Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kids' Music at the Patterson Household

I'm not sure if I just have an aversion to kids' music - but I didn't listen to a lot of it as a child.

I did have a few children's records, but most of them were - a little off the beaten path. And in some cases, they were just really old.

When I was younger, my dad had set up an old record player in the basement. And he provided my brother and me with a lot of records that he had owned as a kid.

Which is why, to this day, I'm deeply in love with something called The Silly Record, which still hasn't been issued on CD.

And I had my other favorites as well, I suppose, but most of them were stories instead of music. And in the rare cases where the records were musical in nature, they weren't what you would think of as "baby music" - they were Sesame Street records, and Disney Songs (I got college scholarships for my essay about listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack as a kid) and a few Chipmunk records - which of course took popular songs of the day and gave them really high voices.

(To this day, every time I hear Arthur's Theme, in my head I hear Alvin saying: "Fall in love? Ha! I can think of a hundred things better than falling in love. Like Pac-Man, for instance.")

And so, when it comes time to play music for the kiddo... there are almost no children's CDs getting played in the house.

I would wonder whether this warps my kid or not, but I have a lot of fond memories of being very little, and having my dad play Steve Miller's Greatest Hits, and The Beatles, and any other record he felt like playing.

And so I do the same for my own kid.

Mostly, I've found she likes a loud, thumpy beat, because it says "dancin' time!" to her.

The music we've listened to the most in the last few months:

The Beatles: Number 1s

This is something of a tribute to my own dad, because I grew up hearing these on the stereo, probably when I was as young as Mihret.

Hey Jude is a big favorite, and we sometimes sing the song to Mihret. Often, she kinda-sorta sings with us, echoing the last word or two that we sing.

Except the one time that I swear, and Kara can verify this, that she sang "Remember, to let her in to your heart..." unprompted.

Aqua: Aquarium

Yes, they are the Barbie Girl people. No, we don't listen to that song. We prefer Happy Boys and Happy Girls. Which is how Mihret learned the word happy. Can your eighteen-month-old say happy?

The New Power Generation: New Power Soul

It's tough finding a Prince album with very few bad words and a lot of thumping on it. This is one of them, though we skip some songs.

They Might Be Giants: No

Yes, this is the one kid's record we do, but there are tracks on there that get old after a while. Real old. "Violin" is brutal after a while.

But Where Do They Make Balloons is usually good for a listen or three.

Bobby Brown: Don't Be Cruel

'S loud and thumpy, for the most part.

Soul Coughing: Irresistible Bliss

It's got a great boom-THUMP, boom-boom-THUMP opening. Though, strangely, the song Mihret likes to dance to most is White Girl. Go figure.

Ethiopian Music

We have a couple of CDs worth, and we enjoy putting them on and listening to them, but it's hard to listen to something for more than a few days when you don't know what the words are.

Aimee Mann: Smilers

For some reason, Mihret likes the song Freeway, even though it's pretty mid-tempo.

Michael Jackson: Greatest Hits

We learned that Mihret understood the concept of rhythm when we put on Billie Jean and she started bopping along with it - at six months old.

Other things that have gotten a spin here and there include the African Children's Choir, The Lion King, Julia Nunes' Left Right Wrong, Stereo MCs.

But my dad seems to have gotten it right - The Beatles made the only CD where, at the end of every song, Mihret yells out "Again!"


1 comment:

Nick! said...

Hey, you might get a kick out of Singing in the Bathtub, my new blog on kids music that the whole family can enjoy. http://bathtubsinging.blogspot.com