It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel… Proud

Both the Little Man and the Little Miss have been making a repeated request lately. I’ll be in the home office, writing, or something, and one or both will come by and ask, “Dadda, will you put on the ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’ song?”

I don’t remember when I first played R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” for the kids, but they both loved it. Sometimes, I’ll pass through the house and hear one or both singing the song. Yes, they sing all of the lyrics to the song–exactly the same way I do, which means somewhat imperfectly, but with more or less perfect rhythm. When I put the song on for them, they both dance around the room in their unique styles, singing along with the song. Their faces brighten. They love it.

I tried explaining to the Little Man that once, when I saw R.E.M. play at the Greek Theater in L.A., the did a 10 minute version of the song as an encore, and it was fantastic. “Play that one,” the Little Man said. I explained that they did it live in concert, and the only version I have is the one that comes on the Document album.

Watching the kids sing and dance to that song (sometimes I will hear them singing it to themselves) fills me with a fatherly pride. They are enjoying at least some of the music that I have enjoyed. Music, like stories, is a wonderful thing to share with kids, and I’m so glad my kids are enjoying the music that I’ve been sharing with them.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.