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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rocking Chair — Cool as F***

When we were cutting this song for my first CD, If Mama Ain’t Happy, I decided on the spur of the moment that it would be tremendously cool if my family sang backups. I was recording the tune at a little tenement studio on the Lower East Side. I called my husband Peter to see if he could pile the kids into our ’79 Chevy Impala (this was in 1996 so it was still a relatively new car by our standards … ) and drive down. We were going to take them to the Philharmonic in the Park later, this would just end their summer day activities a bit earlier than planned.

Nick was 9 and Joe was 6.

Peter quit work early, sent the sitter home, packed a supper, and went out to crank the Impala’s engine. At the studio, I took care of all those time-worn bachelor-pad recording-studio artifacts — Penthouse pinups, posters of joint-smoking rockstars, printed epithets of all kinds. Gone, baby.

The boys and Pete arrived, and we all squeezed around the mic, joyously singing the backups. With the exception of Joe, who was six and determined to throw in a few unrehearsed “quacks,” they did perfect takes. We all blended so well! What a moment! About 45 minutes into the session, I looked over at my producer. I noticed his T-shirt. It had a cow on it.

Underneath the cow, the caption read, in splashy letters: “COOL AS F***”


I didn’t say anything. At the end of the session, we climbed into the Impala, drove back uptown, miraculously found a parking space, and went to the Park to listen to the Philharmonic play Sibelius Symphony #5, which Joe enthusiastically conducted from our blanket as the stars came out.

I don’t know if they noticed my producer’s shirt; I never asked. They never mentioned it. But I remember that glorious summer afternoon — complete with quacks and wardrobe glitches — whenever I sing this song. Which, by the way, was conceived in the rocking chair, when Joe was about 13 months old, back in 1992.

If you listen to it carefully on my CD, you can hear the quack.

Rocking Chair
© Tina deVaron

Night falls and the sky goes dark
My little boy sees monsters behind the door
We go to the rocking chair
We rock and he’s not frightened anymore

But when I say “Do you wanna get up now?”
He says no, no, Mama uh, uh

I wanna sit in the Rocking Chair all night long
Wanna sit in the Rocking Chair, mom
Wanna sit right here with you all night long
Wanna sit in this Rocking Chair, mom

Sometimes the sun comes up so fast
We can’t get used to the light of day
We go to the rocking chair
We rock and we feel better that way

But when I say, “let’s see about breakfast,”
He says no, no, Mama uh, uh

I wanna sit in the Rocking Chair all day long...

Much too soon he’s gonna outgrow me
Get to big for my lap, wanna go free
Some nights, he’s not gonna spend at home
But I’ll remember my baby, and sing this song

I wanna sit in the Rocking Chair all night long...

Oh Lord, bless this rocking chair
Time stands still in the rocking chair
Keep wishing it will in the rocking chair
In the rocking chair...

I wanna sit in the Rocking Chair all night long...


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