So, we’re on the third disc of my Desert Island Discs selections. And, like the first disc, this choice was also a no-brainer.
The third song I picked has a lot of fond memories for me, because it was Stinkerbelle’s lullaby. It is “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison.
(Apologies for the artsy-fartsy video, but the only other options out there were live performances, and when Van sings live, songs can go on for a LOOOOONG TIME. This one’s fairly short — my version on iTunes is, like, seven minutes long, and it’s an album track.)
We were in Ethiopia in 2008, in a mostly-dark hotel room late at night, on our first night with That Girl — who was, if you recall, still That Baby at that time. We had solo-ed with her for all of about 8 hours, and had yet to hear the Interrupted Bottle Feeding Shriek of Rage. Which we heard for the first time in the middle of her late night bottle, when I paused in the middle to burp her.
OH MY GOD YOU BASTARD PEOPLE WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO STARVE ME TO DEATH ELEVENTEEEEEEEEN.
I’m sure most of the 8th floor of the Addis Hilton, jolted awake by the baby banshee, thought we were doing just that.
Anyway, we stuck the bottle back in quick smart, just to plug up the giant noise hole. She drank the rest of her bottle, but we were concerned the Noise of Doom would start up again, so to soothe her and get her to sleep quickly, I started rocking her and singing the first song that popped into my head, which was “Tupelo Honey”.
She loved it. Well, it could have been the full baby belly that did it, it’s hard to say. But subsequently, in other non-bottle related times when soothing was required, we found that our little girl was, in fact, quite soothed by Van Morrison, and “Tupelo Honey” in particular.
When we got home, we had a playlist of Van at the ready in every noisemaking device in the house. I have pleasant memories of BDH or myself rocking That Baby with Van. Sometimes, it was really loud — she likes her music loud, and could sleep through the University of Moose Jaw Marching Band. Still can. But there we’d be, rocking and singing, rocking and singing, until she dozed off on BDH’s shoulder usually.
We used Van to soothe and calm Stinkerbelle for awhile after that. Even road trips in the car, if we needed her to calm down or maybe wanted to induce a nap, or maybe even if we wanted quiet time to think, out came “Tupelo Honey” and a Van Morrison playlist.
I’m tempted to see if it still works.
Anyway, when I am alone on my desert island, I’d like to hear this song and think of all those many times we held That Baby we had dreamt of for so long close to us and rocked her to sleep with Van. I miss those times, a little bit, and sure, it might make me a little sentimental if I am all on my own. But this song will always remind me of BDH and my little girl, and this is one way I can keep them close.