The Shoe Song: A gift to every parent who’s having a tough day

October 20, 2014 | 43 comments

YOU GUYS!!!!! I have been waiting not-so-patiently to share something with you:

Last week, musician Marie Miller was a guest on my radio show on SiriusXM. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while, so I was thrilled that she came down to Austin just to do the show with me.

I wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion, so I gave Marie a challenge:

I asked her to write a song using nothing but texts between my husband and me as the lyrics.

When I heard the song right before last Thursday’s show, I actually jumped up and down with laughter (and occasionally made this weird gasp-snort-chuckle noise that happens when I find something to be unbelievably hilarious). Marie hit the ball out of the park — perhaps the fact that she’s one of 10 children herself provided her with some inspiration.

I am delighted to share it with you as a video and an MP3. It’s a gift from Marie and me, to all the weary parents who have the kind of lives that sometimes involve texts like these. God bless you guys. May this song make today’s burdens feel a little lighter!

Download MP3


P.S. I tried to play the song for a babysitter last week. Halfway through the first stanza the baby hit one of his siblings in the head with a wire basket, and the screaming and chaos that ensued lasted for half an hour. She never did hear the song.

P.P.S. SiriusXM subscribers will be able to hear the first-ever rendition of the song on my show this week! It’ll air on Channel 129 on Thursday at 1 PM, 3 PM, and midnight, and on Friday at 6 AM (all times Eastern). It’s also available any time on demand!


The Shoe Song (c) 2014



  1. Lee

    So perfectly appropriate. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  2. Kristina

    This is awesome! Love it!

  3. Jamie

    This was totally God-sent to me just now! Love it, thank you!

  4. Meredith Bernard

    They don’t need shoes! Amen. Just Amen.

  5. Kate


  6. Jenny

    that was so perfect.

  7. Anne @ I need some inspiration

    I laughed out loud, snorted, and my 6yo asked me what was so funny. (Babies don’t need shoes!!) Way to go, Jen, Joe, and Marie!! I think I laughed the loudest at ‘can you die from lack of sleep.’

  8. Emily D.

    My favorite: Please buy milk and rum.

  9. Mo

    So perfect!!

  10. Beth

    LOL! You guys have so much talent! Thank you for this.

  11. Tacy

    Hilarious! They don’t need crazy shoes 😉

  12. Emily B

    Love it!
    After following your for 4 years it was great to meet you at RISK JESUS!
    Hope you got my email about Conversation with Women. I sent it where you told me to….no pressure intended, I know you’re busy.

  13. Lynne

    It could be subtitled “Theme From Life”. How did you ever get this brilliant idea?

    I never heard of Maria till a couple of weeks ago when I heard her via Relevant Radio singing at a Catholic conference in St. Paul. I kept thinking she’s like a Catholic Alanis Morrissette. Plus I loved that she’s a homeschooled “weirdo”. 🙂 You TOTALLY could have asked her to fold the towels. If she’s willing to sing in your bedroom corner, she’d be cool with that.

  14. elizabethe

    So, what does it say about me that the first thing I did was scroll through my texts to try to write my own version of the song?

    Mine would go something like this:

    Don’t come home, the house is a mess.
    Don’t come home, just stay working late.
    Where are the bandaids?

    Perhaps in our room.

    I didn’t see them.

    S scraped his knee…. and was screaming
    while I was looking for them M escaped…. from the backyard.
    The kids are outside in the rain.
    They need umbrellas.

    Don’t come home, the house is a mess.
    Don’t come home, there’s nothing to eat.
    I’m taking the kids to Barnes and Noble.

    I’m at Barnes and Noble
    They have some little umbrellas here
    should I get them?
    I don’t know

    No they’re too expensive
    How will Barnes and Noble stay in business ….being so overpriced?
    Selling coffee.

    We’re leaving now.
    Made wrong turn, home later.

    Big wrong turn. don’t text back.

  15. Suze

    LOL from Italy! Thanks this made my day!

  16. priest's wife @byzcathwife

    We are in S Cal, so shoes aren’t exactly necessary (do you need them when you are just driving 10 minutes to tae kwan do and then you have to do the class barefooted anyway?)

