How To Create the Perfect Birthing Soundtrack For Your Hipster Baby
My child is already cool.
Not only is my baby (mostly) caught up on the Walking Dead, but there is already cardboard moose antlers hanging above the crib. Yes, we own an infant bow-tie. (If you don't think that sort of thing is cute, you don't have children yet.)
A playlist of the right tunes is crucial for my kid to arrive in the world with the right palate of rhythm and melody. I was tasked with creating a sonic highway for my kid to cruise into this world upon. That’s right, I’m not just the birthing coach and baby daddy.
I’m the labour room DJ.
And I take my job very seriously. The baby can’t be coaxed or pleaded with–it must be grooved out of the womb. In my wealth of experience, some babies are late and some labours are long because inadequate care and attention was given to creating the right playlist. (I’ve never been in the delivery room before, and this is our first child, but I’m sure studies will soon prove I’m right.) When you get to the door of a party and you hear the music playing inside, haven’t you ever hesitated when you know they’re playing Keith Urban on the other side of that wall?
Here are some of my actual selections I made for our perfect birthing playlist. Feel free to add them to your own–they are guaranteed to bring your child out with tears of euphoric joy over having cool parents with such excellent taste.
Click on the images to listen to the song.
“Control” KEVIN GARRETT
This guy opened for James Vincent McMorrow and he was extraordinary. A talented songwriter with incredible vocal control, Kevin Garrett is going places. I’m sure the nurses all around us will feel a bit more soulful as they check Leisha’s vitals.
“Still On My Brain” JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
This is our song. As a couple, we share many songs, but this is our piano ballad. Leisha is obsessed with piano ballads, and even though the lyrics are about a breakup, we just can’t get enough of JT’s heartfelt performance.
Actually, we can’t get enough of JT in general. We are both huge fans, and we’re unapologetic about it. Listen to the groove and weep, you Philistine JT haters!
“Why Not?” JONSI
This track was one of the coolest parts of the movie “We Bought a Zoo”, a film which once held the record for the most spoilery title ever. (It only kept the title for a few years. It was recently upstaged by the even more obvious, “Lone Survivor”. I wonder how many people make it to the end of that flick?)
I love the soaring sentiment in all of Sigur Rós's music. Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson, their lead singer, did such a good job on this whole movie soundtrack. And it will fit perfectly into our birthing experience, even if there are no zebras or tigers around to cheer us on.
“Beth/Rest: Rare Book Room Version” BON IVER
This song always gets me in such a deep way. This cut is even more powerful than the original. Justin Vernon has been making white people feel confident about singing in falsetto since 2007. And even though the song is about a couple trying to reconcile on the brink of divorce, it feels so much bigger than that. It just gives me one more reason to cry happy tears on the big day.
“So Proud of You” JASON UPTON
This is our go-to song for hard times. Sung by a father over his kids, Jason Upton has captured a sentiment that drives down right to your inner child. Whenever I’m discouraged, or feeling hopeless, Leisha will run her hands through my hair and play this track. Now, it will encourage her in the midst of one of the most important days we’ve ever been alive to witness.
“Far Nearer” JAMIE XX
Leisha tells me all the time how I am a source of comfort to her. She wants me by her side through the whole labour, and she reminds me all the time. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere–honest. But the refrain of this tune just feels so suited: “I feel better when I have you near me.” It’s just so true for the both of us.
And it’s also so catchy that I’m sure we’ll bust out into a dance party–doctors and all–once the bass drops, of course.
“Finishing” SEAN FEUCT / UNITED PURSUIT
This whole album can be defined by one of Sean Feucht’s favourite words: it’s swirly. All of the songs on "Sacred Mountain" made the playlist but this one felt particularly helpful as the conclusive soundtrack to the end of the labour, and the whole epic pregnancy.
Just listen to this album and try not to picture yourself standing victorious on a mountain in the middle of a grand sunset, head-to-toe in warm flannel. It’s almost impossible! Plus, all the proceeds from this project go to supporting Christian refugees fleeing ISIS in Iraq. So you have no excuse not to pick this one up.
Keith Kenniff writes pieces that feel familiar and warm in an instant. Publishing music under the name Helios and–in this case–Goldmund, “Threnody” is a simple piano ballad serving as the high point of a strong instrumental album. These tracks will always move you into into an emotional clearing, without getting in your way.
“Viva la Vida” COLDPLAY
This song represents Leisha’s happiest place. Our road trips and backyard barbecues and morning breakfast rituals begin with “Viva la Vida” cranked up to eleven. The baby has already heard this track several times and can likely sing along with us. Even if it brightens her spirits just for a moment, it’s the right capstone for this whole playlist. In fact, it’s the very first song she requested.
Of course, there are other instrumental tracks and worship songs. Nine hours of them, to be exact. I picked these particular highlights because they're moment-makers. I put a soundtrack to all my memories and I've always been the kind of person to let music shape my soul's experiences. I'm not ignorant of the challenges of the birthing experience. I know it takes longer than the Drive Thru–I have a weird YouTube history filled with educational birthing videos that prove how much I've learned.
But in the midst of one of the most significant moments of my life, I most of all want to make sure Leisha is comfortable. And I want to celebrate the memories we've already made as we form such a massive new one.
So even if it's three in the morning and we're both sweaty and tired and our baby is literally looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, we'll at least have some sweet jams to relax to.