All Songs +1: What's The First Song A Newborn Should Hear?

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Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.] (AFP/Getty Images)
Mozart is great for babies, but what about Miles Davis? [Note: This child does not belong to Robin Hilton.] (AFP/Getty Images)

Not long after my son was born it occurred to me that he'd never heard music before. He wriggled into the world and had spent the first few days looking dubious, taking in the sights and colors and sounds and voices around him, trying to make sense of it all. But he was yet to experience this thing we call "music."

So once he was home and we had a quiet moment together, I reached for a song I'd often imagined singing to him, one appropriately titled "Lifelong Lullaby" by Will Derryberry.

On the most basic level, it's a lovely song with a delicate melody and soft-handed instrumentation. But it was the lyrics I loved and the simple message that no matter what, I'll always be with you. It's truly a lullaby you can carry with you your whole life.

When my daughter was born a couple of months ago, I decided to take a different approach to introduce her to music. Instead of a lyric-driven song (which, on this week's +1 podcast, Bob Boilen notes she wouldn't understand anyway), I played what I thought was the perfect example of what music is and can be here on spaceship Earth: "So What" from Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue.

The song feels like an awakening. It opens gently like the sun rising and slowly blooms and grows. Jazz is life.

Bob's pick for his own son more than 20 years ago was something more tonal and rhythmic, the enchanting music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

And in our guest DJ session with SOAK earlier this week, singer Bridie Monds-Watson told us her parents played the Pink Floyd album Meddle for her while in utero, including the epic 30-minute cut "Echoes."

But what do you think? What's the first music a newborn should hear? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Next week we'll post a playlist with some of your picks.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.