A playlist from the past…


Looking back at High School and College, I can say with out a doubt the one thing that single handedly shaped who I am today was music. I use to eat, sleep and breath music. I was not a musical kid although I tried to be. I just loved listening to music, going to shows and well listening to more music. The whole culture that surrounded the music I listened to had such a huge impact on my life. It was what defined me. Looking back now, it’s so silly to think that I defined who I was by what type of music I listened to but, thats what you do when you are young, right? HA! Kev and I bonded over that music when we first met. Our first date was to go see one of our favorite bands. I realized over the past few years the amount of music I listen to has gone down significantly. I am not sure if it is because Rowan is around or what but we don’t really listen to a lot anymore. I get that everyone grows up and maybe tastes evolve from what they use to listen to but I don’t want to forget about the past. Last night we sat in the car with some friends for like 45 mins rehashing all the old bands we use to love. I wanted so badly to listen to each and every record there on the spot.

I always go back and forth whether I think it is appropriate for Rowan to listen to the music we listen to. Most of it I don’t care, but some of it I am not so sure. I guess the same goes with movies, tv, and well everything really. I had a really funny realization the other day. Kev came home from work and was having a snack and watching The Simpsons. Rowan climbed up next to him and I started laughing and said “do you realize that Rowan is sitting here watching a show that I was never allowed to watch as a kid?” How do you decide what you show your kids and what you don’t? Granted Rowan is still a little too little to fully understand much but she is getting there for sure.

Anyway, I started this post to just say I want to listen to more music in our house. We listen to a lot of kid stuff but I want to listen to more than that. I want Rowan to grow up knowing how important is was/is to Kev and I. I think it would be awesome if one day she was listening to an Oldies station and thought “oh I love this! My Mom and Dad use to listen to this”. My taste in music has broadened a lot since H.S but man o man that old stuff is still such a treat.

Here are some of my most favorite oldies…
Jen’s Old School Playlist by jenloveskev on Grooveshark

  1. I feel the same way about music and our kids. I WANT them to remember what we like and think it’s cool, but sometimes I just can’t let them listen to everything we love. I try to turn on really classic, good music. Sometimes it’s something like Norah Jones or even Johnny Cash (although some of those they shouldn’t listen to!). I’ve made a concentrated effort into picking out kid-appropriate adult music. I hope our kids appreciate it when they’re older. 🙂

    And, I’ve said the same thing about The Simpsons. I wasn’t allowed to watch it, either. We don’t let the kids watch it, but our boys are older (5 and almost 4).

  2. I loved this post Jen.
    I was a HUGE hip hop junkie in high school. Bought up all the albums, knew the DJs, was usually the one girl during a discussion about MC styles. And like you, my grown up self doesn’t listen to as much of it anymore. We listen to a lot of music at home since my husband has an incredible music selection but it’s not the old school hip hop stuff I loved. Every now and then he plays DJ and busts out all the tunes I grew up with. It’s such a good feeling.


  3. I’ve often wondered how Adam and I would raise our (hypothetical) kid, music wise as well. We’re just like you and Kev in that we LOVE listening to music, going to shows, and spending hours swapping new tunes and talking our fave albums. It was also what brought us together the night we met and has been a big part in our relationship.
    I think that you playing more music and dancing around the house is exactly right! Rowan can only benefit from being exposed to all kinds of music. And how much will your heart hurt when she grows up and says “I grew up listening to them, love that song”. Seriously, going to be amazing!
    Now, must make some recommendations based on your playlist! If you don’t already know them, I’d recommend: and you will know us by the trail of dead (start with Worlds Apart album), and The Pack A.D. (two girls who rock, I think you’ll love).
    Okay, now I think that is officially the longest comment I’ve ever left on a blog 🙂

  4. Amazing playlist! Those are some of my favorite songs/bands from high school/college as well. 😀

    While I don’t have children yet, I’m pretty sure that when we do, my fiance and I will try to make music as much of a part of their lives as it is ours. We met at a show 8 years ago and today he has turned music into his career. For both of us, being exposed to our parents’ music made us who we are today- and I’m so grateful for that!

