Suppose it’s really late and you have a little baby who’s cranky (maybe sick) and can’t or won’t sleep and you’ve tried all the usual tricks and they’re not working. Here’s my ultimate weapon, and while the sample size is only my two children, it does span genders.

Natty Dread

What you do is you turn on the CD player, turn up the volume, and queue up Natty Dread, the 1974 album by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Neither of my babies, no matter how upset, made it past the first three or four songs.

In particularly stressed-out circumstances, it helps to sing along. Nobody’s going to have a problem with crooning No woman, no cry over and over again, but I sometimes have to suppress a snicker while singing Them belly full (but we hungry); neither she nor I are skinny or disadvantaged really at all. But hey, it’s a good tune, you could dance to it.

The boy, when he was a baby, wanted to be walked around while groovin’ to the Wailers, but the girl is OK with Dad humming bass parts in the rocking chair.

It’s probably worth mentioning another advantage of this child-rearing technique: the music is excellent. The song frameworks are simple, minimal even, (that’s why it’s easy to sing along) but the band is amazingly free in the way they work around and through them. Sweet stuff; gosh, I wish Bob hadn’t died.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Moazam Raja (Mar 11 2007, at 01:28)

Now I want to see Tim singing "Rebel Music" live at Sun. ;)


From: Rob (Mar 11 2007, at 08:27)

Yeah, reggae works great, its the bass thump that does it. Actully, heavy metal isn't bad either oddly enough. When it gets really rough though, and you have to walk the floor and sing, personally administrating the music, well it is awfully hard to beat the White Album.


From: Scientist (Mar 12 2007, at 14:21)

Hey Tim

when your vocal cords recover from flu you could even try singing them a nursery rhyme:

How many miles to Babylon?

Three score and ten.

Can I get there by candlelight?

Aye, and back again.

If your feet are nimble and light,

You'll get there by candlelight.


Three men in a tub...



author · Dad
colophon · rights

March 10, 2007
· Arts (11 fragments)
· · Music (112 fragments)
· · · Recordings (70 more)
· The World (148 fragments)
· · Family (50 more)

By .

The opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.

I’m on Mastodon!