When I first heard about Mama Sing My Song, a service that taps professional musicians to create a custom lullaby for your child, I was intrigued. I was also a bit skeptical: Aren’t my made-up bedtime tunes (or the Pampers diddy I stole from John Legend) enough? Also, would I really have the bandwidth to memorize a song written and recorded by someone else well enough to be able to sing it and serenade my kid myself? The answer, I’ve since discovered, is yes. I’ve also come to realize that this service is a time capsule—and I was missing the point.
How does ‘Mama Sing My Song’ work? First, select the song package you want. Basically, this means you’ll need to choose a price point. (For example, a custom song and a cappella recording starts at $99, but jumps up to $250 if you want a studio recording of your personalized tune.) I decided on the “keepsake" option, which comes with the band. Now, the fun begins: You’re directed to choose your preferred musical style. In other words, do you want your tune to sound like a lullaby? Or more like a dance party? I went all in on “acoustic folk.”
Next, comes the survey. After you make you select your music, you’re prompted to fill out a brief questionnaire about your kid. (Treat it seriously, because the songwriter will use it for inspiration while writing the lyrics.) Questions range from your child’s nicknames and eye color (I plugged in “sweet pea” and “aqua blue”) to the request to name three of their all-time favorites (mac and cheese and Cookie Monster made my son’s list). All in all, it took me about 10 minutes to fill out.
That was it! I waited for my song to appear in my inbox. It can take between four to six weeks to receive the complete “keepsake” package, but the first phase is an a cappella recording that gives you a chance to review and sign off before the band makes it official. When I saw the attachment in my inbox, I couldn’t wait to play it through. “You have my eyes, sparkly aqua blue. And sweet pea, you have my whole heart, too,” the lyrics began. “How can I tell you what you mean to me? You’re the Cookie to my monster and the mac to my cheese.” I was floored. The playfulness of the tune was a total delight. Not to mention, the voice of the singer who recorded it. (Her name is Amanda and let’s just say she has a gift.) I also loved the relatability of the a cappella recording. I could actually picture myself singing these words to my toddler, especially given how catchy the tune was. Amanda and I went back and forth on the pronunciation of one line, but overall, I had minimal changes. It was ready for the band.