No offense to Kermit the Frog, but after four straight months of singing “The Rainbow Connection” to my newborn daughter, I have had enough. It’s time to mix it up, but I’m sleep deprived and can’t think of a single other song I know all the words to. Sure, I could sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or something, but if I’m going to be spending hours alone in the middle of the night singing a song, it would be nice if I actually liked the song.
As a millennial Jewish woman, one of my favorite bands is naturally Haim. So yesterday, I Googled “best Haim song to sing to a baby.” I did not find an answer to my question but what I did find was an album called “Lullaby Versions of Haim” by The Cat and Owl.
I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me that an album like this existed. After all, my older daughter has spent so many hours playing Rockabye Baby’s “Lullaby Renditions of Hamilton” album that the opening notes of the show as performed on a xylophone are practically burned into my brain. If you’re not familiar with Rockabye Baby, it’s a series of albums of lullaby covers (think: xylophones and bells) of everything from Beastie Boys to P!nk to Nickelback to Beyonce to j balvin. In a 2018 Thrillist article, Rockabye Baby’s creative director Lisa Roth (sister of David Lee!) calls Rockabye Baby’s style of music “clunk and tinkle”.
I, personally, don’t want to hear neither clunk nor tinkle ever again.
The Cat and Owl’s Haim lullaby album feels more ambient music and less Fisher Price. I’m on board, and my baby better be too — after all, Haim was her first concert at a mere 8 weeks in utero.
My favorite of the tracks is “Gasoline” (it’s important to teach your baby to scream “I GET SAD” as early as possible), followed closely by “Summer Girl” and “Hallelujah,” which I think is the Haim song that lends itself best to being a lullaby (though it is depressing). “I Know Alone” doesn’t really work for me, but I will make sure the baby learns the song so that one day she and her sister can perform the iconic dance that goes with it.
Two things to note: First of all, there is another Haim lullaby album by Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star. It’s of the clunk and tinkle variety, and I like it less. Secondly, you will likely notice on Spotify that The Cat and Owl’s most played track is“Jesus, Lover of My Soul” from their “Christian Lullabies (Volume 2!)” album. Don’t be turned off — Haim transcends religion.
One of my greatest parenting failures is that my older daughter doesn’t appreciate Haim. In fact, she audibly groans when I turn on their music. I won’t let that happen again — and I’m starting with this album.