The ABC song blaring over the car stereo had grown old. So did B-I-N-G-O. As well as "Wheels on the Bus". And after we had burned many many miles listening to the entire Yo Gabba Gabba album, I knew it was time to break out some real music for Judah.
I began his musical journey in what seemed like a safe place for children: The Beatles. Not that I thought that their psychedelic era was appropriate for kids, but I just don't own any early-moptop-stage Beatles. Revolver seemed like a safe bet. Plus it has "Yellow Submarine" on it, and they already sing that song plenty at his preschool. But all we ended up listening to was the Yellow Submarine song, because toward the end of the song, I'd hear one word spoken from the back seat: "Again."
I moved on to Rubber Soul and discovered that Judah didn't like "Drive My Car" as much as I thought he would, and I was surprised that he liked "Michelle" more than expected. When we gave Sgt. Peppers a try, it fell flat on its face. For an album as catchy and colorful as that one, not one song was a winner in the boy's book.
The White Album fared much better, again proving that I have no idea what catches a three-year-old's fancy. I predicted "Rocky Raccoon" and "Bungalow Bill" would be hits, but he never asked for those, instead opting for "I'm So Tired" and "Julia". We oscillated between listening to "Yellow Submarine" and "Michelle" until I decided to try something else.
Next I thought I'd move onto something a bit more in line with my own musical tastes, that being Led Zeppelin. Judah showed me once more that I don't understand him, waving off my attempts at luring him into the Led Zep world with "Down By The Seaside". But once I played "Black Country Woman", there was the magic word again: "Again." By the time we made it to school that morning, he had found his sound, shouting "Louder" over and over while he nodded his head to "When the Levee Breaks". That's my boy.
That was about as far as I wanted to push the rock on him, but a few days later he was in the bathtub and I was singing the chorus to "Merry-Go-Round" from Motley Crue's first album. He asked "What's that song?", and being the repetitive chorus that it is, I sang it repeatedly, but he wanted to hear the actual song, not some lame dad singing it. I grabbed my phone and played the chorus section over the crappy speaker. "Again" he said, so I obliged. "Again".
The next morning in the car, as soon as we pulled out of the driveway he said "I wanna hear that Merry-Go-Round song again". So I played it for him and he said "louder". And when it was over he said "again". To date, the play count for Merry-Go-Round has now exceeded all other songs in my music library. Years from now, if I look in the rearview mirror and see Judah wearing a Motley Crue pentagram headband, I'll have nobody to blame but myself.