He might be merry, but he's driving me crazy

Wednesday~April 15, 2009

"So I took him by the left leg and flung him down the stairs."


THAT, my friends, is a line from a song on a CHILDREN'S CD. You know, Tunes for Toddlers or some such thing. The kind we listen to in the car. Which is quite often now that I've resolved to get out of the house and into the world more often. So I may have been losing my mind with us all cooped up too much before, but now I'm losing my mind hearing these ridiculous songs.

Why do you put the CD in, Heather? Are you not "in the driver's seat," so to speak?

I'll get to that in a moment.

So there are the usual suspects like "Rock-a-bye Baby," in which a baby drops to the ground from a TREE TOP. And "Three Blind Mice." What is up with that one? She cuts off their tails! With a carving knife! They're just innocent little rodents who can't even see and she cuts off their tails! Sure, they chased her, but I still think that punishment is a little harsh.

Miles currently loves "Old King Cole," which is fine since he's a merry old soul, but I'm really really sick of him. Because Miles says, "I want that merry old soul one again," over and over and over. I end up putting the merry old soul on repeat, and then Miles changes his mind and says, "Hey! Why are we listening to this again?" And then asks for the one about pussycats, wherein the lady with the high voice sings "pussycat, pussycat" so many times it makes me want to scream, "JUST CALL IT A CAT OR A KITTY, PLEEEAAAASE!!!"

OK. Back to why I even play the silly CDs. Well, it's because I have a tendency to just go with the flow, forgetting I'm going to end up regretting pushing play (you know, kind of like turning on Calliou.). But that's not all. I also like to focus on the road, and this type of children's music is currently all we have. I play it because it does keep the small people in the back seat totally enthralled, quiet, and not poking each other. (And possibly traumatized, thinking about flinging people down the stairs and cutting off body parts.)

Do you have any good children's music? Something that both you AND your kids enjoy? Do they make any? Without the really annoying high-pitched voices or weird lyrics? I need some suggestions over here. I thank you. And so does my brain.

56 clicked right here to comment:

Angie said...

Ahhh, yes, Goosey Goosey Gander is one of my favorites! :)

Are you ready for this? They Might Be Giants--Here Come The ABC's. My kids love it! And it's really not so bad. Of course, they do request it ad nauseam, so I'm sick if it, too.

I also do the Steve Green Hide 'em In Your Heart cd's. Pretty cheesy, but they are learning Bible every day.

Hope you find something that works!

Francesca said...

TUMBLE TOTS Cd. fantastic. has Wiggly woo and Shake your sillies and all those kind of songs. Maxi loves it and dances like a mad man to all the songs
if u want a CD i can post u one

Erin said...

I tend to like random songs, rather than entire albums.

I will put these on my sidebar right now too, but here are our three favorites right now:

789 (Seven ate Nine) by Barenaked Ladies (Why they wrote a kids' cd when their name is not appropriate for kids is beyond me)

Do You Believe in Monsters? by Mr. Ray

And their current favorite song:
The Yucky Song by The Giggles and Wiggles

a Tonggu Momma said...

Rock-A-Bye Baby, attachment parenting style...

Rock-a-by baby, on the treetop
when the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
and momma will catch you, cradle and all

Do you know how this song started? Early settlers were horrified that Native American women hung their papoose cradleboards from tree limbs while they worked.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, we also love the Philadelphia Chickens and Dog Train CDs. Hysterical. I Need A Nap, Pots and Pans and Don't Give Me The Broccoli are favorites at our house.

radioactive girl said...

Laurie Berkner! And Hi-5! I could listen to those all by myself. And sometimes I do. Let me know if you want to hear some, I can probably send you a track to listen to if I can figure out how to email music again...I did it once but can't remember how to do it!

Deb said...

okay, i MAY be able to help with this, but i will have to reach way back, into the dark recesses of my rusty, dusty old brain. there was one cd that both the kids and i really enjoyed... hmmm... sorry, drawing a blank. but i would often play showtunes for them because they are pretty benign and i like them, too.

what i CANNOT understand is what is with that kids bop or whatever it's called? i mean, just because kids sing these adult songs, do they think it makes "touch my body" sound any more appropriate for the youngins?

