Apr 5, 2022 • 4M

Childish Thoughts

A song about the event horizon of parenthood, featuring effects-processed kids toys and instruments.

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Appears in this episode

Jake Morley
The aural accompaniment to the newsletter of UK singer-songwriter Jake Morley: https://emails.jakemorley.com
Episode details

I was shit-scared of parenthood. But also gnawingly curious about what it might be like.

In the west, we’re repeatedly told that life is about cramming in as much fame, money, travel, adventure, friends, sex, exercise, career success, self-care, spontaneous fun and individual autonomy as possible. Often by someone who stands to profit.

From the outside, parenthood looks a lot like the death of all these things. The death of the dreams we were told to have. Can I still make music? Go off on tour? Move to Peru? Pabloooooo!1

It’s one of life’s great event horizons. A mind-bending threshold of no return. Are you sure you wish to cancel? Are you sure? You can’t go back. ARE YOU SURE?

The song

Childish Thoughts is a song about this threshold, told by someone thinking about crossing it, using, as the name suggests, some obliquely immature or otherwise child-themed references. See if you can spot them all.

It documents the journey from first moments of curiosity about the idea, through denial and fascination to eventual resolution.

A range of kids musical instruments and toys feature in this version, mostly whichever ones I tripped over first in the playroom that is our entire home. Some got processed beyond recognition with fancy audio effects, you’ll see what’s what in the video.

Watch the video, take a listen

Click the video below, listen to the audio at the top or download the audio here.

It’s a mid-album track, not exactly a single (what does that mean now?). But it felt important to include. The studio version doesn’t feature children’s toys, but does feature the magnificent talents of harpist Rachel Newton and fiddle player extraordinaire Lauren MacColl.

What do you think? Post it around, share with friends and drop your thoughts in the comments.

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Other songs in this series:

Keep Me Around, Asking For A Friend.


I’ve been having childish thoughts
About doing it with you
We could break this silence
With the noises of youth

I’ve been having childish thoughts
I think you’ve had 'em too
Calls of nature
Are what your mind is turning to

Some say ignore them
They need to learn
But I often return to these

Childish thoughts
What am I to do?
Deep down I'm a child too
All these needs and I long to be held

These childish thoughts keep changing me
But I like things as they are
Some say ignore them
They need to learn
But I often return to these
Childish thoughts

Every new life starts with one little death
And I'm afraid to face mine
They creep into our room and seek comfort in our bed
You say baby baby baby please

Still I keep having childish thoughts
About us going all the way
I think I’d like to see the day
When I come early and you’ll be late

These childish thoughts keep following me
And maybe it’s time to lead
Cos I can't ignore them
And I need to learn
That I'm called to return

Cos every new life starts with one little death
And it's time to look mine in the eye
They double dare me but I ain’t flinching when they stare
It’s time to act my age
And have some childish thoughts with you


One for the earlier fans there…