Andrew W.K.: She Is Beautiful
When my first child was born, we brought her all the songs we had been sung, plus our own songs, the ones we adopted together, and defined ourselves as family through: You Are My Sunshine, The Water Is Wide, James Taylor's You Can Close Your Eyes. We sang to her at night, and in the morning; we sang as we played, and walked, and we sang along as we listened to Daddy's folk music and jamband stuff in the rare working hour.
And then one day in the car, when she was about nine months old, I dropped a random CD single that had come free with a can of Axe deodorant into the CD player on the way home from buying it at the supermarket, and suddenly everything between us changed in a heartbeat as the screaming thrashmetal strains of hardcore singer-songwriter Andrew WK's second-best known single brought her to sudden ecstasy.
For the next four months, it was impossible to get into the car with my child without her immediately asking for the "deedle deedle deedle" song, an apt description of the song's keening opener serving adeptly as a coded signal for us to thrash out together with glee as we drove into town. And thus, I knew: this child would be her own beautiful soul, with depths and hidden secrets, a joy to celebrate and respond to. And she would love and recognize good music, of every genre, in a single note, no matter the source - like her father, and his father before him.
(postscript: Since his debut dropped in 2001, Andrew W.K. has gone on to become a successful new age self help motivational speaker, TV host, and nightclub owner. Meanwhile, my oldest child is now nine, going on 14, and she likes novelty and parody songs, mostly. But she'll get over it. We did.)
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