Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hey Henry, Can You Hear Me?

Over the summer, I heard this story on NPR: Songs For The Delivery Room: One Woman's Playlist . Though my one show a week days are long gone (I lived in Philadelphia, Manhattan, and Brooklyn...I've pretty much seen every act I ever wanted - twice), music is still a big part of my life and I took great care in crafting my playlist for Henry's birth. The woman on NPR offers the following wise words:

Giving birth is athletic. It's intense. For some people, it's terrifying. For some, it's exhilarating. We don't often get the chance to compose a soundtrack for life's most profound moments. But given the opportunity, I did not see the point in calm, supposedly soothing music.
I wanted a beat.

I wanted some songs with a beat, but I was more interested sentimental music that reminded me of fun, important times in my life. I wanted a nostalgic playlist, because I knew that for me, the best distraction from pain would be thinking of times when I was truly happy. The songs below remind me of the high school, old mix tapes (actual tapes, not playlists!), my first summer in New York when I met B, drives to the beach in NC, and college. I also threw in a few that are just plain good, like "Rise to Me," which you must listen to. After this played in the delivery room, how could we not name him Henry? I can't say my playlist was completely successful in blunting the pain, but it sure helped. Here's a smattering of the list (the full one was a bit longer).

"I Feel it All," Feist
"Falling for You," Weezer
"15 Step," Radiohead
"Rise," Eddie Vedder
"I Believe That the End of the Reign of Terror is Near," The Anniversary
"Nimrod's Son,"and "Something Against You," the Pixies
"The Weather," Built to Spill
"Rhineland (Heartland)," "Nantes," Beirut
"Sea of Love," "Metal Heart," Cat Power
"Family Tree," Ben Kweller
"The Funeral," Band of Horses
"1992," "Coffee and TV" Blur
"Fire," Augustana
"The Henney Buggy Band," Sufjan Stevens
"The Only Living Boy in New York," Simon and Garfunkel
"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," The Flaming Lips
"Woe," Say Anything
"Wolf Like Me," TV on the Radio
"Don't Leave the Light on Baby," Belle and Sebastian
"Strange and Beautiful," Aqualung
"Go Places," The New Pornographers
"Turning Round" The Fiery Furnaces
"All These Things That I've Done," The Killers
"Want," originally by Jawbreaker, covered by Lagwagon
"Brand New Love," Sebadoh
"I and Love and You," the Avett Brothers
"My Body is a Cage," Arcade Fire


  1. That's awesome that you found music to be therapeutic during your labor. I did as well... I remember there being times when I would just focus on the lyrics and the beat of the music.

  2. I love that soundtrack! Both of my labors I went into it thinking I would want to listen to music, but ended up wanting silence. So weird because I am not known for being quiet. Congrats again! Hope all is well.