Songs about domesticity, settling down, middle age, family life

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Started making a playlist. I guess most of these are pretty positive or bittersweet at worst.

That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be - Carly Simon
Mushaboom - Feist
The Fourteenth of February - Billy Bragg
My Girls - Animal Collective
Domestica - Björk
Disney Girls (1957) - The Beach Boys
Kooks - David Bowie
Mrs. Bartolozzi - Kate Bush
Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Sweedeedee - Cat Power
Shop Vac - Jonathan Coulton
Dishes - Pulp
Danny's Song - Loggins & Messina
The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A. - Donna Fargo
Our House - Madness
I'd Do It for Your Love - Paul Simon
Best Days on Earth - Trashcan Sinatras
Katherine Of Oregon - Al Stewart
Familiar Love - William Shatner
Coming Around Again - Carly Simon

What am I missing?

Alba, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:18 (two years ago) link

Don't Marry Her - Beautiful South

the Warnock of Clodhop Mountain (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:20 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4SVMbD_VLk

Alma Kirby (Tom D.), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:21 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXvmgwUWxeQ

Alma Kirby (Tom D.), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:24 (two years ago) link

"Once in a Lifetime" - Talking Heads
"Time Stand Still" - Rush

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:24 (two years ago) link

well, you got my initial thought/choice in the first post, (our house/madness of course), so I am going to have a proper think now.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:26 (two years ago) link

Seems that I, an American, am the only one ever mentioning the quintessentially English Clifford T. Ward.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XkNLkWEoV0

Freddy "Boom Boom" QAnon (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:26 (two years ago) link

"Time Passes Slowly" - Bob Dylan

Build me a cabin in Utah
Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout
Have a bunch of kids who call me "pa"
That must be what it's all about,
That must be what it's all about

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:28 (two years ago) link

Stay Up Late - Talking Heads
Babies - Pulp
Runs in the Family - Roches

Yerac, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:28 (two years ago) link

House - Patrick Wolf

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:31 (two years ago) link

I don't know their catalogues to the level required, but I've always suspected that squeeze, the beautiful south, paul weller have done this on a relatively regular basis.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:32 (two years ago) link

"a man needs a maid"
"comes a time"
"harvest moon"
i feel like neil young could probably do a whole set of these

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:35 (two years ago) link

This is one of my favorite settling down songs. There are a bunch of versions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II3moM5Dmf8

Yerac, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:40 (two years ago) link

Yeah, "Up the Junction" by Squeeze is this, and then some. xxp

Freddy "Boom Boom" QAnon (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:41 (two years ago) link

A Beautiful Shape by Six.by Seven. “A quiet life with my wife is all I need for goodness sakes”.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:41 (two years ago) link

Bob Dylan—Sign on the Window

The whole New Morning record covers this area. It was surprising to learn the songs were all written to accompany a play.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:42 (two years ago) link

Beautiful South do have loads of these yeah but I'm busy atm

the Warnock of Clodhop Mountain (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:44 (two years ago) link

Wilco—Hate it Here

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:44 (two years ago) link

xxp Whoops, that's the Dylan song I thought I was quoting upthread (got the lyrics right, the title wrong!)

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:44 (two years ago) link

The Kinks - Two Sisters

portugal. the bland (sleeve), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:46 (two years ago) link

"goat and ram" -- superwolf (i only remember this one because of the way he turns "children" into a three syllable word)
there are a handful of BPB songs that would probably fit

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:46 (two years ago) link

Michael Hurley/Unholy Modal Rounders/Jeffery Fredericks - Slurf Song

portugal. the bland (sleeve), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:47 (two years ago) link

Other B South songs that jump to mind:

Let Love Speak Up Itself
Bell-bottomed Tear
We Are Each Other

the Warnock of Clodhop Mountain (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:53 (two years ago) link

"Thirty-three" by the Smashing Pumpkins is about longing for all of this w/o actually getting it

"My Blue Heaven" as performed by Gene Austin is probably the oldest example itt.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:54 (two years ago) link

Bowie's "Kooks" imo

the Warnock of Clodhop Mountain (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:54 (two years ago) link

Again BS in a dark way - Woman in the Wall

the Warnock of Clodhop Mountain (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:56 (two years ago) link

XTC - "Earn Enough for Us"

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:56 (two years ago) link

The Beatles -- When I'm Sixty-Four

Brad C., Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:58 (two years ago) link

Bob Dylan—Sign on the Window

The whole New Morning record covers this area. It was surprising to learn the songs were all written to accompany a play.

