Time to introduce Dad’s Playlist
On the first of day of autumn, on a lazy side street elevated by the morning sun’s golden glow, a crumpled leaf trickles from a towering stand of maples and lands softly on the hood my car.
It’s a simple, but beautiful, site.
All I can do is smile - because autumn has arrived and hopefully I’ll be hearing less “Despacito” as the song of the summer fades into fall.
Words fail me in trying to describe how tired I am of “Despacito.”
It’s been played more than 4.6 billion times and it feels like I’ve heard it every time.
I just can’t take it seriously anymore. It’s become a Weird Al-ish parody for me - “Red Doritos, your cheesy flavours I like to eat-o. I just want the bag to never be finito. I can eat forever cuando esté contigo.”
So, with the leaves falling, I’m optimistic “Despacito” has, like “Macarena” and “Achy Breaky Heart,” run its course and will surface only at rural wedding receptions.
That evening, though, I reward my son for homework well done with “Good job. You can watch one song on YouTube.”
To my disdain, he requests, “Justin Bieber ‘Despacito.” “Seriously?” I ask.
“Seriously,” he replies. He earned the video, so without question, I suffer through an amateur recording of Bieber singing “Despacito” in concert.
I sense a coaching moment and continue the parenting ritual of trying to influence a child’s taste in tunes, a tradition that began when the first cave parent asked, “You bang rocks together like that and call it music?”
“Let me pick a song,” I ask my son after “Despacito” ends.
He agrees, likely because it might lead to staying up a little later.
Randomly, I play AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long (From Live at River Plate).”
Seconds into the song, I’m shaking my head like guitarist Angus Young and hurting my throat trying to sound like lead singer Brian Johnson.
I’m rocking out, a one-man AC/DC tribute act, or as I like to call it, AC/DSteve.
My son listens for a minute and starts singing “Despacito.” In the middle of my jam! “That’s just not as good as Justin Beiber,” he says of AD/ DC.
I take a deep breath and decide now is not the time to argue or disagree.
He’s entitled to his taste in music, sports teams and anything else. (It breaks my heart when he pledges allegiance to the Montreal Canadiens.)
That doesn’t mean I can’t expose him to Dad’s Playlist and introduce him to some songs he might enjoy though.
It includes, but is not limited to (and I’d love to hear your suggested additions):
- “Panama,” Van Halen - “Knocking at your back door,” Deep Purple
- “Nautical Disaster,” Tragically Hip
- “The Chain,” Fleetwood Mac - “The Trooper,” Iron Maiden - “Deuce,’ KISS
- “Master of Puppets,” Metallica
- “Eleanor Rigby,” The Beatles - “Money City Maniacs,” Sloan
Stones Hey, My My,” Tuesday,” Neil Rolling
My plan is to introduce Dad’s Playlist to him “despacito,” which fittingly means “slowly” in English.