This morning, my daughter was pushing the play button over and over again to hear the beginning of a song on a mixed CD that my husband made for her. On the CD are various of her favorite songs, but all are real “grown up” music that this child’s parents like to listen to. (There are a few kids CDs in the house, and some aren’t bad, but we like her to listen to music that won’t sound icky-sticky to our ears.)
The song she kept replaying was “Filipino Box Spring Hog” by Tom Waits. She likes Tom Waits. She’s enjoyed this song for a while, even sang it spontaneously one day awhile ago, but today, she was studying on it. Asking me what instruments were in that musical stew. I tried to identify each bang and clang as I could (it’s hard–you try it!). I explained that sometimes Tom Waits just bangs on things, like cans and other things–his percussion is not only drums and the usual stuff. And as I reveled in the idea of Tom Wait and Marc Ribot et al making that song, I realized my daughter was trying to find the guitar in the song and play along on her beat-up dulcimer, which she calls her banjo.
Later when I asked her what she was up to, she said she was trying to find out why he said, “Kathleen” (as in “Kathleen was sitting down in Little Red’s Recovery Room, in her criminal underwear bra…”)
“T’ain’t the mince meat filagree
T’ain’t the turkey neck stew
T’aint them bruleed okra seeds
though she made them especially for you…”
I’m fighting the urge to expect her to like everything I like, but I’m hoping that putting her around really interesting music will at least be good for her curiosity which will be good for her soul.