― kornrulez6969, Wednesday, October 24, 2018 1:42 PM (fifteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

love this:

Build me a cabin in Utah
Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout
Have a bunch of kids who call me "pa"
That must be what it's all about,
That must be what it's all about

Greta Van Fleek (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:59 (two years ago) link

The Band - "Rocking Chair" is the impulse recast as a tragedy, an old salty dog who won't live to see home again....and Danko and Manuel never did

Hear the sound, Willie Boy,
The Flyin' Dutchman's on the reef.
It's my belief
We've used up all our time,
This hill's to steep to climb,
And the days that remain ain't worth a dime.
Oh, to be home again,
Down in old Virginny,
With my very best friend,
They call him Ragtime Willie.
Would-a-been nice just t'see the folks,
Listen once again to the stale jokes,
That big Rockin' Chair won't go nowhere.
I can hear something calling on me

Greta Van Fleek (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:00 (two years ago) link

xp I already quoted that, d00d! :D

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:01 (two years ago) link

Paul McCartney -- Every Night
Paul McCartney -- Eat at Home

Brad C., Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:05 (two years ago) link

Disney Girls (1957) - The Beach Boys

idk if this is even the best example of this in the BBs catalog! Much prefer "When a Man Needs a Woman", "Busy Doin' Nothin", "Time to Get Alone", "H.E.L.P. is on the Way", "I Wanna Pick You Up"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:05 (two years ago) link

Tom Waits, "Frank's Wild Years":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I9GqxDA4ac

Well, Frank settled down in the Valley
And he hung his wild years on a nail that he drove through his wife's forehead
He sold used office furniture out there on San Fernando Road
And assumed a thirty thousand dollar loan at fifteen and a quarter percent
And put a down payment on a little two bedroom place
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash
Made good bloody Marys, kept her mouth shut most of the time
Had a little Chihuahua named Carlos
That had some kind of skin disease and was totally blind
They had a thoroughly modern kitchen, self-cleaning oven, the whole bit
Frank drove a little sedan, yhey were so happy
One night Frank was on his way home from work, stopped at the liquor store
Picked up a couple of Mickey's Big Mouths
Drank 'em in the car on his way to the Shell station
Got a gallon of gas in a can
Drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it
Parked across the street laughing, watching it burn
All Halloween-orange and chimney-red
Then Frank put on a top forty station
Got on the Hollywood Freeway, headed north
Never could stand that dog

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:06 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ozl5SahSko

velko, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:08 (two years ago) link

My Girls mentioned at the top of the thread, this is regular subject matter for Panda Bear in his solo work & songs for AC:

I'm Not
Bros
You Can Count On Me
Mr Noah
Crosswords
Sunset
Daily Routine
New Town Burnout
Rosie Oh
Recycling

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:10 (two years ago) link

ooh also forgot Beach Boys' "I'd Love Just Once to See You"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:11 (two years ago) link

every mumford and sons song probably

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:12 (two years ago) link

blue nile "family life"

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:12 (two years ago) link

xxp I thought that was about a horny single guy impatiently waiting for his girl to come over... (I guess he does wash a few dishes, lol)

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:13 (two years ago) link

Beginning of a Great Adventure - Lou Reed:

It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around
a little me to fill up with my thoughts
A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams
a way of saying life is not a loss

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:14 (two years ago) link

lucky escape for lou's non-existent child there.

Toss another shrimpl air on the bbqbbq (ledge), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:23 (two years ago) link

Lol

Alba, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:24 (two years ago) link

"My House" would be another good Lou pick.

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:27 (two years ago) link

i'll stick with you : the primitives.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:33 (two years ago) link

Bruce Springsteen - Stolen Car

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:37 (two years ago) link

Watching the Wheels. John Lennon.

29 facepalms, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:39 (two years ago) link

Lyle Lovett, "Pontiac":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il81IjQQ3ag

I park my Pontiac
Down the hill out in back
Late every afternoon
With a Coke and a cigarette
And all of the neighbors there
They see a nice old man

And the girl there across the street
She sits on her front porch swing
She never realized
But I told her with my eyes
How back in the Second War
I killed 20 German boys
With my own bare hands

And the woman inside my house
She won't stop talking
She never says a thing
She just keeps talking
And I might just leave her still
After the sun goes down

And I smoke this cigarette

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:40 (two years ago) link

the Who, "Love Ain't For Keeping"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:40 (two years ago) link

Always thought “Domestica” would be a great title for a Middle Aged indie rock band whose members are settling down

calstars, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 19:46 (two years ago) link

Peter Hammill, "Autumn":

Now we're left with an empty home,
from our nest all the birds have flown for foreign skies.
We're discarded, of no further use,
though we gave our kids all our youth and all our lives -
we really tried.

