I’m always on the lookout for music for Melissa. At 2 1/2 she’s past always wanting to hear Sesame Street…and she always wants to hear something fun. I try to stay away from the typical kid crap that is out there – Raffi and The Wiggles are intolerable. So I put together a playlist in my iPod of kid-friendly, fun songs that – for the most part – were not made to be for kids. I present this list as a service to all parents who are looking for something unique and different for their kids:
“Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes – you can get this on any manner of Dr. Demento CDs. It’s a classic and Melissa’s ultimate favorites.
“Octopus’ Garden” and “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles – I’m not a Beatles fan, but these songs are always fun to sing along with.
“Sing a Rainbow” by Peggy Lee – It’s a dreamy ballad and talks about colors. I’ve been looking for a while for the version that was sung on a local Philly TV show in the 70’s – “Captain Noah and his Magical Ark” but I haven’t been able to locate it.
“High Hopes” by Frank Sinatra – There’s a bunch of version of this – but the Frank Sinatra is the one I remember hearing as a kid, and it’s got kids doing the chorus.
“Theme from the Muppet Show” – since we got the Muppet Show Season 1 on DVD – Melissa has been enjoying this. She yells “Kermit!” whenever she hears his voice doing the introduction.
“Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” by Brian Hyland – a classic piece of 60’s kitsch that is so much fun to sing.
“I’m A Little Airplane” by Jonathan Richman – a little repetitive but a cute little ditty nonetheless….
“Bulbous Bouffant” by The Vestibules – another Dr. Demento find and very cool. Starts out as a skit and evolves into this…..song…. of funny sounding words – you won’t get it out of your head for days….”Bulbous Bouffant….(blubber)Macadamia…(blubber)Ga-ze-bo!”
“Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen – surf rock and oh so fun….”bird bird bird…the bird is the word….”
“Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver – Gotta get the live version which has the audience clapping along – Melissa claps every single time!
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens – Who doesn’t like singing “A weem a weh…a weem a weh…”?
“Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex – I prefer the dance mix version better. Nothing like some good techno fiddle.
“Disco Duck” by Rick Dees – yes, it’s corny, and yes it’s a 70’s throwback – but those opening beats with the quacking reel in the kid every time…
“Blue” by Eiffel 65 – a techno song with a great chorus. Everything is Blue.
“Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats – I think Melissa likes the spelling at the beginning the most.
“Little Willy” by Sweet – Good beat, easy lyrics….just a great fun song….
“Volcano” by Jimmy Buffett – fun island rock – good lyrics and easy to sing along to…
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Probably the best reinterpretation of the song I have ever heard – and it’s got a ukelele(he’s Hawaiian) Entrances the kid.
“You Will Go To The Moon” by Moxy Fruvous – A Capella song about going to the moon – which every kid wants to do.
“The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. – This is the definitive version of this song, and we both love it.
“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants – a bunch of other TMBG songs could also make the list – but this one is the hallmark.
“Puff The Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary – A classic.
“Come On Get Happy” by The Partridge Family – otherwise known as the theme to the TV show. Fun 70’s pop/rock with a harpsichord – how can you beat it?
“Tra La La Song” by Liz Phair with Material Issue – It’s from a compilation of 70’s TV show themes done by rock artists a few years back called “Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits” – a great song unto itself…and along with that goes…
“Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” by Matthew Sweet – No – she’s never seen an episode of Scooby Doo, but Matthew Sweet’s version is fresh and clean…perfect for the in car sing along….
“I Want a New Duck” by Weird Al Yankovic – any number of Al’s songs could be here – but a lot have pop culture references and would go over her head. Not this one – all animal, all duck.
So if you’re looking for something new for the kids – check some of these out. you should be able to find most, if not all, on iTunes. Give your kids something different to listen to.