Missed Music

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

The Friday mix: Music to share with your children, part 3

For the Friday mix today, I am presenting the third and possibly final installment of music I love to share with my daughter (for the other two, check the category named “Children” to the right). Like anything else you enjoy – favorite foods, cool old movies – sharing great music with your kids gives you a chance to sort of appreciate some of your favorite songs for the first time again. And you get the added benefit of not having to listen to thin, shallow music that is aimed at kids. It makes sense, really. The cartoons you loved most as a kid weren’t the ones made for kids; they were the ones made for adults. Music is the same way.

It's good for families to enjoy music together. Usually.

On my iPod, my daughter’s mix is at over 300 songs and counting, but I think the three posts I have written on this topic give you a good flavor for it and some good suggestions. Perhaps after I have accumulated another hundred songs on her playlist, I’ll put together another mix for all of you.

  1. I Wanna Be Like You – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    An energetic cover of the Disney song from The Jungle Book. I never thought I’d say this, but I like the BBVD’s take on this song more than Los Lobos’ version.
  2. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
    If you can stand to hear this one anymore, you will make your kids happy.
  3. Mahna Mahna – Cake
    Those Nettwerk Records people know their business. Cake’s take on the Jim Henson classic is as much fun as the original.
  4. Lie in Our Graves – Dave Matthews
    OK, so the title is grim. The song is a celebration.
  5. Your Song – Elton John
    I sang this song to my daughter dozens of times when she was an infant. Not surprisingly, she likes it now.
  6. Apple Scruffs – George Harrison
    This is from his first post-Beatles release in 1970. The harmonica work is so sunny and the song is fun.
  7. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
    Michaelson professes her love because “you take me the way I am,” which is a great message for kids.
  8. I Wanna Stay Home – Jellyfish
    Everyone can identify with feeling this way, even little kids.
  9. Fool in the Rain – Led Zeppelin
    A fat piano hook, the danceable bridge, Robert Plant wailing a love song… heck, it even has a police whistle. Of course kids like it. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (written for Robert Plant’s dog) is also a winner.
  10. Guantanamera – Los Lobos
    My daughter’s mix has over 20 songs by Los Lobos, but their version of this classic Cuban song is perhaps her favorite.
  11. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
    A new and infectious song about love at first sight.
  12. Mamunia – Paul McCartney & Wings
    Paul could always write a pleasing melody and this is a straightforward song about appreciating rain.
  13. Bathtub Gin – Phish
    This song is just wall-to-wall fun, from the funny lyrics to the goofy end.
  14. Groovin’ – The Rascals
    You like this song. Why wouldn’t your kids? I actually recommended this song last week on another mix, but my daughter likes this song and I didn’t want to leave it out.
  15. Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
    Like ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople),’ this is absolutely irresistible to kids.
  16. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
    “Ee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee um um a weh.  A-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh a-wimoweh…”
  17. Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – Us3
    The loops and samples in this are so much fun and the rapping just about the music itself.
  18. I’ve Seen All Good People – Yes
    I don’t think my daughter is ready for the ponderous prog rock of “Tales from the Topographic Oceans,” but this song has a sunny beginning, a funky bridge, and grows to complexity by the end.

Interestingly, my daughter also really enjoys my world mix, which has more than 100 songs from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, the Pacific, etc. Like me, I think she enjoys hearing songs that strike my Western ear funny, but are undeniably beautiful or cool. Maybe that will be the next mix I put together.

In any event, I hope you have enjoyed these and that you play music for your kids that isn’t mindlessly produced for kids (think Kidz Bop) or is hopelessly bland pablum (think Raffi).  I’m sure you will find their lives and yours are richer for it. Enjoy with a tall orange juice. Like quality music, it’s good for you and almost everybody likes it. Have a good weekend.


July 2, 2010 - Posted by | Children, Classic Rock, Mix CD, Popular, R&B, Rock, World Music

1 Comment »

  1. Ahh! I’m super excited, I didn’t know there was a Mahna Mahna remake!

    I just love your songs for children posts, thanks for another fun one!

    Comment by Jenn | July 6, 2010 | Reply

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