Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Children's Music for Grown-Ups

by Tom Bozzo

Most of the time, I am so glad that John (sample morning request: "Watch Elmo on TV!") still has an interest in books that I'll read him anything from his personal library. The Little Engine that Could for the two-hundredth time? Blueberries for Sal three times in a row? No problem.

An occasional bad dad moment is that I'll kick one frequent bedtime request, Spot's Big Lift-the-Flap Book by Eric Hill, under the bed to redirect John to stuff that's more fun for me to read. I'm not a big fan of Spot; he tends to phone it in (see, e.g., Spot's Thanksgiving).

My open-mindedness on books does not extend to music, where I find the toddler love of repetition likelier to drive me bananas. We started programming John at an early age, but it nevertheless made me very happy Sunday morning when John requested Donovan's "Pied Piper" (that's Donovan of "Mellow Yellow" fame).

I also turned a children's music corner of sorts when I added the contents of the new Ralph's World CD, "The Amazing Adventures of Kid Astro," to my iTunes database en route to my car seat-less car. This was looking like an album that Suzanne and I would like more than John (as in John: "no Ralph!" Us: [???] "You love Ralph, big guy"), until we put it on for him anyway. and he was happy to dance along with his folks to the likes of "Fee Fi Fo Fum" (5.9 MB animated QuickTime video or 2.2 MB MP3). No video of me teaching John the Twist, sorry.

Greg Brown's Bathtub Blues unerringly calms at least one fussy boy, and so is coming up on about a year of residence in Suzanne's car's CD changer. Mixed in are some actual grownup songs, and not all of the lyrics have registered with John yet, but especially sensitive parents are hereby warned.

Likewise, who among us does not love the New Main Street Singers, but the lyrics to "Start Me Up" (QuickTime stream) are intelligible in the Folksmen's (d.b.a. Spinal Tap in much different wardrobe, hair, and make up) rendition of the Rolling Stones' hit.

(Hat-tip: book-blogging at SosySteps, the baby blog companion to Life As Is; see also the blogroll.)
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