Friday, March 25, 2011

Kid Music


because every post needs a picture

When the 3 year old was a baby we had this very involved bedtime routine, which included (but was not limited to) a song while we bounced her to sleep.  We decided that this bedtime song should be, I Am A Child of God.  Obviously.  I mean, we're Mormon, she's a baby, and since she can't tell us what she would prefer to listen to a popular primary song was the natural choice.  Except...she didn't seem to like it very much.  She would sort of whine and fuss when we played it.  Then one day I played some other music for her--secular music--and she seemed to really dig it.  The song she really seemed to like most of all was, and I'm not kidding here, Leather and Lace by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.  You may be thinking, I've never heard of that song before in which case I'd tell you, Yes you have.  Think hard.  Think back to the early 80's driving around with your mom, without any sort of car seat or seat belt naturally, and she starts singing along to the cheesiest, most melodramatic song that is the musical equivalent of a black velvet still life painting featuring a wine glass, with a string of pearls and a single red rose.  It's that song.  And if you still don't know what I'm talking about click here.  Now don't get me wrong, I love this song...but it is what it is.  And somehow this became Sassy Pants bedtime song.  When this song came on she just nuzzled right into your chest ready to be rocked (or bounced) to sleep.  I think the song, especially the beginning has a lullaby quality to it...whatever it was, she loved it.  

This all happened when she was about 6-7 months old.  After we switched her bedtime song she didn't hear I am a child of God for a long time.  Then later on down the road whenever we tried to play I am a child of God she would start to cry.  At first we thought it was just a strange coincidence, but then we realized no it was the song....she really didn't like that song.  So we just stopped playing it.  Fast forward several months and she's in nursery.  (Kids go to nursery when they're 18 months old, just to give you an idea of how old she was).  One day when I went to go pick her up one of her nursery leaders asks me, So what's her deal with I am a child of God?  I couldn't believe it!  Apparently she burst into tears every time they played that song in nursery.  I told them the history of it being her bedtime song, but that we seriously stopped playing it at bedtime when she was about 6 months old.  The nursery leaders thought it was pretty hilarious and would occasionally show off this little party trick to nursery visitors... admittedly it was pretty funny.  So I guess we emotionally scarred her with a church song.  Luckily she seems to have out grown it and now she has no problem hearing or singing I am a child of God.  

I don't really have a point, other than to say I love seeing what my babies end up liking in terms of music.  Songs they're attracted to and songs they don't like.  And the music loving inner rebel in me sorta loves that my daughter has a preference for regular music as opposed to church-y songs or even most kid songs.  Some of her favorite bands are the Fleet Foxes, Mates of State and Band of Horses.  For the most part we don't really listen to kid music and I like it that way.  So what is Lamp's favorite song?  Cherry, Cherry by Neil Diamond.  It fits her.  Fun and bouncy, old school but classic at the same time.  Sometimes when she's fussy and bored, all I have to do is turn on Cherry, Cherry and she gets the biggest smile on her face and she knows it's dance party time.  Personally I think some music is just too mature for an 8 month old, but I don't think anyone is too young or too old for a little Neil Diamond.   

What are your kids favorite songs?  Do you try to steer them in a specific direction?  What about 'kid' music-- do you avoid it or is it an inevitable part of the musical catalog?   



19 comments:

  1. We've been singing "garden grove" and "Santeria" to piper since she was in the nicu. Weird right?

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  2. Haha...I love Sublime. That's funny...but good songs.

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  3. Josie had the love affair with "wagon wheel" by old crow medicine show from the time she was an infant. She also loves michael franti and most reggae. She has never been a fan of kiddie-music either (thank goodness) but we all LOVE children's folk singer elizabeth mitchell. She has definitely provided the soundtrack for the last four years and "los pollitos" and her version of "you are my sunshine" were our two lullaby songs. If you dobt have any of her cds, start with "you are my little bird." Great cover of allman bros "blue sky" on acoustic dreamland putamayo cd too btw.

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  4. There is some painful kid music out there. We really like Elizabeth Mitchell too, and recently we checked out a CD from the library to listen to in the car that had broadway tunes for kids (not re-recorded for kids, but kid friendly ones like "Tomorrow" from Annie) which the little ones liked a lot.

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  5. Such a funny story about sparkle pants! My kids first listened to lots of Jack Johnson and Dido. They really LOVE "Ole" by the Bouncing Souls. Presley likes the entire Beetle Juice sound track and Noah prefers Blur "song 2." I'm getting Charlie into my cleaning the house music with She and Him. The Curious George soundtrack was the most kid-like stuff I could handle. It's fun to see what everyone else listens to. great post.

