We started making playlists for Ruby before she was born. When we arrived at the hospital on the day she was born, I had two playlists ready to go, depending on Julia's mood. They were called Wake Up Ruby, and Calm Down Ruby. We never played anything from the former.
Since she's been around, we've kept a running playlist of songs she likes, songs that were popular while she was a baby, and songs that mean something to us. There's a lot of them now, 215 at my last count. Not all of them are appropriate for kids to listen to, so we have to skip those if she's listening, and not all of them are songs she actually enjoys. But they belong just the same. If you're interested, the playlist is called The Pancake Mix on Spotify ® .
The most important song in this mix, by far, is called Fare The Well (Dink's Song) by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac. It's from the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack. This song has never failed to calm her down, and usually does so within seconds. It still works to this day, and I sing it to her any time she has a bad dream, or if she's upset with me for dropping her off at school. She calls it "Honey Song"
The next song that absolutely needs mentioning is Angel Band by The Stanley Brothers. If you know me, you'll know that my mother was born in the south, moved up here in her twenties, and now she's gotten rid of her accent and has fully embraced the Midwest lifestyle. But there's a little hick in my blood, and I can't help but love music like this. Like the previous song, this one is very calming to Ruby, and I sing it to her often. She calls this one "Angel Song"
Growing up with a name like Ruby, you're going to be called Ruby Tuesday at least 3 times a week, every week, for your entire life. And for my daughter, it's not going to help that she was actually born on a Tuesday. Se la vie. What people don't know is that there's a ton of songs about girls named Ruby, and the Rolling Stones are just the tip of the iceberg. They may have the most famous song, but there's plenty of other we like more. Here's our favorite, Ruby by Foster the People.
Many of these songs trend toward calm, because we generally listen to this mix in the car. Ruby wasn't always a fan of car trips, and sometimes she still kicks up a fuss if we take a trip longer than 20 minutes. If you listen to the mix, you'll notice that some of these songs are perfect for falling asleep to. The other theme of The Pancake Mix is female artists. My personal taste in music leans toward female vocalists, but even if they didn't, I'd want to expose Ruby to as many as possible. You'll see a lot of Hayley Williams, Ellie Goulding, Janis Joplin, Adele, Bjork, Natalie Maines, Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, Sia, Solange Knowles, Fiona Apple, Tegan and Sara, Amy Winehouse, etc. etc. etc. I could go on forever but I won't. Valerie June exists at a perfect intersection of being a woman, singing folk/country/roots/blues, all wrapped up in a modern music package. We love her.
We also love to dance. Ruby will sometimes feel the need to dance so strongly, that she'll stop what she's doing and just get to it. Sometimes, mid meal. If you look at my most recent Ruby gallery, she's doing a lot of dancing in heart shaped sunglasses, an essential part of any dance session. She's also taking ballet, so she's not completely untrained, but her style is definitely her own. This is one of our current favorite dancin' tunes:
Hard Times by Paramore
Until next time! Enjoy the jams.