  5. interesting — i don’t have kids, but i do have a nieces and nephew. and well, my younger sister and her husband (mostly the husband) will just put on his ipod and have it playing throughout the first floor of their house. and it’s just regular rock music. and it’s funny – cuz sometimes they’ll break out and start dancing randomly.

    as for my older sister – her 2 kids, i’d play music when i had them in my car, though i was particular for what i played, but it was still rock music. they both love it – and actually last summer went to a rock n roll camp at the age of 8 and 10, and learned to play instruments. a lot of music isn’t really that bad….

    i so wanna be the aunt that takes the kids to concerts!

  6. Love that playlist – some new ones for me, and I love discovering new-to-me recommendations.
    I was thinking about commenting on your video with Rowan dancing to the street music a while back, since I’ve been taking a Children’s Musical Development class this semester which was mostly about toddlers and young children. She’s got complete embodiment of the music in that video, so I think she’ll probably love a lot of non-kiddo up-tempo music you put on for her. I’m sure she’ll start developing her own taste in music soon too!

  7. My sister is a medic, and one of the things she learnt whilst working on a psychiatric ward, is that apparently the way teenagers feel about music, they way they can connect to it SO deeply and feel it was actually their mind in a song and is their whole world… is part of their brain connections forming with hormonal changes, and in a fully developed adult can be considered a sign of mental illness! Kind of makes sense, cos somehow music never hits so deeply as the stuff you listened to in your teens. Each time I think of that little fact it makes me smile a little to myself! Oh teenage angst!

  8. I know what you’re saying about the music/tv thing. Lots of people have opinions about what you should allow you children to watch/do/say/eat/whatever and when you should allow them to do it. My rule of thumb is that I allow my daughter (she’s four) to listen to everything I do as far as music goes and to watch most of what I want (obviously, I’m not going to let her watch horror movies or anything like that). I feel that, as long as I am there and willing to explain things to her, it is okay. I would MUCH rather her ask me questions – ranging from silly to serious – about things that she’s heard or seen, than to go somewhere else for the information. My mum did the same with me and got a lot of criticism for it, but it really made me feel very close to her to know that I could ask her about stuff.

  9. I always play music around Alexa — and not kiddo music. Music I like. I have very fond memories of going on road trips as a child and hearing Journey or Led Zeppelin or Van Halen or Fleetwood Mac. One of my favorite memories as a child is riding in my mom’s stick-shift Honda while we both sang “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. I want Alexa to remember having dance parties with her mom while we listened to The Strokes or (yes, it rubbed off ) Fleetwood Mac. I hope you carve out some similar memories for Rowan, too. 🙂

  10. Love this. I don’t have kids but this is definitely something that resonates with me because my parents were both musicians and so we always had music occurring in some way at our house. I grew up on the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton from my parents and then Nirvana, Weezer and the Beastie Boys from my brother. It was simply magical and really contributed to my love for music and I became a musician/vocalist too.

  11. Oh gosh haha. This is bringing me back to being 16 and the mixes my boyfriend used to make me! 😉

  12. Haha! So true.. i think its having kids and adult responsibilties that consume our time. Now we sing Disney songs and my kids love Taylor swift, katie perry and Adele.. Ten years ago I was telling myself i would never be one of those mothers. Madeline gets mad when I try and listen to “mom songs”. Oh well… looks like my house will have raffi on the playlist for another 5 years 🙂

  13. That was so me in high school too! xo, rv


  14. Birta •

    I never really listened to children’s music when I was a kid, per se. My parents gave me a record with Peter and the Wolf, my dad took me to see operas and symphonies, and I listened to everything from death metal to pop music before I was six years old (I have three older siblings). It really formed the person that I am today, and I love that I got this upbringing that was filled with music of every possible genre. I don’t think people should be afraid of influencing their kids with their music, simply because I have so many good memories and I’m very open minded about music today.

  15. Michelle •

    I don’t have little ones (yet?) but one thing I’ve done to keep music in my life since leaving high school and college is to make myself a mix every month. Even if it only has 10 songs on it and /or some of the tracks are repeats from older mixes or previous life situations, it’s really helpful and fun. I’m forced to listen to music so I can make the mix; the music I choose reflects and helps me remember the things I experienced in a given month; and as I listen to the evolving mix throughout the month it becomes a soundtrack for new things that happen, which means even more memories. Also I get to be reminded regularly about how awesome my music taste is! (As is yours – I will surely be jamming to your playlist at work today).

