Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rufus Wainwright "Zebulon"

Just by coincidence, I read a book called "Slam" last fall---the coincidence being that it's written from the perspective of a guy who's girlfriend is pregnant, just as my wife was. But fortunately, we're not teenagers, and the pregnancy wasn't a surprise, like it was for the characters in the book.

The author, Nick Hornby, is a major music fan. You may have read, or seen the movie version, of his "High Fidelity." And all his books have sly and/or cool music references.

In "Slam," the music the young Dad-to-be/skate punk has picked for the delivery room, turns out to be non-conducive to a peaceful labor, so his mother-in-law pops her iPod in. Everyone likes the gorgeous piece of music that is playing at the moment the baby arrives, and so they decided that the baby's name will be "Rufus."

I fussed over a playlist for our recent trip to the maternity ward, searching for the perfect pitch of songs---not too loud, not too sad, focusing on peaceful and warm tones. And yeah, I couldn't help notice that there was a lot of Rufus Wainwright on our list. And I worried:

I was not ready to name my kid, Rufus.

Over the course of the evening, as contractions came more quickly, I kept an eye on the list, trying to guess where things would land---Elton, Elvis, Marvin, Otis---I suddenly realized that I hadn't much considered "Slam" while trying to please my pregnant partner's musical preferences.

Then something else that I hadn't considered, happened:

She needed an emergency C-Section.

The iPod became a long gone afterthought, as she was whisked away with a surgical team, and little Noah was born into a room where music was not cranked, or fussed over, or even considered.

And I suppose, on a "Slam" level, I can say we're lucky that coincidence didn't stick us with a strange name. Though the woman with the scar on her abdomen would probably argue with my choice of the "L" word.

Rufus Wainwright's new album is out this week, and it closes with another name I was happy to not give to my kid. Zebulon.


Rufus talks about the record

No comments:

Post a Comment