In the news · Music

“He’s his own grandpa”

A news item on the radio this morning (and in this story from the BBC website) tells us that Mick Jagger’s girlfriend is expecting a baby. Do I have to describe Jagger as “the singer of the Rolling Stones”? Surely not; he’s been in the news for over 50 years and must count as Universal Knowledge for just about anyone who uses a computer.  This latest news means that he will become a father at the age of 72. He’s already a great-grandfather. His daughter Jade is now a grandmother, and Jagger’s great-grand-daughter is two years older than the new baby will be.

I have been trying to work out what the relationships will be between the various members of Jagger’s family. The new-born baby will have a 45-year-old step-sister (Jade). This means that the baby will be an aunt to Jade’s 23-year-old daughter Assisi and a great-aunt to Jade’s grand-daughter. I find it all rather confusing, and am reminded of a song that I hadn’t heard for years before today, “He’s his own grandpa” by Phil Harris. If you don’t know it, check it out here. We had this as a 78 (a 10” 78rpm disc) and played it often when I was young (along with other cherished 78s like “Blue Moon” b/w “I don’t care if the sun don’t shine” by Elvis, and Bill Haley and Comets’ “Rock around the clock”). It’s still in a record case somewhere but currently unplayable: our turntable will only play records at 33 and 45rpm.

It’s possible that Jade Jagger’s daughter Assisi has changed plenty of her child’s nappies over the last two years. It’s also possible that she has out-sourced this task. Maybe Mick himself is a hands-on kind of great-grandfather and helps out when required. I have no way of knowing. For the record, when our children were babies I changed thousands of nappies, and was glad to hear that Alice Cooper also changed thousands of diapers (as he calls them) when his children were small. It’s something we have in common. And, as I wrote in this piece, the chore of making up bottles of formula milk was made more enjoyable by knowing that Bob Dylan had spent many years doing the same thing when his children were babies. If Assisi is in the habit of changing her daughter’s nappies, and everyone is prepared to muck in together, imagine what might be said if her grandfather Mick comes to visit with his new-born daughter. Would he say, “Look, your aunt’s nappy needs changing. Could you do it for us?”


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