As my due date grew closer, I decided that I wanted to give something to my husband for the birth of our daughter. I know it is traditionally the mom who receives a push present, but I thought it was important for the dad to receive some love too. Not only was it was the birth of his first, and probably only, daughter, but also it seemed as though he was still in denial about the baby coming. So I wanted to give him something that would force him to recognize that this was an actual thing that would be happening, and with some luck, maybe even start to get him excited about it. I wanted it to be sentimental; something he could use for years to come. Something that would not add to the clutter in our house or get lost. And it had to be something inexpensive, as we were trying to save for my maternity leave and future childcare.
I decided to make him a father/daughter playlist. Once upon a time, we prided ourselves on listening to good music. We created numerous mixed tapes for each other when we were dating, and once we moved in together we made them for special occasions and just to have around the house. We hadn’t made one in awhile – since before the birth of our son, over 6 years ago. (It is funny how the things you used to spend so much time on disappear after the birth of a child.) Even though the playlist does not cost anything to make (aside from our Amazon Music Unlimited subscription fee), he would know the time that I took carefully crafting it for him. It worked! He loved it! He actually discovered it before I had the chance to reveal it to him, as I made it on our shared Amazon Music account. He listened to it all day while he was at work and cried the entire time and then called me at the end of the day to tell me how much he enjoyed it. And now he listens to it in the middle of the night as he takes his turn with our newborn baby girl.
I had considered making an actual mixed tape or CD, but decided to make it on Amazon Music because it is so much easier to add and delete songs, to search for specific versions of songs, to search other people’s playlists, and to add or delete songs later. I kind of like the idea that this is a living playlist. I imagine that someday our daughter will use it to choose the father/daughter dance song for her wedding.
Songs that made the cut had these qualities:
1) Enjoyable to listen to. We aren’t big fans of country, so even though there are probably some great father/daughter songs out there on Y108, or whatever your favorite country music station is, you won’t find them on this list.
2) Not cheesy. You won’t find any Butterfly Kisses here. If I could picture him rolling his eyes as it came on or picture my future daughter calling it whatever the 2037 word for “lame” is going to be, it didn’t make the cut.
3) Not necessarily about dads and daughters. Some of these songs aren’t even written about a parent/child relationship. They might have a more general theme about love or commitment.
In no particular order, here are the songs that I chose for the playlist:
- Good to You – The Avett Brothers
- Daughters – John Mayer
- Wildflowers – Tom Petty
- My Darling – Wilco
- Gracie – Ben Folds
- The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
- Asleep and Dreaming – The Magnetic Fields
- Dear Theodosia – from the Hamilton musical soundtrack
- Kooks – David Bowie
- My Girl – The Temptations
- You Are Your Mother’s Child – Conor Oberst
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Ingrid Michaelson
- In My Life – The Beatles
- Isn’t She Lovely – Frank Sinatra I actually like the Stevie Wonder version best, but can’t find a version without the baby noises that play at the beginning of the song.
I hope you enjoyed the list. I still tear up every time I hear Dear Theodosia and You Are Your Mother’s Child. If you have ideas for other songs that we could add to our living playlist, please let us know in the comments!