For me, it was the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
I was seven, and I had a hot, maybe forbidden copy of the cassette duped from my Auntie R. who would have been 20 at the time. I adored her and probably told her she was pretty 300 times in order to get my hands on that music.
I would lay on my bedroom floor in the basement, my hand-me-down cassette player that was my own Mama's, plugged into the wall. I would position myself on my stomach, chin on hands, and listen to Dirty Dancing overandoverandoverandover, repeat.
My only mission was to learn every single word of every single song. Before I burnt the reels out of the Maxwell-brand tape that is ... which I eventually did. I later managed to acquire a legitimate copy of the album on tape, and I already knew every chord and didn't need to lay on my floor with my finger prone over the rewind button. I had succeeded in my quest. It didn't prevent me from then buying the CD when I found it in the bargain bin at Sam Goody (oh you guys! The amount of money I spent at Sam Goody!) as a teenager. Nostalgia like whoa.
For her, it will be Beyonce's Single Ladies. And it will include the dance routine from the video.
Kids these days.
At this point in her nearly six years of life, I had estimated I/we have read my daughter 3,650 books. At one bedtime last week, the Lil' Dude, after having Single Ladies stuck her in head all evening, asked if she could listen to that song on my iPod instead of listening to a story. I completely rocked her face off when I one-upped her with the offer of watching the video on YouTube instead.
Sometimes parenthood is so freaking cool.
So along with Beyonce, she chose Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire (girl power!) and because she's her Mama's daughter, FloridaGeorgia Line's Cruise.
And we have ourselves a new little bedtime routine. She keeps track of the songs she wants to listen to each night on little Post-It's ... Lorde's Royals, Macklemore's Thrift Shop (holy explicit lyrics, Batman), Katy Perry's Roar, AWOLNATION'S Sail, and Single Ladies on repeat. Just her and I gather in her bedroom in the pitch black, door shut, and I push play on YouTube at max volume, three songs each night.
Okay, maybe four if you count Beyonce twice. After all, it's her main goal in life to memorize the lyrics AND the dance ... just as mine was with that soundtrack in 1987. I keep telling her she has to fake it until she makes it ... that one day, (much to her Daddy's complete and utter horror), she will be Beyonce in the black Lycra complete with the robot hand.