The Three 22nds said...

We listen to

-GT and the Halo Express
-Psalty (slightly annoying, but the kids like it)
-Go Fish "Party Like a Preschooler"
-Awana Sparks handbook CD (don't know why, but they love it)
-Veggie Tale Pirates Who Don't Do ANything soundtrack (Noah and I will listen to that even when the kids aren't around. It is the soundtrack though, not the silly song)
-Boyz in the Sink from Veggie Tales
-old VBS Cds from VBS past, present and future

I woiuld totally get rid of the one you have. Sounds terrible.

Elizabeth said...

I just bought two Praise Baby cds and I actually like them. The Go Fish ones are great and not too annoying-we all enjoy them. My big kids also love tobyMac. Just try it!

Debbie said...

What happened to Raffi? Is he not popular anymore? We loved him and he didn't make me want to take a knitting needle to my ears.
We also have several by a folk singer, John McCutcheon. I think you'd like him. He has adult and kid cds. We have 5 or 6. One great song is called "mail myself to you". See if you can find that online to give a listen to. (And it must be dated because who even mails things anymore).
Also, (see, this is right up my alley. You asked for advice!) check the Chinaberry website. Are you familiar with it? It is a treasure trove of books, CDs, story Cds for kids. Very high quality stuff - not as commercial.
If you want to know more, you know where to find me:)

Lara said...

Since my husband and I aren't much into listening to popular music, our kids don't get to listen, either. I had no idea that the Barenaked ladies or They might be giants (both groups I really like...even though I rarely listen) made kids albums! How funny!

My kids love listening to Broadway Soundtracks and PDQ Bach the most. We have a couple Disney CDs, but they're probably along the lines of what you don't like, and we don't really listen to them much anyway.

Good luck getting away from the Farmer's Wife and Old King Cole!

Sheryl said...

i have NO suggestions since my son listens to 'lil wayne.

but thanks so much for the good laugh!

Kim said...

Ralph Covert - Ralph's World. I love those songs. We also have a Jazz for kids cd and love it.
I agree with the They Might be Giants. I don't have the cd (wish i did) but my kids love to listen to them when it's right before one of the Little Einstien shows I have taped. Wow, does any of that make sense?
My kids also love listening to the Signing Time CD's, but I get sick of them relatively quickly.

Anonymous said...

I used to get CD's for the kids from different genres so I wouldn't go completely nuts. They make some cool reggae, creole, african, hawaiian, etc. If I changed it up, my head didn't explode.

Kimberly said...

Snacktime by BNL is my alltime fav.

HUGE sympathies.

Jen said...

We like Laurie Berkner! Her songs are fun to sing and car dance too. ;)

Jen said...

Oh also, Dan Zane. He is a good one too. There is also classical my kids love classical music or at least they are quiet when its on, they maybe sleeping but its still quiet.

LexiconLuvr said...

I think you and I have the same CD!!!! We listen to all those same songs. Although one of them talks about the monkey getting drunk and I'm a little wary of that kind of monkey. ;)
And I feel the same way about Calliou!!!!

Mylestones said...

I'm still laughing about the pussycat reference. And about Calliou. (My MIL gave my son a SINGING Calliou doll....the only thing more stupid and annoying than a Calliou doll is one that SINGS the Calliou SONG. ARRHHH!)
But I digress. Stuff my kids love (and I don't mind):
Dog Train
Philadelphia Chickens
Blue Moo
(all the Sandra Boynton productions)

We also like Jack Johnson's CD (from Curious George, can't remember the title), They Might Be Giants, and a few of the Veggie Tales (my favorite is VT Worship songs).

Muthering Heights said...

We listen to a lot of "Go Fish!" Their slogan is actually something about not driving parents bonkers...and it's completely accurate! I actually enjoy listening to their music with my girls!

