Sure hate these Blurred Lines

Before I start, I should confess that I’m a feminist. Now, not one of those bra-burning man hating ones, just one of those normal ones who believes that men and women should be treated as equals, and who wants to strangle those who come out with “Back in the kitchen” jokes.

E is now three and a half months old. He’s become a cool little dude who smiles, seems to know who we are, and gives attitude if he can’t get his own way. I’ve written before about how he seems to connect with music that I play him, which I found pretty cool. It’s become a pretty regular thing with me and him. Most days, he’ll be down on the playmat or in his bouncer, I’ll stick on Spotify and he’ll smile up at me or grunt dependant on the song playing. Occasionally we’ll even add a bit of a boogie in there. I’m fairly sure our neighbours across the road think I’ve lost it, between my daytime dancing and the made-up songs to the tunes of nursery rhymes that regularly get belted out. Anything to stop him from crying.

He seems to have honed quite the musical taste. U2 is out, Lana del Ray is in. Bit of a penchant for Dolly Parton. And then. There’s Robin Thicke, and that ear worm of a song, Blurred Lines. Known for its misogyny, and its uproar of last year, probably not the most appropriate of songs for a 14 week old. But he loves it. It came on as part of a random playlist one day when he was in a particularly cranky mood and my child changed into this happy smiling chap. Clearly a “lad” already. It seems that there is something in the melody (because I seriously doubt he understands the underlying sexism in the lyrics) that entices him.

Now, I realise that there are indeed blurred lines as to what way I could approach this. I’m not utterly opposed to the song, despite my feminist confession above I actually did find it quite catchy and while yes agreeing that it did make the singer out to be a total creep, it did make it onto some of my playlists last Summer. That said, the lyrics aren’t exactly words I want imprinted onto my tiny boys brain. But it makes him laugh and smile, and according to Google and other friends of mine with access to tiny babies, he is NOT the only one.

So I went looking for sanitised versions of lyrics with the same melody. I’ve even written my own, though “You know you wanna sleep” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Each time it comes on I feel like its this decades version of that scene in Friends where Ross and Rachel sing “Baby Got Back” to Emma. The only versions I’ve found online change the melody and it doesn’t have the same effect, so the poor child has to deal with me trying to think of lyrics to replace the worst of them.

Anybody else had the predicament of inappropriate content adding to their childs happiness, and any suggestions how to fix it? Answers on a post card, please.

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The Power of Music

I never really gave much stock to the playing music to them in the womb thing. Sure, I tried it, didn’t really get much of a response at all to any music, barring a night when 8 months pregnant, stood fairly close to the DJ booth in a packed nightclub, with baba going mental to some song that was in the charts at the time. So I didn’t quite go full hung ho into the playing Mozart to E in the womb, in the hopes of him attaining 625 points the second he got into secondary school. He listened to what I listened to, which seemed to be mixture of sappy love songs, pop songs from the 90s and some Dubstep when his daddy decided that was what he should be exposed to from day one.

When he got here things were a bit different. He screamed at any U2 song until it was turned off. Lana Del Ray was my champion in the early days for calming him and putting him to sleep, with Robbie Williams vying for that same top spot. Both artists I would have listened to a bit when pregnant but not excessively. So far, so normal.

In the last two weeks, E has been on another one of his “wonder weeks”, which apparently means he can be an absolute brat and I’m not allowed be grumpy about it, because he’s learning and expanding. And learning to be a total head wreck. He’s not a major fan of being out of my arms and not even the sling is sufficing much of the time. On top of this, we’ve had a heatwave ( hello lovely Leaving Cert weather!), which any other year would mean my factor 50 slathered self would be in a beer garden/back garden after work with a glass of wine chilling out, but this year means having arguments with parasols, draping white light fabric over half of the buggy, and dealing with a grumpy warm baby who isn’t eating like normal due to the heat, and burning to a crisp myself in the process. It’s been a fun household to live in…

Three nights ago, E goes off on one. Screeches the place down, won’t feed, clean nappy, just seems to be screaming for no reason. I stick on Spotify, on comes John Legend’s “All of Me”, a song I listened to quite a bit when I was in very late pregnancy and stuck in hospital. It had been used on Grey’s Anatomy, I’d found it online and got hooked (in truly hipster form, weeks before it became a massive hit here). E was asleep before the first verse was over. I’d think it was a coincidence if the same thing hadn’t happened yesterday. This song seems to have a completely calming effect on him, especially when I sing along, which is fantastic. I think its interesting that he potentially would link it to his last days in the womb and calm down quickly with it, it gives stock to the argument that they are affected by what they can hear. Regardless, its a lovely song, and fairly fitting.

All of Me, loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections. Give your all to me, I’ll give my all to you, You’re my end and my beginning, even when I lose I’m winning, cos I give you all of me.. and you give me all of you”.

Long may the calming effect last. I’m trying to recall anything else that I may have listened to half as obsessively while he was in there, for fear that this will start to wear off.

Also starting to think that Mozart may have been a good idea after all…

Has anyone else found this, that music you listened to while pregnant is recognised by baby?