The Hazel Mixtape

Josh and I have been working on a playlist for Hazel over the last 2 and a half months. We've arranged the tracks here in the order they appear in the playlist (there's 40, but this isn't Casey Kasem). There's a whole lot of love here, just a little bit of longing, some feminist anthems, some lullabies, and quite a few songs that have special meaning for Josh and me (we've added a few notes below). Sing along with Hazel. And she's already starting to dance. <3

1. Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”

Dearly Beloved / We are gathered here today / To get through this thing called ‘life’

This one always had to be the first song. How could it not be?

2. Neneh Cherry, “Buffalo Stance”

No moneyman can win my love / It’s sweetness that I’m thinking of

3. Janet Jackson, “Nasty”

No my first name ain’t baby / It’s Janet / Miss Jackson if you’re nasty

4. Beyoncé, “Run the World (Girls)” / “Formation”

Girls, we run this motha // I twirl on them haters

We couldn't pick just one, so we ended up with a Beyoncé medley. Almost added "Daddy Lessons" too, but decided to avoid the gun violence in that one. Still a great song.

5. Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Some boys take a beautiful girl / And hide her away from the rest of the world / I want to be the one to walk in the sun

6. Ingrid Michaelson, “Home”

Even in the harshest of winter I feel so warm

7. A Fine Frenzy, “Now is the Start”

There is a / New heart under there

8. Florence & The Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”

She killed it with kisses

Went back and forth on this one, because there are some rough bits, but kept coming back to that line, "she killed it with kisses." And Josh made the point as we were working that love is hard, and this song is about that, which is why it made the cut.

9. Alicia Keys, “No One”

You and me together / Through the days and nights / I don’t worry ‘cause / Everything’s going to be alright

10. Haim, “Hold Me”

There’s no body in the future / So baby let me hand you my love

The chorus of this one sung from Hazel's perspective gets me every time I hear it.

11. Nelly Furtado, “Maneater”

When she asks for something boy she means it

The song is a touch risqué, but Josh and I are desperate to make a music video of Hazel dancing along to this one.

12. Maria Taylor, “Up All Night”

And I’ve been up all night / But these are the best days of my life

13. Kina Grannis, “Dear River”

I doubt anyone can keep up / Keep up, keep up / Keep up, keep up with you

14. Alanis Morissette, “Empathy”

You come along and celebrate each feeling / And there you are all honor and inquiring

15. Dixie Chicks, “Landslide”

Time makes you bolder / Even children get older / And I’m getting older, too

16. Birdy & Mumford & Sons, “Learn Me Right”

We will run and scream / You will dance with me / We’ll fulfill our dreams / And we’ll be free

17. Lucy Kaplansky, “Manhattan Moon”

You hear music in everything / The rain’s a drum / The traffic sings / I listen too and I dance along

18. Brandi Carlile, “I Belong to You”

If I had all my yesterdays I’d give ‘em to you too

19. The Be Good Tanyas, “Little Black Bear”

If you’ll be my one true love / I’ll love you when I’m able / Oh I’ll love you when I can

Probably my favorite song on this list. And, at 2 minutes 28 second, also tied for the shortest.

20. Indigo Girls, “Share the Moon”

I’m gonna love you till it hurts / I don’t mind if I do

The theme of looking up at the same sky from different places comes up in a few of the songs, probably because I travel so much and get antsy thinking about how that feels now.

21. Victoria Williams, “What a Wonderful World”

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow / They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know

22. Lisa Ekdahl, “When Did You Leave Heaven”

Where did you hide your halo / And where did you lose your wings?

23. Dinah Washington, “What a Difference a Day Made”

My yesterday was blue, dear / Today I’m a part of you dear

24. Olivia Newton-John, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”

I’m not the first to know / There’s just no getting over you

Josh and I both grew up listening to Olivia Newton-John. The lyrics for this one are suprisingly dark, but we all know how it turns out in the end :)

25. Belinda Carlisle, “Mad About You”

Something ‘bout you / Right here beside me / Touches the touched part of me like I can’t believe

26. Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror”

No message could have been any clearer

27. Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”

Without a noise, without my pride / I reach out from the inside

28. Tracy Chapman, “Stand by Me (Live from the Late Show)

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

29. Peter Frampton, “Baby, I Love Your Way (Live)”

I can see the sunset in your eyes / Brown and gray, blue besides

My dad used to play this song and dance around the room holding me when I was a tiny baby. One of the first things he did when he met Hazel was play it for her. He cried while they danced. We knew this had to be on the list.

30. Taylor Swift, “Drop of Jupiter (Live)”

Tell me did you sail across the sun / Did you make it to the Milky Way

31. Matt Morris, “Live Forever”

There is no language for how I feel

This is by our dear friend Matt Morris. I've always loved this song, and the lyrics take on a whole different feeling when I sing them to Hazel.

32. Ed Sheeran, “All of the Stars”

I sang a lullaby / By the waterside and knew / If you were here / I’d sing to you

33. Patty Griffin, “When it Don’t Come Easy”

But if you break down / I’ll drive out and find you

34. Natalie Merchant, “Wonder”

People see me I’m a challenge to your balance / I’m over your heads how I confound you

35. Madonna, “Joan of Arc”

I don’t wanna talk about it right now / Just hold me while I cry my eyes out / I’m not Joan of Arc, not yet

36. Seal, “Future Love Paradise”

And the riders will not stop us / Cause the only love they’ll find is paradise

37. Tori Amos, “Frog on My Toe”

Slap them boys when they’re naughty / Make them crawl, make you haughty / Make you strong, little girl / You paint them toes, the reddish color

I wooed Josh on our first date by talking his ear off about Tori Amos. He was a superfan at that point, so I threw some obscure Tori B-sides on my top 5 list, and he swooned. Plus, fucking hell, those lyrics.

38. Sarah McLachlan, “Rainbow Connection”

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing and what do you think we might see?

39. Lights, “Same Sea”

From the solace to the deepest end / Places we break and bend / You’re the one in it with me

40. Neko Case, “Magpie to the Morning”

Stars this night in the sky are ringing out / You can almost hear them saying / Close your eyes now kid / Close your eyes now kid / Morning’s teeth are lit / They are waiting

We went back and forth about what lullaby to end the playlist with. This is the one we decided on. Neko Case has grown to be both our favorite artist over the 11 years we've been together.

"Let this be a warning, says the magpie to the morning / Don't let this fading summer pass you by."

Jesse Stommel

Jesse Stommel

Jesse Stommel is faculty at University of Denver and founder of Hybrid Pedagogy. He teaches pedagogy, digital studies, and composition. He spends most of his time with his badass daughter, Hazel.

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