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  6. When Little Miss C was 6 months old, her favorite song was More Than Us by Travis. She also really liked Yellow by Coldplay and Mayfly by Belle and Sebastian. As she's grown, she listens to pretty much anything, though the only 'kid' music we allow in the house is They Might Be Giants.

    E's favorite songs are She Loves You {Beatles}, Stop That Train {Ocean 11}, and I Am a Paleontologist {TMBG}.

    Great post! That story about I Am a Child of God is going to be GREAT for her wedding video someday...

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  7. Oh man, I was in nursery when that happened. Really funny.

    I love Leather and Lace, I'll admit it. Landslide, too. Can't beat the cheese sometimes.

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  8. Audrey falls asleep to Dave Matthew's #34 on repeat. Caitlin's was "I am a Child of God."

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  9. Hi! Found your blog awhile back...this is my first time commenting. My baby loves Fleet Foxes too! And Arcade Fire and Andrew Bird, primarily. :) When she's with my husband it's Radiohead and Damien Rice. We don't really DO kids music. But I do, however, sing her some primary songs before bedtime and she doesn't seem to mind too much. :) I enjoy reading your blog!

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  10. So cute and funny! We are all about the vintage lullabies in our house. We sing all the same little songs that our parents and beloved grandparents sang to us. It's hopefully a special memory and tradition. Unfortunately my daughter's uncle got her hooked on dance party and rap when she was little. Still her favorite music to bust a move to but she loves anything we can turn up loud :).

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  11. I'm also not a fan of kids music. If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for them. Miciah likes mellower music (so I don't know what her favorite song is, cause I don't like mellower music). Elijah loves the rock and dance beats. Hurray! Elijah's favorite songs are Holding Out for a Hero and Crystal Castles' Crimewave. Tank just likes music. He tells me that every other song is his "favorite."

    Oh, and I'd never heard that Leather and Lace song before. Not that I remember anyway.

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  12. Elijah used to hate being in the car and the only way we could get him to calm down was by playing the Ellipse album by Imogen Heap. As soon as track #1, First Train, came on he would hush right up. This has worked like a charm since we figured it out. I even wrote Imogen Heap a thank you email because her songs made our car rides so much more pleasant for more reasons than one!!

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  13. Anonymous5:44 PM

    I love your blog but have never posted before - if you haven't listened to Laurie Berkner for kids, you are missing out. My 4 and 6 year old LOVE her and sing along every time we are in the car. Check her out on youtube if you haven't heard of her.

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  14. We do Sweet Caroline alot because that is Hendley's middle name...BUT I have been known to CRANK UP some hip hop in the car (and roll down the windows in January) when my kids look like they are about to go fall sleep. Anything to save a nice nap at home, you know.

    Even though it is for a good cause, it is still a little embarrassing to be jamming out to hip hop in the carpool line at the church preschool.

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  15. I listen (or used to) to a lot of classical and Yanni. I recently, last few months, dug out my Bach and Yanni and put them in the car. My 4 year old LOVES IT. She tells me the second I turn the stereo on, "mom, I love this". It's soothing and relaxing. I think it's a nice send off for both my kids when I"m dropping them off at school.
    Oh and at Christmas time, The Nutcracker is on constantly, the CD and even the DVD. I've always had a thing for classical music, since I was little.

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  16. my 8 month old seems to enjoy it when i sing the chorus of beyonce's bootylicious. totally horrible.

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  17. We used to sing the Imperial March from Star Wars to Kal at night, by request. Then he sometimes prefers the Gorillaz. I love to see what they choose as well.

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  18. Funny Story!
    for relax/bed time a few things work wonders: 1) Iron & Wine. I made him listen to it in Utero and it calms him down still and keeps him sleeping. 2)Moody Blues 3)Leonard Coen 4) Ray Lamontagne.
    Play time: 1) * Only "Kid" music i find tolerable* Do Fun Stuff Vol.1 http://www.dofunstuff.net/ Love this album 2) Beatles 3) Arcade Fire 4) Pete Seger and a bunch of other up beat dynamic songs.
    For bed time though i still sing/hum Silent Night multiple times in a row EVERY night. It's just habit.

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  19. My two year old loves 'I Gotta Feeling', which she referred to as her "goodnight song" for weeks before we knew what it was. And my four year old loves Uprising by Muse. Go figure. I try to play the Disney channel on Pandora to even it out:).

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