    Rum? Nope- Vodka is much more versatile and it lasts forever (thank God- I enjoy a drink every once in a while too much to become dependent)

  17. Virginia

    Oh man, I laughed so hard.

    I guffawed at “can u die from lack of sleep?”. And maybe snorted.

    Excuse me because I have to go watch this again.

  18. Erin

    HA! This is excellent. I’m so glad there’s someone else out there forced to obsess over tiny shoes. Thanks for the laughs!

  19. Megan Tietz

    Love love love love love love love love. All the love.

  20. Karla

    Loved your song! It reminded me of when my teenagers were little. I was just wondering when you were going to post info. about your upcoming Watertown, SD visit. I only live an hour away and my daughter and I were hoping to come and hear you speak. We both love your blog! Thanks!

    • Ang

      @Karla, it is after the 8 am Mass at Immaculate Conception in Watertown this Saturday, Oct 25. See you there!

      • Karla

        Thank you! I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  21. Christine Johnson

    So, I heard this after spending a second day in the Great Lice Battle of 2014. Since 10 PM Sunday night, I’ve been working to get my 13 year old’s hair (long, thick, beautiful, wavy, ballerina-don’t-cut-it-off-because-of-dance hair) free of the thing I fear most: bugs.

    Add to this that she was around family all weekend, including my 95 year old grandmother in her nursing home, and I seriously needed this.

    Well, this and maybe another beer. 😉

  22. Sara

    Love it!!!!

  23. Melanie

    brilliant. This is circling our homeschool groups! lol!

  24. Allison

    We’re hopeless dorks; we don’t have phones that text! Glad, glad, glad you shared!

  25. Martha

    Dude. WHERE were the pictures of the baby with the shoes on his hands??? Perfect.

  26. Amber

    Wow, that was absolutely wonderful. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. That was such a gift this evening. Thank you!!

  27. LPatter

    This song is TOTALLY getting me through my last week of pregnancy!!!!


  28. MightyMighty

    Aww! I love it! And…can you do more? This could be a hilarious regular thing. It was such a strangely accurate view into the crazy life of lots of kids at home.

    Also, I would love to do this, but my husband and I are lame texters….he responds to everything with, “I’m sorry. I love you!” Unless I ask a question, to which he will respond, “I don’t know….” 🙂

  29. Susan M

    I am not proud of this but I once announced in a loud voice of Easter morning, “If we don’t find the other new shoe, Easter is CANCELLED!” That’s right, Jesus could not rise from the dead without that other shoe.

  30. Marilyn

    I finally got around to watching/listening. That is an awesome gift to humanity, Jen. God bless all three of you song collaborators!

  31. Sanjay

    Joey! Love this glimpse of your life in TX!

  32. Michelle

    Who knew this one would get stuck in my head!! Thankfully, it’s hysterical.

  33. Susan Vigilante

    It is the best of all trades, to make songs, and the second best to sing them.
    Hilaire Belloc

  34. Elizabethe

    Seriously this song has been stuck in my head since you posted it. Thank you so much for it, both of you!

  35. Amber

    OK, so I’m double commenting here, but I just had to. I took all five kids to Mass by myself this morning (I’m still not so very good at that) and lo and behold I look down and there’s the 10 month old without her shoes. I’m not quite sure what happened there because I did know where her shoes are, but I think I just got interrupted during the dress the baby process and didn’t notice that I forgot that step until I was at Mass. I spent the rest of Mass grinning to myself and thinking about this song, then remembering that I was at Mass and praying for you and Marie and for busy parents everywhere.

  36. Tracy Bua Smith

    That was so fun and FUNNY! I can so relate! My 6 year old loses shoes all the time and gets into the car with no shoes! “When are you coming home?” Ah yes, that is a text I send my hubby alot! 🙂 Great job ladies!

  37. Kristin Sanders

    Ahhhh this is so amazing!!!!!!!!! What an awesome idea!!!

  38. Betsy M

    So funny Jen, thanks for giving me a laugh to start the day. P.S. I don’t even HAVE shoes for my 11 mo right now. I have just given up on that battle.

  39. Em

    “pls get milk and rum” Yup.

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