Dear Atticus, on music part II

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Dear Atticus,

I thought it might be fun to share a playlist of songs that I have been listening to since April.

1. “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire – From the trailer of the movie Where the Wild Things Are, which we discussed with the youth this summer and which is an excellent story about being a child, specifically being a boy. We can’t wait to share it with you in book and movie form. And pictures from the book are already hanging on your wall.

2. “Wonder” by Colin Meloy – This one has been pretty constant since we saw the two lines. “It’s weird but mostly wonderful, dear.”

3. “O’Brien” by M. Ward – Well. You know.

4. “Potatoes” by Tanya Davis – We heard this one when we went to PEI this summer, and it had me thinking a lot about what home means to me. I am excited to show you all the things I love about North Carolina.

5. “Boy Like Me/Man Like You” by Rich Mullins – Since we found out you are a boy, I have thought a lot about what it means to raise a boy and how to teach you about that other little boy he is talking about. Also, your dad and I love Rich Mullins. He helped bring us together twelve years ago. You might possibly owe your existence to him.

6. “Devil Town” by Bright Eyes – This summer, we watched four seasons of Friday Night Lights. If you turn out to like football even a little bit, we will show it to you some day and teach you about the greatness of Coach and Tami Taylor, Tim Riggins, and “Texas forever”. This song was played in a particularly awesome episode.

7. “Revelry” by Kings of Leon – Your dad and I listened to a lot of Kings of Leon this summer. Here’s one I like that doesn’t talk about sex being on fire. You’re a little too young for that discussion.

8. “We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire – We also listened to this one a lot. I like the sense of longing in the lyrics (and also in the video, which was cool. Videos will be even more cool by the time you are old enough to enjoy them. We will tell you about the old days when you had to watch them on MTV).

9. “The Laugh of Recognition” by Over the Rhine – I predict there will be a lot of, “Come on, boys!” in my future.

10. “Graceland” by The Tallest Man on Earth – Paul Simon is an amazing wordsmith. This is a particularly lovely version of his song. I cannot resist lines like, “I am following the river down the highway through the cradle of the Civil War.” You are going to be very familiar with Paul Simon, I imagine. Just like I was.

11. “Lantern” by Josh Ritter – This was probably our number one song for this summer. Your dad and I want to have the kind of relationship where we hold up the light for each other, because we think that will only benefit you.

12. “Blackbird” by The Beatles – This was in an episode of ER in which someone was having a baby. Which is lame, I know, but I have had it in my head a lot as we have been preparing for you. Plus, you know, The Beatles.

13. “Let Mercy Lead” by Rich Mullins – If Aidan hadn’t become such a popular name in the past few years, I am sure your dad and I would have considered using it for you because of this song.

14. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens – Also from Friday Night Lights. Coach Taylor is a good, good man.

15. “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” by Mumford and Sons – Another Beatles song, this one by Mumford and Sons. We’ve been listening to them quite a bit over the past few weeks.

16. “Joy to the World” by Eef Barzelay – I haven’t actually started listening to any Christmas music yet. But here’s a good non-Christmas version of a Christmas song. We love Eef in this house. Your dad plays him a lot on his radio show.

17. “Real Love” by Regina Spektor – Yet another Beatles cover. I have been so busy growing you that I haven’t taken a lot of time to think about how I feel about you. So this is one for when you arrive: “Seems like all I really was doing, was waiting for you. It’s real love, yes it’s real.”

I wonder if you are already familiar with these? How much can you hear? I hope you are better at memorizing lyrics than your dad is. (My dad was not very good at it, either.) I would love for you to have more musical ability than we do, but we will try to surround you with music even if, like us, you can’t really play or sing. I don’t love music like your dad does, but it is an important part of my life, and I can’t wait to share some of our favorite songs with you and watch you discover some of these artists for yourself.


Gentle readers, it’s been a while since I gave away a mix CD. So I am giving away three copies of this one. Put your name in the comments by November 30th to enter to win. I will pick the winners on December 1st.

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