  16. maria •

    When my son was young and we would be in the car there was only so much Old MaDonald and twinkle twinkle little star I could listen to. So I would play a couple songs from his CD and then i would play my music. I am very much into rock/alternative music and he seemed to like it. He was singing along with me in no time and soon preferred my musicover “his”. Because I introduced him to music early on he has such a love for music and has found his own. His Ipod nowadays is packed and I find him singing all the time. Music is wonderful and I am so glad he is as into music as I am.

    So introduce her to it now, if there is inappropriate language or content she won’t understand it yet and when she does just find a “clean” version of it like I did 🙂

  17. Yes, yes, yes!

    Le Tigre, The Get Up Kids, and Taking Back Sunday…

    So many good memories. Still love TGUK and will go see them anytime they are in town.

  18. Your play list is my high school life revisited. Miss those hot summer nights stuffed inside small, smokey venues with your favorite people listening to your favorite music. It’s always a nice suprise when I stumble upon some of these bands still touring, yet most of the venues we used to see them in have closed.

  19. I forgot….HEY, you’re part of it! (my most quoted line ever in high school)

  20. My husband and I bonded over music when we were dating, as well. We used to ride in the car and he would show me new music and we would go to shows together. Last night we went to the farewell tour for one of our favorite bands, Thrice. It was fun reliving our early days of dating, but it made us feel old, ha.
    We love so many different kinds of music and my husband is a musician, so it should be interesting imparting that love of music in our future kids. My husband’s parents met in a singing and dancing troupe and led worship together, so it was always around him growing up.
    Thanks for the awesome post and playlist!

  21. I don’t think I could have survived high school and college without music. Like you, I made mixes, went to shows, and sang along to everything. I remember going through a break-up in college and getting over it by driving in the car with my best friends, taking turns singing Saves the Day and Get Up Kids.

    Now M and I are “grown-up” (I use that term loosely) but we still love music. When we do have kids, I will undoubtedly play every band that I love for them. Maybe they’ll like it, or maybe they’ll be like, “Mooooooom I want to listen to Justin Bieber.”

    I think all children like music, whether they listen or dance or sing. I play a variety of music in my classroom at school (oldies, Raffi, Louis Armstrong, Owl City)– I just make sure the songs don’t have any inappropriate language or concepts for their age group.

  22. everything about this playlist is awesome. A+ forever and ever.

  23. Mallorie Owens •

    I’ve been going through the same thing lately! I don’t have any kids yet, but since my husband is a musician and he’s always playing in the house I don’t really listen to my music much anymore. I’m trying to change that though! Music is such a huge part of who I am and it’s important to continue to enjoy it 🙂

  24. Laura •

    I’ve been through this. You will know what’s the right thing to do. Usually when they start to sing the lyrics out loud is when you realize if it’s inappropriate.

    We listen to a lot of 80s rock here lately. And mostly contemporary Christian. But when I’m alone (very rare) I might be blasting some thing else. I think it’s so important to play music. I haven’t listened to a kiddie song, other than on tv, since Anthony was about three. Honestly, I couldn’t take it anymore. (Selfish I know, but my sanity is important too right!) I don’t even know if he would like the kiddie stuff. Today in the car the radio was on some oldies heavy metal station (I didn’t realize it) and he said “turn this up, I love this!” But once the words started I changed it bc it sounded so angry, lol!

    Occasionally in my head I hear kids singing “oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love…” LOL

    Some of these songs on your playlist I can’t listen to. They make me miss you SO MUCH I feel like I can’t breath. And not just miss you, but just being younger with you. If I close my eyes I can picture driving down ball hill road in your car looking for yard sales or going to pick up Kev. Oh my gosh, it hurts.

  25. Great playlist!! Brings back so many memories…

  26. just spent way too much time revisiting every one of these songs. there’s a memory tied to each one. love it.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

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Jen Loves Kev