Music is very, very important to me. I’m a music snob, and proud of it, and although I have no huge ambitions I want my daughters to fulfill, other than to be very happy, I’ve always hoped my love of music will carry on through them. Or at least, through one of them. I’ll settle for that.
Right from day one I’ve introduced them to my obsession. I even made CD compilations for their births. I would love to think their immersion in music will turn them into childhood musical prodigies, something I always wanted to do but didn’t have the talent. Or at the very least, I’ll get to take them to Glastonbury, a festival I rarely missed for 15 years. Ironically, ever since they were born I can no longer afford to go…
You’ve got to know where to draw the line with kids and music though. I found out when Blondie was around 2 that, while it filled me with delight to see her getting funky to Parliament, grooving to Femi Kuti, or singing to LCD Soundsystem, it wasn’t worth getting too esoteric. I discovered this to my cost in the car when a particularly abrasive track by Neu! reduced her to a screaming fit, causing me to pull over and apologise. No more Krautrock for Blondie, except for a bit of Kraftwerk…
We watch the Top of the Pops repeats on BBC Four, and I’ve always admired Blondie’s ability to pick out the songs that went on to become famous, and ignore the duds. However, ever since she started her ‘Disney princess’ period and began her obsession, like every other girl her age, with Frozen, I have occasionally worried that I’ve been raising her to be out of step with her friends. I want her to be unique, but you have to have a balance. When we attended her friend’s birthday party last summer and the room was blaring out modern pop, she looked a little lost. It dawned on me that perhaps having Blondie believe the charts of 1983 are current might not be a good idea. I haven’t paid attention to the charts for a long, long time. Probably the last time I really cared was 1995, when Pulp were robbed of the number one spot and Blur took on Oasis. Jesus, that is TWENTY TWO YEARS AGO. Anyway, where was I… Blondie had reached the age at which she was no longer mine to mold, to some extent. She was now going to want to get into stuff aimed at kids her age, so she could sing and dance along with her friends, not her silly daddy.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m now trying to see music through the eyes of my little girls, or I’m getting old and my standards are slipping, but I haven’t found it as hard as I thought it would be. Seeing Blondie lose herself in songs by Justin Timberlake and Little Mix, and her little sister Red try and join in by spinning round until she falls over (around 30 seconds in) gets me as high on life as seeing Paul McCartney or the Chemical Brothers perform their greatest hits in a muddy field. And it’s a damn sight cheaper. I am very envious of an ex-raver friend who took her son to the brilliantly-named Big Fish Little Fish – 2-4 Hour Party People, which mixes the atmosphere of a kids party with the clubs she used to attend in the 1990s. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me.
However, it’s not all been good since Blondie forged her own musical path. Three words for you. Chu Chu Ua. If you’re not aware of this, I envy you. It’s a song, originally by an Argentinean clown, that drives me and Mummy Cool insane. Somehow, it’s got a bit of a following all over the world and it’s reached our village. It brings to mind a tacky novelty song from the 1980s, it’s horribly catchy, and it has a dance attached to it that encourages youngsters to march around like insane, contorted demons. I want to find this clown and bludgeon him. Speaking of tacky 80s songs, it’s both depressing and reassuring to know that Superman by Black Lace still goes down well at these parties. So much so, a friend of ours was doing all the moves to it long after her daughter had wandered off somewhere else at Blondie’s birthday party recently.
So now I’ll turn my attentions to Red, and let her sample my music collection, waiting patiently through the upcoming years in which Blondie will know doubt swoon over some twerp like Justin Bieber. Hopefully at the end of all that, she’ll remember I’m here with my thousands and thousands of MP3s, waiting to bore someone rigid. Probably sat in a shed.