About the songs

text by Mary Beth Abel

IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR DIAPER

This is a punk song that I began to sing to myself when dealing with a noisy kid on the changing table. I love the fierceness of punk music. A song that I used for inspiration for this was Oh Bondage Up Yours! sung by Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. Chris wrote the first parts to this song right in front of me and Kaden; Kaden was only about 1.5 years old. I came to Chris’s studio with my lyrics and literally watched Chris with his guitar and ProTools create on the spot. And with this first song, we – Delightful Angst – were off and running!

 

My favorite part of this song is Chris coming in and singing, “I’m here to save the day!” Yay for partners who swoop in to lend a helping hand!

 

And big thank you to our kids and spouses who helped us sing the final choruses for this song!

QUOTABLE PARENT

This is our “Beatlesque” song and a grab-bag of the inane little phrases I found myself saying to my son. A short while ago, I saw a parent post about this very thing – you find yourself saying things you would have never ever ever ever have said before you had kids. One of my favorites from Chris (which is in the song) is “Don’t put ketchup on your sister.” I hope you have fun singing along with me on this. I recommend that you really belt it out – especially on the blah-blah-blah-blah-bibity parts!

NFB (NOT FOR BABIES)

Pre-kid, I choreographed and performed a dance to Queen Latifah’s song Ladies First featuring Monie Love. The style we chose for NFB (Not for Babies) was inspired by this powerful song. The best part of NFB is André Montague’s singing. His voice elevates the song into a new realm.

SNUGGLE MAMA

The word “snuggle” became my son’s word for nursing. It would be sweet to say that every single moment of nursing was pure bliss, but as all mothers know nursing is not like that. It can be extremely frustrating and it can hurt and make you cry, and for some moms nursing isn’t possible. But we all – all caregivers to kids -- bond with our children skin-to-skin with pickups, hand holding, tending to boo-boos, and with kisses and hugs. For inspiration, I returned to one of my first music loves – Patsy Cline – also one of my father’s favorite singers.

BABY RIGHTS

The chorus for this song is inspired by the music of Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, which was written in response to poverty in Haiti that Marley witnessed first-hand.

I began to sing a mom-version of the chorus of this song when I would try to dress my son when he was almost a year and older. It was always so challenging to get all these little clothing pieces on. I’d be sweating by the time I was done. We have one of those cube-ottomans in his room and I would have him stand up and hold on to that so I could put on his pants. It helped a lot when I could prop him up! I would sing, “Get uppsy daisy! Stand up! Stand up for your baby rights!” Singing helped me especially when I was having to rush to get him dressed. The rest of the lyrics describe getting my son dressed – his little feet disappearing into his pants and then popping out at the bottoms of his pant legs. Probably, one thousand times, I have turned him in to a little merman by putting two legs in one pants hole . . . I should write a song about that, too.

 

Chris also turned to Walking on the Moon by Sting for further inspiration for our song, and to Carlos Santana for inspiration for the awesome outro. Taylor Sherman, my dear husband, plays bass on this one. Meleah, Charlie, and Nina Gibson and Kaden Sherman all sing on the outro.

PEEK A BOO

This is our ska song. It took some work, but I finally convinced Chris to sing this one. As a wonderful dad to his two girls, professional musician, and veteran of a heavy metal band, he’s a perfect fit for this song. I love how the final form of this song blends the experiences of parenting and Spinal Tap (“Hellooooo. . . Seattle!”). Chris recorded this song when his oldest daughter was seven -- she's now eight, his younger daughter and my son are almost five -- we are still struggling to catch up on sleep.

 

I thought of this song’s concept while out driving one day. Delightful Angst lives in Seattle. The sun is always hiding here! And of course, the game peekaboo is part of any parent’s repertoire. So, while driving, I put these two ideas together – “where are you hiding today, Sun?” and “aww, look at you! peekaboo!” We have sax all the way from Chile by way of London from C-7: (a.k.a. C-Bass a.k.a Sebastián Gómez). During our recording and mixing process, Chris added the big sounds of a large stadium audience. After he did that, I confessed to him that when I was practicing this song (with him recording me), I always envisioned a large group of fans cheering and singing the song with us. Whose knows? Maybe this will happen one day!

SHALL WE SAY GOODNIGHT TO THE LIGHT

This song came from my belief that if you are going to record an album of music related to children (even if it is Music for Parents), you need to have a lullaby. This is that song. I love the moon – it was something that I fell in love with during pregnancy. The moon is comforting to me and its appearance at nightfall is our gentle reminder that sleep is soon.

