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Music makes life more enjoyable. And that’s true for working dads as much as anyone. But what would you put on a working dads playlist?
As I arranged the Alpha Bites on my children’s plates this week a song came into my head.
I used to occasionally sit around the Cabinet table with the then Prime Minister. Now I’m spelling out ‘bum’ in potato shapes.
I ordered Alexa to play ‘This is your life’ an old 90s tune by Banderas (not sure if they were named after Antonio).
And this got me thinking further about the soundtrack to our lives as working dads. That actual soundtrack. Not the songs we hear – invariably something by either Billie Eilish or Parry Gripp in our house, though my daughter’s recently taken a welcome turn towards Casey Musgraves – but the songs that sum up our experience. A working dads playlist.
This year I’ve found myself singing ‘One day at a time’, the tune that Lena Martell took to Number One when I was just a toddler. One of my earliest memories is of one of my grandparents friends belting it out at a family party. It was probably the image of her poorly applied makeup and the lipstick going up her nose that made it stick. Yet the song settled in my brain. And as I attempt to juggle a portfolio career and the different demands of my many employers with the latest teenage WhatsApp crisis and some forward planning on this year’s World Book Day outfit I come back to the calming mantra of taking ‘one day at a time’.
One more song that also comes in useful is by the celebrated lyricist Des’ree. She’s famous for her verses about ghosts eating toast and watching the evening news. (This spin-off Twitter account is very funny). But the fundamental refrain of her hit ‘Life’ is simply, ‘life, oh life, woooaaah, life’. And that, to me is actually quite profound, in summing up the vast tapestry of life as a working dad. It might be lunching with some bigwigs from the French embassy one day, talking about bullying with your child’s teacher the next, or just cooking beans and Alpha Bites. (Little insight into my life there.) It’s all life, it’s all valid, and music makes it jog along that bit more easily.
What would you add to a working dads playlist? We could put together a whole album’s worth to share on streaming services like Spotify! Please share your ideas in the comments below or on social media.