Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

A mix to share with your kids

When my daughter was 3, we were riding in my car when the U2 / B.B. King collaboration When Love Comes to Town came on the radio. “I like B.B. King,” she piped up from the back seat. I don’t own this song and to my knowledge she had never heard it before. She recognized his distinctive voice from the letter B song he did on Sesame Street. That’s when I realized kids listen to music. Really listen.

Because the wheels on the bus go flat.

Because the wheels on the bus go flat.

Music has brought a lot of joy into my life. I believe this is because the main thing music does is bring people together. As performers, as dancers, or just as appreciators. I share my love of music with my daughter and try to foster it in her as well. The downside is this means attending things like the Father/Daughter Square Dance at her school (shudder). The upside, however, is tremendous and I hope it will pay dividends for the rest of her life.

I have a mix on my iPod with her name on it that we often listen to in the car or at home. It is full of an array of songs she likes from Classic Rock, Jazz, Oldies, World Music, and other genres (sadly, she doesn’t like Hip Hop, but I’m working on her). One of the benefits of sharing music with her is I don’t buy and don’t have to listen to the likes of Raffi, Kid Bop, or The Wiggles. The really great thing, though, is we enjoy listening to it together. We both sing along and we talk about music — what the drummer is doing, what the lyrics mean, how much I might like a horns bridge, or how much she likes a piano solo.

I recommend doing this, if you can. Burn some mix CDs if you don’t have an iPod. I have a couple hundred songs on her mix, but these are some of our favorites.

1. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – The Beatles
My daughter loves The Beatles. Some other notables include Here Comes the Sun, Strawberry Fields, and Drive My Car.
2. Underground – Ben Folds Five
This song is a lot of fun, changes character several times, and keeps a kid’s attention.
3. Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper
A sweet song with a bouncy feel.
4. Happy Feet – 8 1/2 Souvenirs
This has kind of a retro-swing feel and is sung in French. It’s all about broadening horizons.
5. Chicken Payback – Band of Bees
I recommended this track a couple weeks ago. Four out of five kids agree.
6. Three Is a Magic Number – Blind Melon
My favorite track from the School House Rock Rocks CD. There is no sample on Amazon, but here is a link to the video on YouTube.
7. The Tide Is High – Blondie
I liked it when I was a kid. My kid likes it now.
8. Round & Round – Bob Schneider
I’m going to do a post about Bob Schneider soon. For now, play this for your kids.
9. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin
Children like a little crooning & big band. I’ve got some Sinatra on her mix as well.
10. Lost in the Snow – Bruce Hornsby
My daughter is fascinated by the story of 8 year-old Bruce lost in a snowy woods and gets exposed to Bruce‘s incomparable keyboard work.
11. Les Chrysanthèmes – Cosmos Sound Club
You will like this song as much as your kids will.
12. Looking for Satellites – David Bowie
I get such a kick out of the fact that my daughter likes this spacey weirdness from David Bowie.
13. Life in a Northern Town – Dream Academy
Kids aren’t old enough to understand nostalgia, but this song is evocative for them anyway.
14. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
A high energy song with kid-accessible lyrics and studio production values 15 years ahead of its time.
15. Bennie and the Jets – Elton John
My mom played it for me. Now I’m paying it forward.
16. Baby Elephant Walk – Henry Mancini
Yes. And the Pink Panther theme too.
17. Take Me the Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
A pretty little song with a sweet message.
18. They – Jem
This is a cool song that has an added bonus: when she hears the Bach’s Prelude in F Minor, she’ll recognize it.
19. Imagine – John Lennon
Play this for your kids.
20. Let Love Rule – Lenny Kravitz
Another funky song wrapped around a great message.
21. Cherry, Cherry – Neil Diamond
Maybe you can hang with Neil. Maybe you can’t. The happy melody, harmonies, and handclaps appeal to kids.
22. Let ‘Em In – Paul McCartney & Wings
Not one of Paul’s deeper tunes, but it’s simplicity makes it easy to listen to.
23. Canary in a Coalmine – The Police
This is such a fun, danceable song. I just had to explain about how coal miners used canaries.
24. Seaside Rendezvous – Queen
Freddy Mercury at his most flamboyant. Warning: contains the line “What a damn jolly good idea.” But it’s so charmingly delivered I let it pass.
25. Woo Hoo – The 5.6.7.8.’s
From Quentin Tarantino’s living room straight to your kid’s brain.
26. Spirit of the Radio – Rush
Mine likes it, but I have a sneaking suspicion results may vary.
27. Fishin’ Blues – Taj Mahal
One of the happiest blues songs evah.
28. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) – They Might Be Giants
Honestly, how could a kid not love this song?
29. I Saw God – Victor Wooten
Victor plays bass for banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck. In his spare time, he writes beautiful, philosophical gems like this one. I really, really like this song.
30. Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi
To my knowledge, everyone who has ever heard this song likes it.

Enjoy with Oreos and milk. Have a good weekend.

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February 20, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Children, Classic Rock, Indie, Jazz, Mix CD, Popular, Rock

3 Comments »

  1. I love, love, love this! I would add “Friday, I’m in Love,” by The Cure and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

    Comment by susie | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. Not a fan of The Cure, but I will definitely look for What a Wonderful World. That would fit right in. I might even have it on a disc here somewhere…

    Comment by missedmusic | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it. When my son was a little guy, I made him a couple mixed tapes of his fave songs. I’ll have to dig them out. I need to start doing this with my ipod. (I made mixes when I had to tape my CDs, but I don’t do it when it’s ipod easy. That doesn’t make any sense).

    We danced to one of the songs at my wedding (The Horses by Rickie Lee Jones), and I have my hopes on another one for his wedding someday (Beautiful Boy by John Lennon).

    OK I’ll admit it…Car Wash was one of the songs. haha

    Comment by Jenn | April 26, 2010 | Reply


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