Staff Playlist: Mr. Parent

The cast and crew of Mr. Parent and the Lyric staff compiled a Spotify playlist of songs that remind us of the show, and here are some of our top picks!

1. “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)” by fun.

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun
“We Are Young” is the lead single off of fun.’s second album titled Some Nights, and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks straight. The song’s lyrics encapsulate the emotions and thrill of spending a night out with your closest friends, and simply having a good time and celebrating life like there is no tomorrow. The song also acts as an ode to best friends; its lyrics describe that no matter what happens, friends will always stick by you no matter what.

2. “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco

Alright, already, the show goes on
All night, ’til the morning we dream so long
Anybody ever wonder, when they would see the sun up
Just remember when you come up, the show goes on
Alright, already, the show goes on
All night, ’til the morning we dream so long
Anybody ever wonder, when they would see the sun up
Just remember when you come up, the show goes on
“The Show Goes On” appears as the sixth track in Lupe Fiasco’s 2011 album titled Lasers. The lyrics of the song parallel the delay of Lasers by Atlantic Records, much to the disappointment of both Fiasco and his fans. Despite this obstacle, it didn’t make Fiasco change his plans or style, and he continued to tour in the meantime. The lyrics of “The Show Goes On” imply that though life may be tough and may throw out obstacles that are out of your control, you will pull through and overcome those obstacles no matter what.

3. “Perfect” by Alanis Morissette

How long before you screw it up?
And how many times do I have to tell you
To hurry up?
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet
Be a good girl
You’ve gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn’t good enough
To make us proud
“Perfect” by Alanis Morissette is the third track off of the singer’s 1995 album titled Jagged Little Pill. While the song portrays the perspective of a parent pushing their child to their limits in order to achieve success, the song can also take the perspective of an individual pushing themselves too hard. In Act 2, Maurice reflects upon his current situation and laments on the fact that he wanted to be himself and to step into the potential his mother saw in him, but he ends up unhappy with his state as Mr. Parent. “Perfect” serves as a way of expressing the hardships of life not going the way one expects it to, and the struggles in finding oneself as a whole.

4. “Hope” by Arlo Parks

I cannot communicate the depth of the feeling
Truth is I’m still learning to be open about this
But know that I know and you’re not alone
Yeah, know that I know and you’re not alone
You’re not alone like you think you are
Landing as the fourth track on her 2021 album Collapsed in Sunbeams, “Hope” by Arlo Parks addresses a close individual to let them know that they are not alone in their struggles, even though it may seem like it at the time being. It’s normal for a person to still be in the midst of processing their feelings and being open about their emotions, and this song serves as a source of comfort for those feeling unsure of themselves, and a way to uplift those feeling lonely.

5. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

I take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And If you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring you down
Serving as the eighth track on their 1975 self-titled album, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac gives a peek into the hardships of life through the metaphor of an avalanche. The song is told through a perspective of someone that sees their life as a landslide, uncontrollable with changes occurring every which way. The song portrays the idea that time is moving rapidly and we may encounter moments in our lives that are beyond our control. Though change may seem frightening, this song serves as both a reflection of the emotions one goes through as a result of change, and a way of looking to the future.

6. “Introspection” by UMI

It’s all in my mind, it’s only emotion
Just look for a sign and swim into the ocean
See what you find, could never define
Allow the divine (Allow the divine) to alter your courses, yeah
“Introspection” by UMI is the first track off of her 2020 EP of the same name. The song is an invitation to the listener to look within themselves, and discusses the act of facing your struggles head on. For the entirety of Mr. Parent, Maurice shares his experiences with the audience as he faces struggles both as himself and as Mr. Parent. “Introspection” by UMI parallels the characterization of Maurice as he struggles to come to terms with himself in the situations he finds himself in, and emphasizes the significance of looking within themselves in the journey of self-growth.

7. “It’s Not the Same Anymore” by Rex Orange County

I’ve learned so much from before
Now I’m not short on advice
There’s no excuses at all
No point in feeling upset
Won’t take my place on the floor
I’ll stand up straight like I’m tall
It’s up to me, no one else
I’m doing this for myself
It’s not the same anymore
It’s better
“It’s Not the Same Anymore” serves as the tenth track in Rex Orange County’s 2019 album titled Pony. The song is about coming to terms with change, and reflecting on the things that once were. At the same time, “It’s Not the Same Anymore” expresses the sorrow and fear that comes with looking to the future and not being stuck in the past. Though there may be moments of uncertainty or fear in going through a period of change, it is important to recognize that there’s strength in facing those moments head first and finding closure with the past in looking towards a greater future.