BIGGIE BLANKET

I’m happy to say that my son has never been much of a puker. He once puked in his car seat because he was looking at a book. That was terrible. And the next time was terrible, too, but at home. This one time, it all began with him acting listless and odd. I was carrying him into the kitchen and he puked all over my shoulder and shirt. I immediately called my husband at work and told him to come home to pitch in. My husband, thank goodness, was able to do that. Kaden puked more times throughout the evening. Between pukes, I wrapped him up in a large fuzzy blanket. This is where this song comes from. I have a memory of singing to him – between puking events – about wrapping him up in that big blanket to help him feel better. He eventually fell asleep in my arms with the blanket keeping him warm and cozy. Our good friend Curt Golden played harmonica on this track.

I DO

In the late summer of 2018, when my son was about to turn 2, I began obsessing about potty training. A fellow mom recommended a book on the subject and I bought two copies (one for me and one for my husband and nanny to read) and I read it cover to cover and dutifully took notes. I had a plan! I was going to make this work! Wrong. That first round was horrible. I spent a great deal of time with a crying child and constantly wiping up puddles of pee with beach towels. I remember being so worn out and frustrated. It was a late afternoon that summer – I was giving my son a bath and he seemed pretty happy. And he began singing this little tune – “I Do, I Do.” I remember just lying on the floor with my feet propped up on the bathtub, half my body sticking out into our hallway. I was done. But, at least my kid is cute and we have this song. We finally got the hang of potty training the following Christmas break, but weren’t out of pullups at night until 2020 sometime (I forget) and now we are still working on full independence. Let’s just say it ain’t a three-day process. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that!

SLEEP

(the parental version of I WAS MADE FOR LOVIN’ YOU by KISS)

In 2019, my son began preschool. Afterwards, often, he and I would go to a coffee shop called The Dane, which unfortunately, did not survive the pandemic of 2020-21. They had a TV in one corner that my son loved to watch because they played Star Trek reruns. They also had toys and books. And good food. And they played great music. I remember hearing “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” one afternoon -- and just fell in love – what a great song, I thought! At this point, I hadn’t thought about KISS or that this was their song in a long time. I went home and found the song and the video on YouTube and showed it/played it for Kaden. It was so great! I wrote up the “parental version” of the lyrics while watching my son at my husband’s work place.

 

For what it’s worth, this is a really, really hard song to sing. Paul Stanley’s falsetto is simply amazing. It’s perfect, and I’m not perfect. So, what you get with my version is me doing me -- being a mom in love with a song and doing her best to express what all parents experience – the deeply worrying concern that, yet again, you might not get a whole night of sleep.

WHAT ARE YOUR SUPER POWERS?

You can't beat bath time with your kid. It’s cute and any grime they’ve accumulated during the day goes down the drain. Fabulous! So, bath time is mostly a win-win situation unless you try to wash their hair. I love the after-the-bath drying off part when you can turn your kid into a little burrito with a dry towel. With the towel, you warm them up and then release them. They turn wild – dancing around until they suit up in pjs for their nightly adventures. During this part of our day, I began singing, “Naked Boy! What are your Super Powers?” And then invent lyrics, ". . . you can run really fast, you can jump really high." Here’s the polished version of the song! Kaden came up with the rhythm for this at bedtime one night.

FEATS OF MEDIOCRITY

This song is dedicated to Genevieve DuPuy. She’s a wonderful dancer and performer, and when it comes to Facebook posts, she is a thoughtful and inspired writer. One day, she posted about having a hard time and said that she had made it through the day without crying and deemed that a “feat of mediocrity”. I was taken with that phrase and wrote lyrics about parenting around the idea.

 

With the arrival of André Montague to this project, at some point, I or Chris and I both realized that we could have André sing the toddler part. He does such a wonderful job of it, it gives me chills. This song is our grand finale, our magnum opus, for this album! I see it as going to Broadway one day! Enjoy!

Note to parents: This song has two lyrically-useful "bad" words. We recommend that you do your best yodel-singing sounds during those if you listen with your kids. Thank you!

IT’S ALL WORTH IT

Charlie Gibson came up with the chord progression for this one. Chris and I thought about how to include her composition in some way. For now, until she’s a little older to turn this into a song on her own, Chris used the progression as a back drop to my outtakes of saying “It’s All Worth It.” We were going to add that to the end of “Feats” after the whistling but this – with Chris’s genius for song crafting – worked out much better.

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