March 31, 2004

CURIOUS GEORGE You parents out there! What are your favorite children's songs and singers?

I just shot a video for a specialized teaching program of pre-school kids. We got a bunch of footage of the kids eating breakfast, lunch and snack time (before they go home). I am going to cut it together for a promo piece to be shown at a fundraising dinner to the parents and donors of the program and they wanted a cool kid's song about eating or food. As I am not a parent, I have no idea about what sort of music to use. Any body have some thoughts about this? It doesn't even have to be "children's music" but be children friendly (i.e. no Rob Zombie or Slayer songs). Thanks for the input ahead of time.

  • Motorhead: Eat The Rich. My two boys (six and four) love it.
  • When she was tiny, my elder daughter used to sing:
    Two fat sausages sizzling in the pan, Two fat sausages sizzling in the pan, One flew off, but the other came back...
    - which I thought had a nice Zen quality to it, but won't be any use to you. I'll ask them if they can suggest anything...
  • I'm not a parent, but I would think the They Might Be Giants kids album would be a big hit. I'm tempted to buy it for myself actually.
  • Not a parent as well, but I do think that the king of all childrens music, Raffi, needs to be mentioned. I grew up on his music, and I believe it is what turned me into the fine, young gentleman that I am today. I think Apples and Bananas would work for you, as it talks about eating (mainly the eating of apples and bananas), and it is quite fun (when you are of preschool age) to say the word "ba-noo-noos". heh
  • One little girl I know is a huge Shirley Temple fan. She sang some jazzy songs (sometimes duets with adults). The jazzy side might have a wider crowd appeal at your fundraiser, but still has the child's voice for your video. And strangely enough, some of her songs are about eating food. Amazon has her cd with samples to listen to here.
  • Two of the best kids albums (i.e., actually enjoyable for adults) are "Not for Kids Only" by Garcia and Grisman, and "Peter, Paul, and Mommy" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I don't think there are any songs about food on either of those (unless you count Shel Silverstein's "I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor" on the latter), but you'd surely find some pleasant background music for your video on one of them.
  • No! by TMBG (mentioned by Sooooz) is absolutely wonderful. Even for grownups.
  • I'm afraid they said this...
  • Not a parent myself, but I spend a lot of time with my niece (nearly 2 yrs old), and I must say, I am shamedly (it's a perfectly cromulent word, look it up) fond of The Wiggles. For those who have not yet been indoctrinated, they are an Australian pop band-cum-kids' craze that's rapidly gaining popularity (as you can see from these outrageous auction prices). In any event, they definitely have a funky, 60's-esque style, and I've found myself randomly humming a couple of their songs more than once.
  • If you aren't stuck on the 'children eating' theme...I'd suggest "Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills & Nash. It might loosen the wallets of the donors in the audience. If you want to keep it light & fun & child-like, I second rochiebones' "Apples and Bananas" suggestion. If you want something from the middle-aged parents (grandparents?) era, try "I Like Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats.
  • My three year old has never taken much of an interest in songs made especially for kids. We find he likes the same stuff we do: "Flood" by They Might Be Giants, anything by Air, and the Flaming Lips (especially "Waiting for Superman"). There are certain songs he wants to hear over and over again; for instance, one day I put in Synchronicity II by the Police and we had to listen to it about ten times in a row. Now he knows some of the words and sings along.
  • My nine year-old daughter's favorite bands are Beulah & The Shins. She also likes Apples in Stereo, Belle and Sebastian, and Ben Kweller. Yeah, she's got indy cred, despite also liking Britney Spears, et al.
  • Alright. I'll say it. The WIGGLES. There's something oddly addicting about a song concerning fruit salad (yummy yummy). It keeps my 2yr old nephew quiet every morning.
  • I'm with Dr. Zira -- my 14-month-old loves Air and Daft Punk (probably because I listen to them so much). He also loves Outkast's "Hey Ya" and shakes his teeny booty to the appropriate part. I hate the Wiggles and so my son has never watched it, but he watches Hi-Five (Australian version of the Wiggles, I guess) and they have several CDs out that will more than likely have food-type songs. The only other CD that he will listen to and enjoy many times in a row is good old Peter and the Wolf -- we have the version narrated by Dame Edna, of course.
  • I could be wrong, but I think the Australian version of The Wiggles IS The Wiggles? I'm not a big fan of them either (nor should be since I don't have kids) but I do respect the money-making possibilities of prancing around like idiots.
  • C is for Cookie. That's good enough for me.
