her very breezily, “What’s wrong, muffin?”

“Stop singing, Mummy! You can’t sing.”

“Oh yes, I can. I’m a wonderful singer!”

“No! You’re not. No more singing.”

“What, you mean like this? (cue more crazed rocking out)

“Noooooo! Stop it this minute, Mummy.”

…sing for the laughter, sing for the tear. Sing with me, if it’s just for today…

“Aaagggh! Stop, Mummy, stop! This song is not for Mummies, it’s for children.”

“It’s for children, is it?”

“Yes. Children and babies.”

“Honey, this song was recorded before you or I were even alive, but at least I grew up listening to it. This is called Classic Rock and it is the greatest music in the whole, wide world. And this particular song is…”

“No! Be quiet! Only for children and babies, I said! Not mummies or daddies. You can’t sing it, only I can.”

“Go on then, let’s hear it. I’ll be thrilled if  you know the words to Steven Tyler’s masterpiece from Aerosmith’s debut album, before all of the scarf and mic stand-tossing, big hair, and videos where the camera goes inside his  mouth, which is just creepy, frankly.”

stony silence from the backseat

“That’s what I thought. Now, up next is ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ by Joni Mitchell. You’re going to love that one. Mummy will be singing in a very high voice and then doing a funny little laugh at the end. Prepare yourself, ’cause I ain’t dialin’ it down for no one, including you, Little Miss.”

She didn’t speak again until we arrived at our destination. Which was kind of nice, you know?

Still, I’m not sure if I’m instilling a love of this music into her, or if I’m driving her straight into the arms of emo pop, or whatever the hell kind of music kids listen to now (I’m not even stuck on my generation’s music, but on that of my parents’ — what hope is there for me keeping up with the new crap coming out these days)?

No, I will always love my classic rock and sing it very loudly in the car and the kids will just have to start wearing earplugs and perhaps masks so their friends don’t recognise them when they get older and I’m gyrating wildly to “Paint It Black” at a red light, frothing slightly at the mouth.

This is a fun bit of parenting, I have to say. I like it.

12 Responses to “Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away”

  1. Trish says:

    Brilliant. By the time my second daughter came along I was about done with listening to The Wiggles et al on constant replay in the car, so I “lost” those cds and started listening to a cheap box set of 6 80′s cds everywhere we went. My proudest parenting moment was a couple of years later when my nearly three year old daughter, strapped into her pram, started singing along, LOUDLY, to the music playing in a store we’d just wandered into… “My blood runs cold! My memory has just been sold! My angel is a centrefold… angel is a centrefold!”

  2. the bad aunt says:

    Rock On!!!!

  3. Children have no taste. My son INSISTS I stop signing every time I open my mouth, and I was voted “One of the Best Voices in Modern Rock Today” by the Illinois Entertainer, I won 1st place in a state solo competition, and best of all I got PAID TO SING on radio, television, movies, and recorded audio for 10 years of my life. My son has no idea his mommy is a vocal pro, and he doesn’t care… he just thinks I’m embarrassing myself.

    I can only hope one day he grows up and gets some taste in music.

  4. A Free Man says:

    My boy regularly tells me to stop singing or, more often, dancing.

    “No sing, bubba. No sing!”

    I sing louder and dance more vigorously. He’s going to have to learn, in the words of another classic rock song, that he can’t always get what he wants. But if he tries sometimes he just might find that he gets what he needs. Which is really bad singing and dancing.

  5. Ha ha. Only children and babies – ye gods, I’d never get through a car journey without having to sing very very loudly.
    My children’s choice of music at the moment is Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Suck My Kiss (yeah, that goes down really well with the grandparents) and anything High School Musical. The latter may or may not be worse that Emo pop.

  6. Iota says:

    Love this post. Love Trish’s comment.

    I have started browsing Youtube with my 12 year old for 80s videos. He’s quite appreciative of them too!

  7. andrea says:

    hahaha! this is great. :)

  8. Lol this is very familiar! I have the radio on most of the day and often sing along at home or in the car. My 3 year old hates me singing and tells me the same things as your daughter. My 15 month old, on the other hand, seems to like it. He liked my rendition of Heart’s Alone earlier today. Bad song choice I know, it just came on the radio that’s my excuse.

  9. My daughters aways tell me it’s children’s music and not for adults!

  10. geekymummy says:

    My kids love a bit of Aerosmith!

    But they hate it when I sing and dance. I am told to leave the room and do it somewhere else!
    My favourite kids CD is “Here comes the ABC’s” by “they might be giants”. More than just tolerable, it is actually enjoyable music for kids and adults.

  11. blues says:

    So funny. I’m one of the one’s stuck in my parent’s generation too. My generation kinda sucked. I don’t even KNOW what’s going on out there now.