NPR logo
All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/423823760/423864649" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?

Our Show

All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?

All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/423823760/423864649" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.] i

Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.] Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images
Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.]

Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.]

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Not long after my son was born it occurred to me that he'd never heard music before. He wriggled into the world and had spent the first few days looking dubious, taking in the sights and colors and sounds and voices around him, trying to make sense of it all. But he was yet to experience this thing we call "music."

So once he was home and we had a quiet moment together, I reached for a song I'd often imagined singing to him, one appropriately titled "Lifelong Lullaby" by Will Derryberry.

YouTube

On the most basic level, it's a lovely song with a delicate melody and soft-handed instrumentation. But it was the lyrics I loved and the simple message that no matter what, I'll always be with you. It's truly a lullaby you can carry with you your whole life.

When my daughter was born a couple of months ago, I decided to take a different approach to introduce her to music. Instead of a lyric-driven song (which, on this week's +1 podcast, Bob Boilen notes she wouldn't understand anyway), I played what I thought was the perfect example of what music is and can be here on spaceship Earth: "So What" from Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue.

YouTube

The song feels like an awakening. It opens gently like the sun rising and slowly blooms and grows. Jazz is life.

Bob's pick for his own son more than 20 years ago was something more tonal and rhythmic, the enchanting music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

YouTube

And in our guest DJ session with SOAK earlier this week, singer Bridie Monds-Watson told us her parents played the Pink Floyd album Meddle for her while in utero, including the epic 30-minute cut "Echoes."

YouTube

But what do you think? What's the first music a newborn should hear? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Next week we'll post a playlist with some of your picks.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.