Val & Joan’s Infinite Playlist

I sit listening to my “get pumped” playlist on iTunes, which features everything from Don Quijote to Lady Gaga to Creedence, while my daughter plays with her Bubble Guppy guitar nearby (P.S.  What the hell is a Bubble Guppy??)

I wonder what my music choices will do to her psychologically.  This is especially prevalent because Cee-Lo’s “F**k You” is blasting…yikes.  Listen, Judgy Judgersons, it’s a catchy tune and a total throwback to old days of Motown.  So if you don’t like it, why don’t you go do as the song says.

My parents were big on records.  We used to listen to music every night while we ate dinner.  They mixed up their “playlist” depending on the cuisine they’d chosen to cook:

Pasta night – Maria Callas singing Tosca
Paella night – Flamenco Guitar
Taco night – Mariachi Favorites or Linda Rondstadt’s “Canciones de mi Padre” (to which my sister and I sung along with Pops at the top of our lungs, even though we didn’t really understand the words)
Golumpki night (Polish sausage stuffed cabbages) – You guessed it: Polka (our personal favorites were “Who Stole the Kishka” and “I Don’t Want Her You Can Have Her She’s Too Fat For Me.”  These are real songs.  I love being Polish.)

Not all of our dinner nights had matching international themes.  Sometimes we just picked music according to the mood, including Buddy Holly, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Beethoven, Celia Cruz, Bob Seger, Dinah Shore, Shirley Bassey, Michael Jackson, The Pointer Sisters, and, of course, the Great Carlos Santana.

Music often accompanies my memories…

Sipping lemonade with Laura on a lazy summer afternoon, with Dad mowing the lawn and chewing a stogie, and Mom lying on the couch and reading a book, accompanied by The Beatles’ White Album, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or The Steve Miller Band.

Waking up every morning to the alarm clock in Mom and Dad’s room playing, “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.  Simultaneously lovely and irritating at 5:45am.

Dancing with Auntie Meline to Cha-Cha-Cha records in the basement, trying to follow her perfect rhythm, and stepping on her feet to her great impatience, “No, Marrria, theees way!  Tsk, ai yai yai.”

Listening to Marvin Gaye or Gladys Knight and watching Dad twirl Mom around the kitchen, laughing.

Playing 45s on the record player and dancing around the living room with Laura to “Peggy Sue” and “Splish Splash.”  45s were such a pain in the ass because you had to change them EVERY song, but we thought they were the best thing ever.

Playing the soundtrack from “Cats” and caterwauling along with those frisky felines until my sister begged for mercy.  To this very day, she shudders at the name, “Bustopher Jones.”

Playing Carlos Santana’s, “Oye Como Va,” with Dad “bop-bop-bahing” and clapping his hands, singing his heart out with his froggy voice and making his own words up, “Oye como VA, my VIDA!  Vamos a cantar, muLATAAAAH!”

What music memories will my daughter have when she’s in her 30s?  What songs will make her cry?  Laugh?  Cringe?  Smile?  Roll her eyes?  Remember more innocent times?


One thought on “Val & Joan’s Infinite Playlist

  1. Laura

    One of my favorites were when we took dad to the Santana concert and I was all worried because we got lawn seats to which he replied “why the hell would I want to sit there? I want to be on the lawn dancing with the young kids”!

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