As so often happens on the internet, yesterday, my obligatory trawling took a particularly odd turn for the weird and dark, thanks to Buzzfeed's inexplicable feature, "The 55 Worst Songs to Hear As You Die." Now, granted, this totally all-over-the-place list that includes TV jingles, songs from memes, and an entry from the Barenaked Ladies, is comprised of songs that would be utterly terrible to hear in your last moments of life. But still, it feels... off.
It did get me to thinking, though, about the natural follow-up: the very worst songs to play during a human birth. It's the obvious next step, yes? I know absolutely nothing of what I assume is the very intense, specific experience of bringing a child into this world, however, so you know, I'd rather not make assumptions or anything. Maybe hearing "Push It" is somehow really inspirational and not at all crass, I have no idea. I have, however, been surgically extracted from a womb once or twice in my day (once), and, had I been fully sentient and aware of what music even was yet, am pretty confident that I've found the songs I would have wanted to hear least at that crucial point in time. These are them.
Let's get this one out of the way first. Just terrible. The worst possible choice.
"I Was Made for Lovin' You"
A great song the rest of the time, sure, but right now it carries a lot of weird implications about the complicated emotional obligations of family. That, and sex. Also, clown makeup is universally terrifying to children. Best to hold off.
"Red Rubber Ball"
No need to make a baby feel self-conscious about the appearance of his disproportionately large, covered-in-bodily-fluids head. Feels kinda mean.
Listen, going to actual zoos and learning about animals is one of the best, most universal joys of childhood. You don't need to be introduced the wrong way, with potentially confusing innuendo and double entendres. Also, all this talk about being "locked in a cage of ecstasy" and "I don't wanna be free" might be counterproductive for coaxing a reluctant baby out of a comfortable womb.
This song will continue to be the worst for the rest of your child's life. Put it off as long as possible.
"I Started a Joke"
Normally the Bee Gees are a great option for kids, but this one feels like an inauspicious choice for the beginning of any human's time on this earth. Closely followed by "Love You Inside and Out" as the worst possible Bee Gee's birth room choice.
"What Would You Do"
You'll have time enough later in life to feel guilty about imposing on your parents.
"Born to Die"
"Born to be Alive"
Less obviously wrong, but still, definitely not right.
Tie: "Closer" and "Hurt"
It's hard to say which one of these is truly worse than the other for any time surrounding childbirth. They're both so excruciating in totally different ways! "Closer" is so viscerally horrible and a little gross, and "Hurt" is obviously super fucking bleak, especially when paired with the swirly fan video images above. So, this one has to be left as a tie. Anyway, our own Kristin Iversen (a person who does have experience birthing children) affirms that either would drive a newborn to "claw its way back inside," so whichever you decide is worse here, the point still stands. Keep this away from newborns at all costs.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.