My son– starting at about four months– developed an instant Pavlovian sleep response to a rather lengthy Australian folk song about Aboriginal land rights. It’s not a bad song, in fact, it’s lovely. But it started to get to us after a while- my husband and I listened to it probably thousands of times that year. We became so reliant on that song for sleep, we took it everywhere. We bought a portable CD player. My brother even printed out a photograph of the Aboriginal hero of the song to put over my son’s crib. It became a family obsession. We all learned quite a bit about the plight of Australia’s indigenous people. We started to go a little crazy. But whatever, it worked! The minute the song came on, the baby would stop crying. That’s all that matters.
When my daughter was born we were smart enough to only play music we knew we could tolerate on repeat: Roxy Music’s Avalon, Leonard Cohen, The Feelies. She went for the Cohen. Soon enough we’d found our 60 year-old West Indian babysitter singing under her breath,“Jane came by with a lock of your hair” while changing a diaper.
On that note, check out this little baby girl who can only be calmed by Notorious B.I.G.. It’s pretty hilarious: