17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

CD's you AND your children can happily listen to.

Remember, when you used to babysit kids and all they wanted to watch was Barney, and you were like: I am NEVER having kids.

But then time passed and clouded your memory and you decided that you DID want to have kids. And remember when you were anticipating the arrival of your baby, and you started reading about the effect of classical music on your baby, and how listening to it would make her smarter? You would see the mozart/lullaby Cd's at Babies R Us, and you would put the headphones on your belly, hoping the baby would be able to read when it came out?

And you tried the mozart for a while, but you can only take SO MUCH classical music. And someone introduced Barney to your kid and suddenly you had a flashback to those babysitting days and how much Barney drove you bonkers.

And all of a sudden you are stuck, and you don't know how to proceed. You don't know how to stop the insanity of the Mozart/Barney cunundrum.

This is where I step in. I am hear to help you get past this phase into the "I love music AND my kids music" phase.

First of all, I don't think it is a necessity to cater to your children when it comes to music. In fact, when I was growing up I feel there were very few choices that were specific to kids, so I was raised on Olivia Newton-John and Cyndi Lauper, and that was just fine. I still have little objection to exposing your kids to the same music that you like, however I did find it disturbing when my daughter was singing her own version of Fergie's London Bridge (thank you DH) the other day.

If you would like to build a collection of children's music, I have compiled a list that I find is tolerable and inspirational for children. Please add to it in your comments or agree/disagree with the choices I have listed.

Category 1: Catered to Grownups first, now catering to the little ones
Harry Connick Jr. ~ Songs I Heard I love his remakes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Annie songs...

They Might Be Giants ~ I think they have 3 albums. I can take or leave TMBG, but I think Michelle and her family like these albums, so they made the list.

John Lithgow. Remember him from Third Rock from the Sun, and some movie that he filmed in UTAH and every Mormon on the planet has met him? (including me, but NOT in Utah, after his show on Broadway). Well, he has a handful of audio cd's for children. The one we have is Singing in the Bathtub, and I find it creative and fun, accept the TRIPLETS song.

35 Years of Sesame Street. This one makes the list because we were watching SS before our kids, and it is totally nastolgic and fun. I do not own this, but Carrrie did, and I always loved it when it came up on the ipod.

There is a song on a disc that my sis-in-law burned for me called La La Lemon, sung by Barenaked Ladies, and I found it on this album: For the Kids Vol. 1

Lisa Loeb has a children's album. I have heard a few tracks...it looks fun.

Category 2: Strictly Kids, as far as I can tell

The Persuasions I discovered these guys on Jack's Big Music Show, and I fell in love with the song: I'm so Glad (I've got skin). If you haven't discovered noggin or Jack's show, you need to. I found this list on amazon with all the artists that appear on the show.

I disovered Justin Roberts while listening to XM Kids Radio. His song and album of the same title, MELTDOWN really resonated with me at the time. We LOVE this album. Thanks Carrie.

If you don't know who Laurie Berkner is by now, then I am glad you are reading today. All of her albums are great. We particularly love UNDER A SHADY TREE and her new amazing DVD. Laurie is also a mom, so we love that about her.

You know our favorite board books by Sandra Boynton? Well, she has a few cd's herself. I like Philadelphia Chickens, the celebrities singing on it are funny and the songs completely random.

For a compilation of the sounds of the world, check out World Playground. The kids love it, and you feel that you are exposing them to a bit of multiculturalism.

I don't know about you, but I actually enjoy the Disney music from the videos, and since having a daughter means the inevitable indoctrination of everything Disney Princess, try this album. It not only has the songs, but also the instrumental only, providing a nice challenge for your kids to listen and try to sing by themselves.

Jazz for Kids is a fun way to expose your child to some basic jazz. This cd reminds me of one I got from Pottery Barn years ago called First Steps. I am thinking you can't buy it retail anymore, so this is a good follow up.

If you want some lively Sunday music, try the best Mormon Tabernacle Choir Album ever made. It is called An American Heritage of Spirituals, and it is amazing. Moses Hogan worked closely with the Motab on this, and he has since passed away. Don't forget to listen to Elijah Rock, over and over again.

Individual Tracks:
Grandma's Featherbed was my DH's favorite bedtime song growing up. It is by John Denver, and you can buy it on itunes, or the whole album.

Bein' Green, on Audra Macdonald's new album, Build a Bridge. Seriously such a moving rendition.

Trolly Song, from the film Meet me in St. Louis, sung by Judy Garland. It's pretty special.

What music do you and your little ones rock out to?


  • www.zooglobble.com is a great site for palatable children's music. And there is currently an explosion of good stuff. Besides Laurie, Dan Zanes seems to be the big name of the moment, and I like the songs I've heard him do.

    I love 35 Years of Sesame Street. We've also found that Putumayo Kids albums are great--we bought Folk Playground yesterday, and also have World Playground and Sing Along With Putumayo.

    Basically, if it's real musicians playing real instruments (especially if it has a folk bent), I'm all for it.

