Music Baby, pt. 2: The Aww’s

We Walked in SongAs a post-script to my baby playlist, I wanted to try and further break you all down into a pile of emotional goo. If you’re not off the Aww charts by the end of this, then please don’t ever have children, go hunting, or drink alone.

A few months ago, Natalie was on a big Innocence Mission kick (certainly not the first time). It makes sense, since before she was pregnant, she was big into Mazzy Star. Both are floating, ethereal female vocalists, one haunting and mysterious, the other folky and porcelain. I guess we’re growing up. (Still, we plan to record an extra-reverbed out version of “Into Dust” soon, so we haven’t retired our brooding hoods quite yet).

As a result, she really wanted us to record a cover of The Innocence Mission track “Happy Birthday,” as it seemed the only time a birthday song was not drenched with corn syrup. Her idea was that we’d have it on the iPod, and play it after our baby was born. (Aww scale: 8/10)

Soon after we recorded it, I came up with the idea of surprising Natalie by emailing the recording file out to a bunch of our friends across the country with directions on how to record their voices over each of the choruses. I kept this part a surprise, knowing that when she heard that great cloud of slightly off-key pals wishing our newborn a happy birthday, I’d achieve the ultimate sentimental annihilation. (Aww scale: this one goes to 11)

It definitely worked. However, what I didn’t expect was how I’d react. For some reason, I figured that since I wasn’t the one who’d just gone through the most heightened and bizarre kind of pain imaginable, I’d hold it together. By the time the song reached the chorus, and she asked me who else was singing, I might as well have been trying to speak through a waterfall. (Aww scale: Face-Melt/10)

There. Who says I’m just a maudlin, mortality-obsessed writer.

The coolest part? I emailed Don & Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission to make sure they were okay with us posting the cover, and they’re totally cool with it! We’re very honored to get their blessing.

So, here’s the song. (Also: by all means, go and buy their records. They’re proof that good music doesn’t have to mean child-unfriendly)


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About bp

I'm writing a book. It's called, Wake, Sleeper. My writing revolves around this idea of art: attempts to recover what is lost.
This entry was posted in Just Cuz, New Dads Strut, Series: Essays in Embryo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Music Baby, pt. 2: The Aww’s

  1. Ryan says:

    Recording this song was such an amazing community building event and one of the ways Bryan and his wife Natalie encourage the sort of community they see needed most. I think this idea goes to 11!

  2. Paul Howley says:

    Bryan,
    That was really beautiful…

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