Have you ever been driving along in the car, or cleaning up around the house with the kids, with the music on, when you suddenly, unbelievingly, you realize you’ve been singing along (for the 50 bazillionth time) to Raffi’s Baby Beluga? Which, you really don’t much like? At all. Has it really come to THIS, you wonder, stink-eyeing the Wiggles CD? What happened to the GOOD music?
I’m here to say you don’t have to endure Row, Row, Row Your Boat any longer. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to give up the good stuff. Really. It’s okay. In fact, I think it’s preferable! Kids need exposure to real music, with harmonies, layered instruments, and complex beats. And adults need… well… let’s put it this way: there’s only so much, “Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun…” that you can sing without losing a little bit of your mind. And we need to maintain ALL of our minds in order to be the best parents we can be, right?
Right. So, here’s to holding on to sanity, while improving everyone’s musical experience:
KellyNaturally’s Kids AND Adults Mix:
1) They Might Be Giants: Women and Men
2) John Denver: Grandma’s Feather Bed
3) Straight No Chaser: The 12 Days of Christmas
4) Squirrel Nut Zippers: Put a Lid On It
5) Wally Pleasant: If I Were (note: this song DOES use the words prophylactic & crappy… but its so worth it, seriously)
6) Peter, Paul, & Mary: If I Had a Hammer
7) Barenaked Ladies: If I Had a Million Dollars
8) Simon & Garfunkel: 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
9) Owl City: Fireflies
10) Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
11) The Beatles: When I’m 64
12) Bjork: It’s oh so Quiet
13) R.E.M.: Shiny Happy People
14) The B-52s: Rock Lobster
15) The Chordettes: Lollipop
16) Bob Marley: Three Little Birds
17) James Taylor: Jellyman Kelly
18) The Cure: Friday I’m in Love
19) Peter Gabriel: Big Time
20) Paul Simon: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
(dancing to the good stuff!)
Now, if you’re not in the mood for putting together the above mix, here’s a few already complete album cheats:
- The For The Kids compilations are awesome (there are three) featuring people like Jason Mraz, Lisa Loeb, Moby, Guster, etc. singing kid-themed songs that are quite bearable for adults.
- Broadway Musicals: There are lots of fabulous musical soundtracks with kid-and-adult friendly songs like Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Phantom of the Opera, The Wiz, etc.
- They Might Be Giants: They have several “kids” albums which are awesome (Here Come the 123s is my favorite) and many of their “pre-kid-album” songs have innocent-ear-friendly words, like: Women and Men, Why Does the Sun Shine?, Am I Awake?, Dinner Bell, Birdhouse in Your Soul
- Barenaked Ladies has a kid’s album which is very adult-listenable, called, Snacktime!
- Dave Matthews Band: While there are some mature-themed songs, the majority of his lyrics aren’t offensive, and they’re all catchy. Plus, each contains LOTS of instruments to pick out for the kids. Besides, DMB just has to rock the mini van now & then.
What do you all like to listen to with your kids? Do you smile your way through Laurie Berkner or do you make your kids to listen to the stuff you grew up with, like me?