Now there's only my wife and me;
we used to have a family - now that's gone
and only memories linger on...
it all seems very wrong to me.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 20:15 (two years ago) link

"The End of the Rainbow" by Richard and Linda Thompson is the most devastatingly sad example I can think of.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:06 (two years ago) link

and there was i hoping that this thread would be about the good side of domesticity and the contentment of settling down …

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:19 (two years ago) link

wait has no one mentioned "OUR HOUSE"?!!?!?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:34 (two years ago) link

that's the quintessence of this type of song imo
la la lalala la la

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:34 (two years ago) link

Lambchop. I want to say The Daily Growl particularly but most of Is A Woman, really.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:40 (two years ago) link

Joni Mitchell - Hissing of Summer Lawns
Pink Floyd - Time

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:42 (two years ago) link

wait has no one mentioned "OUR HOUSE"?!!?!?
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera),

original post.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 21:56 (two years ago) link

oh whoops
sorry!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 22:00 (two years ago) link

:)
it was my first thought as well, so was pissed off that OP had already hit that spot.
that said, i am sure that Madness will have done others, just that i am not in that space at the moment.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 22:02 (two years ago) link

Squeeze - She Doesn't have to Shave
Squeeze - Can of Worms

enochroot, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 22:17 (two years ago) link

Shangri-La, The Kinks
You and Me, Randy Newman
The Folks Who Live on the Hill, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone et al (written by Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein)

Josefa, Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:13 (two years ago) link

Feel like there must be more Kinks songs, Ray always felt like such an adult songwriter even at a young age

Greta Van Fleek (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:16 (two years ago) link

xp to self oops that Randy Newman song is actually called Love Story

Josefa, Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:23 (two years ago) link

xp to the list in the original post:
"shop vac" is such an awesome call.


Maybe if you forget to hide the keys
I'll take a ride to Applebee's
I'll come home drunk on daiquiris
and throw up on the neighbor's lawn

enochroot, Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:46 (two years ago) link

Which made me think of another one... Depreston by Courtney Barnett:


You said we should look out further
I guess it wouldn't hurt us
We don’t have to be around all these coffee shops

Now we've got that percolator
Never made a latte greater.
I’m saving 23 dollars a week

enochroot, Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:49 (two years ago) link

Darling Lorraine - Paul Simon
And Settlin' Down - Poco

Bloody Snail, Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:58 (two years ago) link

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones
- Beatles "Obladi-Oblada"

o. nate, Thursday, 25 October 2018 01:06 (two years ago) link

Hiss Golden Messenger - "Mahogany Dread"

"Girl of mine with silver in your hair
I still want you.
It's getting hard to be easy now.
A couple of kids
Mahogany dread
But happy days are still ahead."

daily growing, Thursday, 25 October 2018 01:07 (two years ago) link

Lots of country songs

F# A# (∞), Thursday, 25 October 2018 01:14 (two years ago) link

I wanna get married.
Yes, I need a spouse.
I want a nice Leave-It-To-Beaver-ish
golden retriever
and a little white house.

I wanna get married.
I need to cook meals.
I wanna pack you cute little lunches
for my Brady bunches
then read Danielle Steele.
- Nellie McKay "I Wanna Get Married"

o. nate, Thursday, 25 October 2018 01:26 (two years ago) link

More Randy Newman: "Feels Like Home"

... (Eazy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 02:14 (two years ago) link

I also have this daydream of proposing marriage by taking my gal for a drive down a road where I've laid out a succession of signs with Leonard Cohen lyrics:

Baby let's get married
We've been alone too long

Let's be alone together
Let's see if we're that strong

Let's do something crazy
Something absolutely wrong

While we're waiting for the miracle to come

... (Eazy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 02:17 (two years ago) link

and there was i hoping that this thread would be about the good side of domesticity and the contentment of settling down …


That was the original intent and I nearly specified that explicitly in the thread title but seeing as it started on a different note with the Carly Simon song anyway I thought better to leave it open.

Alba, Thursday, 25 October 2018 02:28 (two years ago) link

another one about the unattainable dream of settling down

gerry rafferty - "baker street"

macropuente (map), Thursday, 25 October 2018 02:37 (two years ago) link

Me and My Husband - Mitski

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 25 October 2018 04:27 (two years ago) link

not a heartwarming story but Peter Gabriel's Home Sweet Home

orifex, Thursday, 25 October 2018 05:51 (two years ago) link

sizeable chunks of the faun fables catalog

dub pilates (rushomancy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:09 (two years ago) link

oh and wots... uh the deal by pink floyd

dub pilates (rushomancy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:11 (two years ago) link

Skyhooks: "Balwyn Calling" and "All My Friends Are Getting Married"

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 25 October 2018 10:30 (two years ago) link

Chuck Berry "You Never Can Tell", obv.

fetter, Thursday, 25 October 2018 11:09 (two years ago) link

Also, most of Adem's "Homesongs" album. And John Martyn's "Sunday's Child"

fetter, Thursday, 25 October 2018 11:10 (two years ago) link

always found the deployment of this line from blanche blanche blanche's uncrazy striking:

