Track of the Day: 'Kooks'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

From a young mother of two:

Thanks for posting that list of songs from your reader. I’ll use it to create a little playlist; I love songs about singers’ kids. My favorite is “Kooks” by Bowie.

Miranda July is also moved by the song and wrote about it in The Wall Street Journal last year:

Bowie wrote “Kooks” just after Angie, his wife at the time, gave birth to their son Duncan in ’71. The music is bouncy and catchy, but the lyrics are what get me. They’re written as a playful letter, advising Duncan to give his kooky parents a chance: “Will you stay in our lovers’ story? / If you stay you won’t be sorry / ’cause we believe in you.” What an impossible thing to ask of your child! But maybe all parents do this. I don’t think my parents will ever forgive me for leaving their lovers’ story.

She briefly discusses her childhood and ends with:

Now when I hear him sing the line, “We believe in you,” it makes me want to cry. They’re begging him to stay and believe in them, too. From the moment your kids are born, you’re always losing them.