Perfect Playlist #1 – Being a Parent

I have always loved songwriters who use their children or children in general for inspiration. Being a Father to three I am constantly touched by the thoughts and sentiments of songwriters. The fact that some go on the call their kids Moon Unit, Fifi Trixibell or Apple is an entirely different matter!

The playlist runs the gamut of emotions from grief to elation. Do some investigating and enjoy.

1. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton suffered the worst nightmare of any parent: the loss of their child. Clapton’s son, Conor, plunged to his death from the window in an apartment block and this song was his way of dealing with the devastating grief.

2. Danny’s Song – Kenny Loggins

A wonderfully uplifting song from brilliant songwriter Kenny Loggins. It tells the tale of meeting his wife and how their world was made complete when their first child came along.

3. The Things We’ve Handed Down – Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn is a brilliant songwriter. Looking a little deeper than Walking In Memphis you can find some gems. We have all wondered, prior to the birth of our child, what traits they have inherited from Mum or Dad. This song encapsulates those feelings and thoughts beautifully.

4. This Is Home – Lucy Kaplansky

Lucy tells the story of the adoption of her baby from an orphanage in China better than I could here. This song was her way of telling the story. The lyrics a moving especially when she sings of her adopted baby to be lying, alone, in an orphanage “getting used to being left behind”. A simple but powerful song.

5. Over There – John Gorka

Lyrically a brilliant song about how being in a family with his wife and two children keeps him grounded. “And the little but that I give up/It’s all coming back a hundredfold/It’s not lost if it goes to love/It rounds you out so you can roll”.

6. Father and Son – Cat Stevens

A fantastic song about a father who wants the best for his child and the son who wants to make it in his own way….

7. Teach Your Children – Crosby Stills and Nash

A great song about looking to the future and wanting the best for your children and that how it was done before might not be the best way. Second part of the songs speaks directly to children of parents fears and hang ups.

8. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon

Lennons stunning , brilliantly written song to his son Sean.

9. Sarah Maria – James Taylor

Sarah Maria was James’ first child with Carly Simon and this a sweet song about his little girl.

10. Taking You Home – Don Henley

As one half of the main writing partnership in the Eagles you can expect great quality. Henley’s solo albums have a more of a personal touch to them which makes for a more in depth listen.

Sometimes the joy of parenthood comes when you least expect it and this is true of Don Henley. This is his song relating his feelings when he first saw his newborn and wanted to simply take her “home”.

11. Speaking With The Angel – Cry Cry Cry

Lucy Kaplansky sings here on a collaborative album she did with Richard Shindell and Dar Williams. The album is made up of songs by their favourite artists. This is their brilliant version of Ron Sexsmith’s song.

Well, that’s it. I hope you do seek out and enjoy this music and it speaks to you in the way it does me.

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Cheryl Wheeler – Brilliant New England Based Singer

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Cheryl Wheeler is an American singer songwriter based in New England. Her unassuming demeanour belies a singer with the voice of an angel and a songwriter that can write pithy comic songs, heartbreakingly beautiful ballads or simple songs about the area she comes from.

The style of her music is folk with a slight tinge of country thrown into some songs.

Her songs have been covered by several well known singers such as Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Bette Midler, Suzy Bogguss and Kathy Mattea to name but a few.

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Her Greatest Hits album Different Stripe is a magnificent collection of songs. I love the simplicity of Sylvia Hotel and When Fall Comes to New England. Other stand outs are Aces, Arrow and Moonlight and Roses.