The playlist continues!
Now here’s the next five tracks on my Ultimate Dad to Daughter Mixtape.
Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
There is more depth to this selection than one might think. Importantly, it allows Wyclef to sneak into The Playlist without reaching into “Carnival” (my favorite rap album from high school) or going all “Fugees” on you.
The track starts with a trumpet part I can actually play, so that’s kind of cool. Anytime I can help Harper see that music is bigger than the radio, and that ALL instruments are valid options, I am for it.
It’s also a song about hips. It’s scandalous without the scandal. Shake em.
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child by Hootie and the Blowfish
Back when it was cool to HIDE tracks on CDs this spiritual made into one of the most successful albums of all time. I am copping out on this one, rather than choosing ONE song from the album that defined my teenage years, I chose the only track that no one really remembers, partly because it’s hidden at the end of the album. Darius Rucker’s voice will always make me feel like I’m where I belong.
In future years I will be able to use this song to talk less about those kids without Mommies (which is what I talk about now) and more about the awful truths that surround and continue to cloud society. Racism is awful. Forging into that discussion will be tricky, but this song gives us a foundation to start.
Good can come of all bad, I am convinced of that. It doesn’t make bad thing good. But the spirituals that emerged from a desperate, oppressed, but hopeful people will forever be a testament of strength to me.
Detroit Medley by Bruce Springsteen
“The Boss” was going to make the cut, it was just a matter of when and which track. So he gets the glory of being dead center on my daughter’s playlist and I chose a song that captures what Bruce does best. He’s a working class guy, with an ability to capture an audience with his energy. Detroit Medley honors the city I was born in with a raucous race of chords and sweat. Bruce’s approach to music went lost on me through my twenties but something about being employed and tired make his music come to life. His songs are no longer about you, they’re about me. He’s the bartender of rock stars, putting himself aside so he can share in our stories. While he’s the one singing, I feel like I’m the one leading him. And the energy he brings to every moment of his performance is one of the most admirable realities popular music has ever seen.
Goodbye Until Tomorrow by Jason Robert Brown from “The Last Five Years”
Musical theater is an important part of Harper’s parents’ lives. Kym and I have performed in several productions separately and also in a show together. Harper’s playlist already features a moment from RENT, but I specifically chose to add this song to her playlist because of the story it tells. Jason Robert Brown is an amazing lyricist and composer because he is able to capture emotions in his piano. His use of instrumentation is impossible to resist. His music can MAKE you feel the way he wants you to feel, and this song (and the entire show) puts raw, real, and relevant emotions side by side.
In this duet, the girl is saying goodbye after a meaningful date and first kiss. You can hear her floating. The music soars with the brilliance of young love. The man is singing goodbye to their marriage (year’s later in chronology). As you listen to him, you can hear his devastating reality that all is lost. He’s confused. He’s convinced. He’s sad. And it’s awful. The music brilliantly wanders without direction in the abyss of heartache.
And then in a musical stroke of genius they happen SIMULTANEOUSLY. If music helps us understand ourselves, this song gives space for the exploration of how high and low one can feel in relationships when we allow people to join us in the mess of life. It is so exciting and so scary to allow people into our hearts. Our hearts are filled. And our hearts are broken. As a Dad I dread both of these moments for my daughter, but the conversation this song begs for is helping us both prepare for it.
Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons
Well, I’ve written about it before. This song changed my relationship with my daughter. It changed our routine. It changed her expectations of me as Dad. This song become a nightly prayer for she and I. For months I sang her this song every single night before I closed her door behind me.
I put it here to help heal the type of hurt Track 14 leaves my heavy heart with. In the sadness and fear a broken heart can leave you with, I find this song fills me back up with hope. At the bottom, on empty, I find myself looking to be filled up. Singing Awake My Soul helps me. It reminds me that I cannot do this on my own. It reminds me that there is more at work then the immediate picture I am looking at. It reminds me to look further, to look deeper, to look up.
This song will exist to forever encourage me and my daughter to remember that it’s bigger than just us. When I get lost in a sea of me, this song reminds me of my little girl who makes my heart sing. When I think of her singing along with me I am reminded of how blessed I am. When I think of how good my life has been, even in the dark spots, I am humbled, and even with a heavy sigh can start putting my smiles back together.
Don’t forget to share songs from your playlist on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section below and join me next week to see how The Playlist ends…
Peace to you,
Jim Davis is a contributing writer at Daddy Daughter Time featured weekly on “Music Mondays.” He is a the proud father to 2 daughters, Harper and Kyle. After 20 years of trumpet playing and 7 years teaching middle and high school band, Jim now leads music at Keystone Community Church.
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