    Sam B.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/16/2007 02:23:00 PM  

  • "for FINDING palatable children's music" I should have said. It's a blog reviewing the stuff, not a site selling music.

    Sam B.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/16/2007 02:32:00 PM  

  • Great suggestions. I love 35 years of Sesame Street. Really great - although I have taken my favorites off of the four cds and made into one cd.

    The latest music we're listening to are the soundtracks to Curious George (all jack johnson-happy in a very mellow way), Mary Poppins and Annie.

    Oh, thinking about your daughter doing a version of London Bridge made me remember how much I hated your DH's taste in music (I think he felt the same about my music too).
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/16/2007 02:33:00 PM  

  • We got our first Dan Zanes CD (Catch That Train) for Christmas, and I have to tell you, I have such a crush on that man! Crazy hair, crazy suits and all. I wish my DH had such style.

    His music is eclectic (rock to folk to world to gospel to whatever) and not the least bit annoying. :-)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/16/2007 02:48:00 PM  

  • I love Woody Guthrie, early folk singer, most famously known for writing "This Land is Your Land" and who was a HUGE influence on Bob Dylan and many other musicians. He wrote a ton of songs for children. I don't have kids yet, but when I do I think I will get Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child and Nursery Days.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/16/2007 02:59:00 PM  

  • the soundtrack to Curious george is ok, if you are of the jack johnson bent.

    Also, I have to second TMBG. Our son loves them, and not just the kid's cds (No! Here Come the ABCs etc), but the regular music as well (his favorite is Apollo 18, with spider and The guitar).
    posted by Anonymous Jay S at 1/16/2007 03:12:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/16/2007 03:56:00 PM  

  • oh carrie, luckily J doesn't come around here very much, so he won't get his feelings hurt by your comment ; )

    As IF I like his music ....when I inherited his ipod last week I had to reset it to the factory settings. At least he always gets the CLEAN versions...

    I just can't get cozy with Dan Zanes. He didn't make the list b/c I just don't quite embrace him yet. But I know lots of folks do.

    I am looking into researching more Putumayo stuff... it looks interesting
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/16/2007 03:57:00 PM  

  • There is a great little album put out by The Innocence Mission called Now The Day is Over. I heard an interview with her on NPR and a few tidbits and new that it was something we could all listen to. She lulls with songs like "Moon River," and "What a Wonderful World." Great contemplative and bedtime music. My husband and I have it on each of our computers as well! Check it out.
    posted by Anonymous Lisa VT at 1/16/2007 06:05:00 PM  

  • Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I'm just now starting to get a CD collection for Baby T. I personally don't mind my Baby Einstein CDs (but I also like classical music). They're good for background music during playtime. I'm also all for listening to your own stuff and introducing your kids to what you like.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 1/16/2007 06:09:00 PM  

  • My kid likes Johnny Cash, and U2, compliments of DH. We also listen to alot of musicals in the car, just because I grew up on musicals, and Baby Mozart and Veggie Tales were driving me bonkers. "Sound of Music" and "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" are among my kid's favorites. We also used to listen to 1776, with me thinking it was great to give my kid some historical knowledge (he did start asking who Mr. Adams and Mr. Jefferson are), but ever since I heard him shout, "They are LEES, DAMMIT!", I've had to cut that one from our repertoire.
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 1/16/2007 07:02:00 PM  

  • yeah you have to watch out for the musicals. LIke, the 25th Annual PUtnam County spelling bee is so cute and charactery and quaint and then you get to the track: Unfortunate Erection...and your like...whoops.... That is the beauty of mp3's though....you can cut out a track here and there and just let them listen to the highlights of the album.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/16/2007 07:11:00 PM  

  • We like Jack Johnson and Laurie Berkner too. We listen to a lot of soundtracks - Seussical, Annie, various songs from Disney movies... In fact, I have the soundtrack to Barbie Princess and the Pauper on my IPOD. Because I like it.

    Shut up.
    posted by Anonymous Sue at 1/16/2007 07:13:00 PM  

  • We got into Miles Davis for the kids as a way to help them calm down before bedtime....same effect as classical and I LOVE listening to him.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. We are Laurie B. fans...but the rest of these guys are new to me and will be fun to check out.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 1/16/2007 09:20:00 PM  

  • Our all time favorite in the car is Anne Murray's "There's a hippo in my tub" The kids really get into all the songs and it makes the grown ups laugh as well.
    posted by Anonymous Kathleen at 1/17/2007 07:06:00 AM  

  • Thanks...I have been singing Grandmas Feather Bed now throughout this post and will probably sing it for the rest of the week. We used to love that song! Can't wait for my son to jam to it!
    Really though, this is a great post since I love music and can't wait to try some of these suggestions out.
    My son likes pretty much everything so far, he dances to anything with a beat (so cute) and he is very soothed by Sarah Mclaughlin.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 1/17/2007 08:00:00 AM  

  • When my kids were really small, it was strictly the Who.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 1/17/2007 10:01:00 AM  

  • Thanks for this! We're Laurie Berkner fans and I didn't even know she had a DVD, or about that Sesame street set, and my 4 year old's birthday is coming... :) thanks!
    posted by Anonymous cchrissyy at 1/17/2007 10:31:00 AM  

  • My nieces and nephews (age span 2 to 9) love singing along in the car to Five For Fighting and the American Idol contestant kick-off theme from last year "So You Had a Bad Day" (Daniel Powter).
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/17/2007 11:22:00 AM  

  • Oh my gosh--I wish I could go order a sampling of everything! I grew up dancing in the family room to my lots of oldies, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and "The Mormon Record." Ahhh, memories!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 1/18/2007 03:47:00 PM  

  • katie: "see me run...running around in circles, running and running, running until I drop..then stop"

    Is that one of them?