"I just want to take care of my wife and play basketball"

even before the pause and addition of "and get hit by a car"

ogmor, Thursday, 25 October 2018 11:30 (two years ago) link

Let's Move to the Country - Smog:

Let's move to the country
Just you and me

My travels are over
My travels are through

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 25 October 2018 11:33 (two years ago) link

How have Pet Shop Boys not come up yet?

imago, Thursday, 25 October 2018 11:44 (two years ago) link

"climbing trees" by bauer, can't believe nobody has mentioned this one already

dub pilates (rushomancy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 13:47 (two years ago) link

Lots of country songs

― F# A# (∞), Wednesday, October 24, 2018 8:14 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yesterday I was ambushed by unexpected emotion listening to George Jones and Tammy Wynette's "Two Story House" for the first time. What a sad song.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Thursday, 25 October 2018 13:57 (two years ago) link

Last Time I Saw Richard: "Richard got married to a figure skater / and he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator."

(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Beer (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 25 October 2018 14:01 (two years ago) link

Michelle Shocked's "When I Grow Up", about settling down with "me, my old man, and 120 babies."

... (Eazy), Thursday, 25 October 2018 15:30 (two years ago) link

Nanko - Lucky You

When you reach home, you’re greeted with hugs and kisses
By your wife and your three lovely kids
Just to see your dinner on the table
Ain’t got nothing to worry about, you got your cable
Still got a young one coming up in the cradle
Damn, man, your life must be so stable
As for me, I’m unable, disabled, I’m like a fable

Ex Slacker, Friday, 26 October 2018 00:46 (two years ago) link

I'm not the cat I used to be
I got a kid, I'm thirty-three

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 26 October 2018 01:58 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7rWf4tH-jE

If you learn to drive
I can use the train and the bus
When you're mobile, we'll go
Take my toys and your cat with us
We'll leave the violence
We'll have something to do
With a couch-bed in the front room
For when we fall out, or when our friends come through

It's painting a kitchen that's keeping me going
And we've already named the seeds I'll be sowing

And when they've grown up
That's hoping that I don't shoot blanks
Could we move right up north
Find a house near the shores and the banks?
With a big fuckoff telly
A brand new stereo system
We'll meet old friends at funerals
And pretend that we've missed them

And if they were here
They'd say it was shocking
To find we've already named the dog we'll be walking

It's choosing a mattress that's keeping me going
And we've already named the seeds I'll be sowing

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Friday, 26 October 2018 02:21 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PEMP-nIY1U

What would you say if I offered this all up
To move, like a wreck, to the Neuk?
With a room for your art, and a room for my tunes?
And a promise we both kept never to leave?

Just say the word...

You can't manufacture love
Build a flutter out of paper
Hoodwink my heart
Sure you wouldn't know where to start

So I
I can say without fear
Just catch my eye in a certain way
And we'll be out of here

Just say the word...

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Friday, 26 October 2018 02:46 (two years ago) link

Pulp's Babies isn't right for this. Maybe Disco 2000

paulhw, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 20:53 (two years ago) link

not sure i'd say this is about the happy side of domesticity but i love this song so I can't help posting it.

Kate & Anna McGarrigle - I Eat Dinner

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb2x9uZVPek

Will (kruezer2), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 14:12 (two years ago) link

Richard Shindell's song "A Summer Wind, a Cotton Dress" hits me pretty hard. It's the only relatable infidelity song I know of.

The kids are fine
They're six and nine
I think you'd probably like my wife
But the kitchen light
Seems much too bright
For what I find myself thinking tonight

Glasnostradamus (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 19:46 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

"Don't Marry Her" has a reference to the sun shining on San Francisco Bay which always reminded me of the following story, but I've never come across this usage anywhere else:

In the late 1980s, Pickett recalled how he came by it: “Noreen Woods from Atlantic Records, she called me that one day because back in that time, the secretaries were wearing these miniskirts. One of these girls was leaning over the desk. On a clear day, you could see the San Francisco Bay. So I went and pinched her. Noreen saw it: she said, ‘My, my, you are so Wicked.’ Jerry Wexler ran out of his office. ‘That’s it baby, that’s it, that’s the name of his next album, baby. The Wicked Pickett, that’s it, put it down.’

Fletcher, Tony. In the Midnight Hour (p. 96). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Next Time Might Be Hammer Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:42 (two weeks ago) link

Vampire Weekend, "Stranger" feels nicely domestic - "Another night indoors, another sign of life, wobbling up through the floor."

Lily Dale, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 01:10 (two weeks ago) link

Ray Davies - Quiet Life (from the movie Absolute Beginners)

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 14 January 2021 06:42 (one week ago) link

As someone mentions above, it would take a while to list all the Davies songs on this theme, but The Kinks Present a Soap Opera is an entire album about it.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:04 (one week ago) link


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