Jenny said...

I'm a music snob, so this post is right up my alley! I have opinions, yes I do!
Go Fish isn't annoying the first 978 times you listen to it. After that, it does fall into that category. But not too bad.

They Might Be Giants' ABC album is fun.
John Lithgow's (YES, he sings kids' music!!) children's music is my absolute FAVORITE.
Jim Gill - ok, I guess I have two favorites - this music is really amazing. He's a musician AND has his graduate degree in childhood development. Absolutely the best get-the wiggles out music. I think you can only get it on Jimgill.com - I HEART Jim Gill!

I personally get annoyed immediately with anything Veggie Tales, as creative as they are.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Okay, just this week we checked out "Buzz Buzz" album by Laurie Berkner from the library, and my kids really like it. And I don't find it terribly annoying. They might be Giants has one called "No!" that's pretty fun, too, though a little strange, but in a kids love it kind of way. And there was a stage where they loved the Wiggles and I survived it. (The one with Fruit Salad, Hot Potato, etc.) And a really nice "bedtime" album is the one by Lisa Loeb. Good luck!

Cynthia said...

Oh girl, those lulabyes pale in comparison to the 'signature song' my Grandpa sang to us and I've passed on to my kids.

Johnny Burbeck's Machine

Oh Mr. Johnny Burbeck how could you be so mean?

I told you you'd be sorry for
inventing that machine

Now all the neighbors cats and dogs
Will never more be seen

For they'll be ground to sausages
In Johnny Burbeck's Machine!

The song goes on and basically Mr. Burbeck is offed by his own machine. Who comes up with this stuff for kids?

If you want some fun and classic silliness, try to find any of the Burl Ives stuff for kids- now there's some good stuff!

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Good point, some kid's songs are a little scary! lol! We love Laurie Berkner! What the heck, so do I. I love the songs and they are so catchy.

Kazzy said...

At work we listen to Steve James, who writes good stuff for kids. Also, some good old dance music that you already like is always a great idea. Good luck.

Melanie J said...

Yeah, I gotta go with the Philadelphia Chickens (Sandra Boynton). Sooo stinkin' funny. I never get tired of it.

sara said...

my kids always liked Mary Rice Hopkins. And I didn't mind listening to it! I know mine are grown, so you may be thinking "that is really old music", but I still use it in children's church and the kids love it!!

Cari said...

Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes--can't miss! You'll be singing at the top of your lungs and dancing in the driver's seat.

Jo said...

Right now we've got "Let's Play" by The Backyardigans in our car...it's not bad! We switch it up with Baby Einstein Travel Music.

Less Toil Traci said...

Toby Mac
Jana Alayra

...are our favorites.

Hilarious post. But I do have to say, even though the words are crazy, your kids are learning nursery rhymes and that's a great pre-reading skill...sorry had to put my teacher hat on!

wendy said...

My daughter could answer this post as she has lots of different CD's for her girls. But I don't know what they are. After awhile however, it does make you a little crazy. All I can say is ENjOY

happygeek said...

Around here it is pretty much all veggie ALL the time. My personal fave is Oh Veggie Where Art thou. Can't say it's not annoying, but listening to them scream at each other is MORE annoying. They also really like listening to the magic treehouse series. I honestly don't know how much they get out of it, (they are newly 3 and 4.5) but they really do love it. When they were smaller they LOVED the Twyla Paris lullaby CD. But then it got lost in a move. I was quite sad as it was very listenable.

MoziEsmé said...

I'm with you on needing some fresh music...

And I'm rather tired of Elmo, too.

I do like Baby Songs (http://www.babysongs.com/) - and Esme loves them, too. Though they might be a little young for Miles?

Blessed said...

There are some suggestions in the comments I'll have to check out!

Cedarmont Kids has a whole series of CDs with songs that don't drive me too crazy - we have Action Songs, Silly Songs and Songs of America - they don't drive me too crazy, yet.