    Carrie, how about your infamous article of faith songs that are BETTER than the current ones in the children's songbook?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/18/2007 03:49:00 PM  

  • Haven't seen that AofF tape around in years. But those songs were WAY better than the new ones in the songbook.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/18/2007 06:09:00 PM  

  • Try InsideOut's Primary Colors for fun kids' songs
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/19/2007 11:46:00 AM  

  • Hey I googled a song title "see me run" and found your blog. Kage mentioned it and I wondered if anyone knows where to find that song. I can't remember any other songs on the album or who produced it.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/19/2007 12:19:00 PM  

  • See Me Run is from Brite music - www.britemusic.com. My mom was a "Brite Lady" when we were little, she'd have the parties to sell the music, so we had all of it. I have a See Me Run CD. My kids love it...
    posted by Anonymous Sue at 1/19/2007 10:26:00 PM  

  • kage--luckily others knew that "see me run" song--I have never heard of it! The Mormon songs I was talking about are "got a dime in my pocket" "I'm a mormon..yes I am..." "My dad's the greatest dad". Hey, if anyone knows how to get that one (record, tape?), I want it!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 1/24/2007 10:44:00 AM  

  • The CD for the mormon songs are "Songs for a Mormon Child" by Janeen Brady. "My Dad's the greatest Dad." isn't on there but I am looking for it too. If anyone knows where I can get it. Let me know!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/24/2007 10:06:00 PM  

  • I know you said that this is not a site for selling stuff, but you can find anything on eBay... look for "Beloved Songs" or do a Google search for "Songs for a Mormon Child." You'll find those songs you're missing!!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/22/2007 09:58:00 PM  

  • Oh, bother... I just saw that you all are looking for the "My Dad's the greatest Dad..." song. That one is on "Show a Little Love" and can be found sold on eBay by me or on the Brite website - www.britemusic.com. (Shameless plug for self - use my invitation code 2031205 for 10% off your order.) Sorry if that kind of thing is not allowed. Go ahead and remove it if I have done something wrong!!
    posted by Blogger Julie at 8/22/2007 10:02:00 PM  

  • Here is the link for the "See me Run" song and all the ones on that tape. I have been looking for it for my daughter for some time and would never have found it if someone hadn't posted on your site that it was by britemusic. Thanks! I listed to "The Green Tape" a hundred times a day as a child, we kids couldn't get enough of it.
    posted by Anonymous Samantha at 10/17/2008 12:11:00 PM  

  • I have been looking for that song See Me Run FOREVER! I'm so excited to have the Brite.com information. Another children's music artist I love is Susie Tallman. She does classic children's songs that are very fun. Her website is rockmebabyrecords.com.
    posted by Blogger Sharee and Arthur at 1/29/2009 10:16:00 AM  

  • here's the mormon tracks some of you mentioned like "i'm a mormon" and "my dad" and more :) they are downloads :) hope that helps!
    posted by Blogger Jennifer at 2/01/2009 09:12:00 AM  

  • Our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE children's music CD is "Daydreamer" by Priscilla Herdman. My five children are all grown up now, but we still dance around the kitchen and sing out loud when we listen to this CD.

    Another perfect CD is "A Child's Gift of Lullabys", I sang every song on this CD over and over to my babies.

    And finally, it is worth buying the entire "Metamora" CD just to have the song "Little Potato".
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/13/2009 10:51:00 AM  

  • I too love the running around song and sing it to my daughter all the time. Thanks for the link of where to find it!
    posted by Anonymous Deb at 12/12/2009 11:12:00 PM  

  • Here is a video with the lyrics and soundtrack of "See Me Run" that I found on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0jQhxrkUAs
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/12/2010 10:57:00 PM  

  • Thank you for the information about britemusic.com! I have been singing many of those songs to my little boy (who is 2 now) since he was born. He loves "A Bear, Bear, Bear!" I am looking forward to owning them. Thanks again!
    posted by Blogger Sarah Shelley at 3/04/2010 09:53:00 AM  

  • 3 years later and was able to find the Brite music from one of your posts - thank you!
    my daughter grew up on the 'I have a song for you-volume 1' 31 years ago. now my granddaughter will get the same joy...and me as well. :)
    posted by Anonymous Kelly F. at 7/02/2013 04:41:00 PM  

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