As the weather goes from great to grey, I talk about everything from nice weather memories and Mariah Carey to Mickey Mouse coloring books and how the movie Spring Break holds up as a good lesson on how to be a worthwhile person.
If you missed it, here are a pair of Photo Diary posts about us going to the park from Friday and Tuesday.
Here’s my wildly uninformed Sesame Street post from last year.
Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you that “Baby One More Time” fails the Afternoon Delight Test. Sure, it’s got a lot of “baby” in it and might seem like a good song to sing to your kid, but as these things go, the lyrics get weird almost immediately. This one’s clearly about heartbreak and loneliness, as you can see from the lyrics (or hear in the video).
However, it does get kind of funny to read those lyrics with an actual baby in mind. You know, funny in the way that, in your head it makes you chuckle, but in real life it would just be sad and awkward. “Oh baby, baby/The reason I breathe is you/Now, boy you got me blinded.” Chuckles. Of course, the funniest line in the bunch is” Hit me baby one more time.” Lady, don’t let your kid bully you around like that!
Fun fact, one of my favorite bands Fountains Of Wayne was actually offered this song to do on one of their albums. They played and even recorded it, but didn’t think it really fit with them, so they passed. It then went on to be Britney Spears’ first big hit. So, I guess we have them to blame for still having to hear about a washed-up pop princess. Ah well, their version is still great and can be found on their B-sides and rarities record Out-Of-State Plates.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “How could a song called ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ possibly be one you’d sing to your baby?” Well, as any parent knows, you’re not always paying attention to your surroundings, because it’s always split between several things at once, especially if you’re trying to work from home as well. So, when I was listening to the excellent Motown collection I purchased just before our wedding called Motown 1′s (an excellent gateway drug into the Detroit Sound) and a song like this one popped on starting with “Baby, baby, baby,” I immediately started singing it towards Lucy.
I very quickly realized that this was an odd song to sing to my kid. “Baby, don’t leave me/Ooh, please, don’t leave me” just sounds desperate when singing to a three month old . It goes further down the awkward rabbit hole from there. Lots of love songs can wind up working on different levels, (mostly) making sense when aimed at a romantic partner or a family member, but not this one. The themes of love and abandonment in the song places it pretty squarely in the romantic love category, though I guess a parent could sing this one in regards to a wayward teen or older child. That just makes me sad, though.
So, this song obviously fails The Afternoon Delight Test (which is fully explained here, if you have no idea what this post is about). It’s still an amazing song sung by one of the all time best girl group of any era, but probably not the one to sing to your kid.
This one might need some explaining unless you’re already a fan of Arrested Development. If not, there was a scene in an episode called “Afternoon Delight” ( you can and should watch here) in which Jason Bateman sang a karaoke version of “Afternoon Delight” with his niece at a company Christmas party. They’re singing the nice, sweet song originally recorded by Starland Vocal Band and soon enough they get to some lyrics that turn a nice duet between uncle and niece into something unintentionally creepy.
I explain all this as a way to introduce a new feature on Pop Poppa called The Afternoon Delight Test. Sometimes I’ll be singing a song that has the word “baby” in it to my daughter only to realize that it’s a love song and therefore not the most appropriate thing to be singing to your kid. In an effort to help others not make the same mistake I have, I’ll do one ADT post a week with a PASS or FAIL grade. If a song passes the ADT, that means it’s okay to sing to your kid, if it fails, avoid the dedication and sing to no one in particular.
The first song I’ll be testing is a personal favorite of mine. It’s called “Alright For Now” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. I’ve dug this song since high school when I bought the Petty box set Playback through my buddy who was a member of some record club (hey, look who’s dating himself). The other day I started playing it and was feeling pretty good with opening lyrics like “Goodnight baby, sleep tight my love/May God watch over you from above.” Seems pretty safe, right? Practically a lullaby. Well, here’s the song:
It definitely PASSES the ADT in my book. You can scope out the rest of the lyrics here, but I don’t see anything that would make singing “Alright For Now” to your kid accidentally creepy. The line about not repaying what the subject of the song has done for the main character might not make a ton of sense, but people do talk about their kids that way. Anyway, I’m glad it passed because, as I said, it’s a favorite of mine, but also I was singing it to Lucy the other day, she really liked it and there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a song and hitting that awkward set of lyrics. Success!