  • Oh, FancyPlans/Pants -- for some reason I had it fixed in my head that The Wiggles were English. There's such a stigma attached to being a children's performer. I figure the Hi-Five people all loathe each other in real life. I even did some online investigating and found out that Kelly and Nathan are shagging.
  • I have the solution to your problem. "Potatoes, Tomatoes, Gravy, and Peas" from the Neverhood Soundtrack by Terry S. Taylor. Or, I am a Grocery Bag off of the previously recommended No! The very notion of "Children's Music" strikes me as pandering of the worst sort. Sure, there is some music that kids won't like. But have you ever tried to get a kid to taste broccoli who's been raised on gummy bears? If they're only exposed to mindless regurgitated pap, you're sure to raise a fan of mindless regurgitated pop. My child listens exclusively to Dead can Dance and John Tesh.
  • John Tesh wants to eat your baby, ulotrichous, not entertain it. You've got to draw the line against evil somewhere.
  • Sharon, Lois & Bram or Fred Penner are two of the staple Canadian kids entertainers. My wife still listens to and sings along with S,L & B.
  • The Wiggles used to be a crap fifties-style rock band called The Cockroaches. Until they worked out how to absolutely fucking coin it in. For which respec, although still crap.
  • Thanks guys. All good posts. I did the initial CURIOUS GEORGE post forgetting that I was writing from my sister's computer and just signed her up as a monkey last night. My actual mofi handle is "squidranch". One more favor to ask. I am not a religious man, but my mom has just gone in for surgery for a brain anurism (sp?) and any and all prayers, suplications, positive thoughts, affermations, etc., would be appreciated. We are supposed to know in the next 8 to 10 hours on the results. Thanks and best to all my monkey friends squidranch
  • My kids are lovin' Royal Crown Revue 'Mugzy's Move', as well as AC/DC, Van Morrison, any Reggae, Barenaked Ladies..... On the other hand, my three year old is deeply in love with The Wiggles and even more painfully, my 22 month old is in love with Boohbah (basically Teletubbies but with aerobics). I think the next question for us parents should be "What are your least favorite children's songs/singers?".
  • You got it, squidranch, best to you.
  • Beyond the Raffi's, Fred Penner's and Sharon Lois and Bram's I was subjugated to as a Canadian youth, my parents always put Jack Grunsky on for my little brother. He's really great - I can still sing a number of his songs word for word these 10 or 12 years later. I've never met a kid who didn't love his work. Otherwise, squidranch, all the best to your mother. She will be in my prayers tonight
  • Dead Can Dance! I haven't listened to them in ages and my little guy will love it...Thanks for the suggestion ulotrichous. I think I'm also going to give "Hey Ya" a shot. Best to you and your family Squidranch. To sum it up I think, when choosing children's music, you have to find something that will hold up repeated times. If it's something you can live with being stuck in your head for days on end, then go for it.
  • Just to make it perfectly clear, I was being completely facetious about Dead can Dance and John Tesh. My child listens exclusively to Human League and the London Cast of Phantom of the Opera. Still kidding. He actually likes TMBG, Deee-lite, Pizzicato Five and Bunny Wailer the most.
  • John Lithgow also has a kids album out - Singin' in the Bathtub - which is great. There's specifically a song about food entitled "Everybody Eats When They Come to My House."
  • Squidranch Please let us know how your mom is doing. I'm thinking good vibes at you, fellow Monkey. Anybody else out there wonder why the Boobah aliens haven't been circumcised? Disgusting little farts. When I was a mere babe in arms, we listened to great stuff like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Alllllllll VIN!!!!! OH KAY. And Mac the Knife was the first pop song I remember singing along with on the crystal set my brother built. My grandkids like Peter, Paul, and Mary, Simon and Grumpickle (Garfinkle) and Madonna.
  • I just want to thank you all for your good thoughts on my mom. She was operated on last night and was given a 30% survival rate by the surgeon. She made it though with flying colors. They were able to repair the anurism and she is resting comfortably. All her vitals are good and it appears that the partial paralisis in her right side is temporary and it looks like she is on the road to a full recovery. Thanks again all. Now, not to go to the well too often, but if you would, I got some jobs that I am hoping to go through. Any monkey's who can think good thoughts about that would be appreciated.
  • squidranch, that's awesome. Glad to hear it, and good luck for the jobhunting.
  • Huzzah! When she wakes up, tell her a lot of monkeys were praying for her, squidranch. Break a leg at those interviews (somebody else's, if it's necessary)!
  • You know, I'm tryin' to win the lottery. I could use a little monkey-love and some prayers of my own. Thanks. That's good news, squidranch, please keep us posted.