Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mumford & Sons "Roll Away Your Stone"

There are a couple of musical things that we have been adamant about, as parents.

One, is crummy kid music.

Perhaps surprisingly, it's my wife that has zero patience for twee tunes. With the exception of a Sesame Street album, we really don't play any music for our kids, that was created for kids alone.

Instead we've worked really hard to find music that was made for adults, that appeals to kids.

The Beatles is kid music. Abba is kid music. Michael Franti is kid music.

The other thing we have strongly encouraged is unselfconscious dancing. And that's because my wife is a great dancer, and because I am a terrible dancer. We want our kids to experience the joy of movement.

I lost that joy somewhere along the way.

When I was a little kid, my sister and I used to dance around the living room. The kid songs we had, were Showtunes. We'd jump and groove to "The Music Man" and "Fiddler On The Roof" and such. We'd swing with wild abandon, until . . . well, I'll get back to that in a second.

My wife and I have tried to recreate that scene in our living room, and we were having a blast recently, with Mumford & Sons.

I can't really say that lyrically, Mumford & Sons is kid music. But musically? Hell yeah.

I was holding my daughter, and my wife was holding my sons, and we started shuffling to "Roll Away Your Stone," sashaying from one end of the living room to the other.

Then that instrumental part, right after the chorus, hit. The part that makes you want to stamp your feet. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

And that's what we did. We stomped our feet. Stomped from one end of the room to the other.

As the song built, so did out stomping.


Where I had been charging into the rhythm with abandon, I suddenly had a hesitation, and I stopped.

I stopped stomping. I stopped jumping.


I smiled when I realized what had made me want to stop:

I didn't want the record player to skip.

Back in the 1970s, when my sister and I were stomping along to "76 Trombones" like we were in a Sousa marching band, there was a point where you had to pull in the reins of your unrestrained thumps.

If you thumped too hard, the needle would jump off the record. Why, you could get bounced right back into "Goodnight My Someone" if you weren't careful.

So you had to tread lightly, pull back the reins, not dance with full abandon, in deference to the limitations of the phonograph player.

I can't say that this is solely the reason that I grew up to be a terrible dancer. But it was a pretty startling realization.

In the living room, with my daughter in my arms, I realized no matter how hard I stomped, that Mumford & Sons MP3 was not going to skip.

There was nothing holding me back.

See the video on Youtube.

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