The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Parker’s Playlist

This isn’t really a Friday Random Ten (which I haven’t done in a while). Tonight is my turn to put Parker to bed, and in the last few months — every since he heard me singing “Route 66” from his favorite movie, Cars — that means I sing a few songs for him after I tuck him in. I’ve been expanding my repertoire since then, and when I think of a new song that’s appropriate, I surprise him with it.

It’s grown into quite a playlist, actually, and I have to cut it off at a certain point or he’ll never goto sleep. (Once, a medley of “When You’re Smiling,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” and “S’Wonderful” extended bedtime into a 20 minute concert.)

Yesterday, I got the idea to create a playlist in iTunes of Parker’s songs. Partly because I like that they’re now “our songs” in a way (and maybe someday he’ll hear one of them and remember that Daddy used to sing them for him), and partly so that I can add new songs and learn them for future “performances.”

Anyway, here’s the list so far. I doubled up some songs, just for thematic purposes when I’m listening to it.

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  1. Over The Rainbow from the album “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy
  2. (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 from the album “The Very Best of Nat King Cole” by The King Cole Trio
  3. Take the “A” Train (Live Returns To Berlin) from the album “Ella Returns to Berlin” by Ella Fitzgerald
  4. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You) [1958 Single Version] from the album “Louis Armstrong’s All-Time Greatest Hits” by Louis Armstrong
  5. Your Song from the album “Greatest Hits 1970-2002 CD One” by Elton John
  6. You’ve Got a Friend from the album “A Donny Hathaway Collection” by Roberta Flack
  7. Thank You for Being a Friend from the album “Tube Tunes, Volume 2: The 70’s & 80’s” by Andrew Gold
  8. What a Wonderful World from the album “In Concert: What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
  9. Somewhere Over The Rainbow-What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  10. You Are So Beautiful from the album “Sounds of the Seventies: 1975” by Joe Cocker

You can kinda see a theme running through the list, and that’s not all of them. I left out another favorite, “It’s Not That Easy Being Green,” by Ray Charles. For me, it’s all about the lyrics. They have to say something I want my son to hear from me.

So, here’s my question? What else can I add to the list? Because, lemme tell ya, the kid is starting to request some new material…


  1. You’ve got a great list going there — I’d recommend “King of the Road.” So it’s dated and dumb — it’s just an irresistable singing song.

  2. You’ve Got a Friend — James Taylor (and possible Carole King)
    Come Dance With Me — Frank Sinatra
    And then a few of my favorites from Camp Fire days:
    On The Loose
    House At Pooh Corner
    The Circle Game — Joni Mitchell (this one might fall outside the “things I want my son to hear from me” requirement)

  3. “A Friend in Me,” by Randy Newman. Think “Toy Story.”