8. “Angels” by Khalid

The angels give me strength
And I’m not giving up
So I wipe away my tears
I unveil my pain
They’re brushing off my shoulders
And I hold on to their stain
I’ve been seeing angels
“Angels” by Khalid is the last track on his 2017 album titled American Teen. The song refers to angels serving as an individual’s guardians in guiding to better days and a better life. The angels also refer to the people in an individual’s life that they can count on for support and guidance during moments of despair and uncertainty. Ultimately, “Angels” pays homage to those who act as figures of support and encouragement, especially in times of hardship.

9. “Intro: Persona” by BTS

So I’m askin’ once again yeah
Who the hell am I?
Tell me all your names baby
Do you wanna die?
Oh do you wanna go?
Do you wanna fly?
Where’s your soul? Where’s your dream?
Do you think you’re alive?
“Intro: Persona” serves as the introduction to BTS’ 2019 extended play titled Map of the Soul: Persona, and also appears again as the introduction to their 2020 album titled Map of the Soul: 7. A solo track by the group’s leader RM, “Intro: Persona” challenges the concepts of self-perception and introspection, and depicts RM’s journey into discovering who he is as both a musician and as a person. Maurice experiences moments of questioning who he is as Maurice and who he is as Mr. Parent, and it’s important to recognize this recurring theme of introspection and understanding how one is viewed by others, how one views themselves, and what they wish to become in the future.

10. “Eternal Sunshine” by Epik High

Baby, slow down, stop feeling suffocated
Stop feeling anxious that you might fall behind
Good things come in due time
Pay it no mind
It’s those who will leave you behind, even if you miss a step
Don’t feel pressured to keep up the steps
Serving as the fourth track in their 2019 album sleepless in __________, “Eternal Sunshine” by Epik High talks about the social pressure in achieving your dreams, and how the endless rush in achieving those dreams affects your mental health. Maurice deals with issues surrounding the pressure he feels as Mr. Parent versus him in his personal life. These conflicts about how he presents himself to his students and other students addresses the concerns that public educators face as they may be pushed to a breaking point, and “Eternal Sunshine” by Epik High serves as an expression of those emotions and a reminder that these emotions are not uncommon.

11. “So Far Away” by Carole King

Traveling around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothing else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don’t come to own me
There’s so many dreams I’ve yet to find
Serving as the second song on her second studio album titled Tapestry, “So Far Away” by Carole King weaves the singer’s personal experience as a performer as she is constantly on the road and away from her loved ones. This song can be interpreted several ways especially in the context of Mr. Parent; there are moments where Maurice experiences moments of being scared and alone, such as leaving New York for good and staying in Boston. “So Far Away” encapsulates the emotions one may feel when apart from not just loved ones, but a place of familiarity and comfort.

12. “Light On” by Maggie Rogers

Oh, if you keep reaching out
Then I’ll keep coming back
And if you’re gone for good
Then I’m okay with that
If you leave the light on
Then I’ll leave the light on (Light on, light on, light on)
“Light On” is the fifth track in Rogers’ 2019 album, Heard It In a Past Life. “Light On” exemplifies the feeling of gratitude that one feels to their loved ones and the people that have supported them through the hardships of life. This song parallels with the ending of Mr. Parent where Maurice runs into a former student and there is this moment of fondness between the two; even though Maurice has left Mr. Parent in the past, this moment in the show displays his gratitude for the good memories that his students gave him, and that feeling is what “Light On” encapsulates from beginning to end.

13. “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

And you of tender years (Can you hear and do you care)
Can’t know the fears (And can you see)
That your elders grew by (We must be free)
And so please help (To teach your children)
Them with your youth (What you believe in)
They seek the truth (Make a world)
Before they can die (That we can live in)
“Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young serves as the second track on their 1970 album titled Déjà Vu. Addressing the generational gap between parents and their children, “Teach Your Children” exemplifies that though parents and their children may not always understand each other, they must try their best in understanding each other and meet each other in the middle. This song has a gentle way of reminding us that life is hard whether you are navigating growing up or have been through your own struggles as an adult and that the best we can do is pass along our experiences, teach our children well, and let them know we love them.

BONUS TRACK: “Intervention” by K-Murdock and Candice A. Crawford-Zakian

The curtain call song for Mr. Parent is “Intervention,” by K-Murdock and Candice A. Crawford-Zakian, performed by The Ebony Bed. You can listen to this lovely tune on Soundcloud here!