I'm also a big fan of Broadway musicals so we listen to those soundtracks too and to Mommy's music... I only have one right now though and she loves to sing and clap and dance so it doesn't really matter what I have on, as long as I have some "mukey" on she's pretty happy. I'm sure all that will change in a couple of years when she's four and #2 is two...

Tawnya said...

Heather, we always buy the CD's from bible school. The kids love the music and it is pretty parent friendly too.

Katina said...

Kids' music drives me crazy. I bought the Muppet Show CD, and it's been great. The kids love it, and it's fun for me because it brings back old memories. Plus the songs aren't lame. Oh, and I love Billy Jonas. You might have to Google him and go to his website to get his CD, but it's worth it. He is hilarious, and the kids love him, and he doesn't drive me crazy at all. Good luck!

...sensible of shoe said...

We have one CD with a song that goes something like this:

John's Brown's baby had a polyp on his chest and they rubbed it with camphorated oil".

I prefer the Beach Boys greatest hits and Bob Marley.

Alicia W. said...

My kids love any of the Signing Time Songs, especially the ones about the Zoo, the Farm, and the Great Backyard episodes. And those all come together on the same CD. But my kids LOVE Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. It's not kids music, but it is kid friendly (though I can think of one of their songs I don't want my kids singing along to). We especially like their newest CD "Last Man Standing". If nothing else, though, you must find "The Corndog Song". My kids love it! They also really like the Curious George soundtrack (from the movie) that's all Jack Johnson. And "Here come the ABC's" and "789" that have been mentioned before are favorites around here, too.

Kelline said...

My twins love music. They even love my music. I like big band so I put Andrew Sisters on and we start jiving...I don't know how to spell, but they love it. They also like the oldies and twist and shout, things like that.

Kelline said...

My twins love music. They even love my music. I like big band so I put Andrew Sisters on and we start jiving...I don't know how to spell, but they love it. They also like the oldies and twist and shout, things like that.

pam said...

My kids have outgrown the preschool music, but I might even get caught listening to these:

1) Sweet Honey in the Rock: Still the Same Me
2) Shout to the Lord kids series (1, 2 and 3)
3) Buckwheat Zydeco: Choo Choo Boogaloo
4) Greg & Steve: Big Fun
5) Any Group VBS CD
6) Any Beach Boys CD
7) Lou Bega's Mambo #5 (not terribly appropriate, but the beat outweighs the lyrics, in my opinion)

Fun post!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Lori Berkner. I could totally have her name spelled wrong, though. Laurie. Laury. Somethin' like that. But for crying out loud, awesomest children's music!

Midwest Mommy said...

The one that gets me is the meaning of "Ring Around the Rosy" I just about wanted to barf when I found out what that one meant, lol.

K said...

I, too, got a great laugh from the Caillou reference. My little one loves Caillou and will wear you down until you turn on the video (it was free, I promise I did not buy it). We have a CD of my father telling stories from his childhood that, of course, I love to listen to (my father passed away almost five years ago), but otherwise, I'm in the same boat with you (although, my oldest does like DMB's Proudest Monkey).

Nana said...

I'm teaching my grandkids "What's Up Pussycat" by Tom Jones.

No, he doesn't say Cat or Kitty.

jen@odbt said...

I always thought Rock A Bye Baby was a strange song; nice tune but the words. We like Rocknocerous and Laurie Berkner.

Lee of MWOB said...

What's wrong with you Heather? I can NOT believe you are not into those warped children's songs!!! ;-)

We dig Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes. Check 'em.


Mike said...

My 6-year old and 3-year old still laugh out loud when they hear that song that goes: "Put the baby in the air, in the air ..."

http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.comTwitter: AboutParenting

Peanut said...

Why do you think we're so hooked on the Doodlebops?! No traumatic lyrics there... We also enjoy Cedermont Kids Sunday School Songs, Jessica Harper, and Laurie Berkner. We (and by we, I mean I) rarely tolerate Fred Penner or Raffi.

Mary said...

I loved Raffi and Rick and Judy as a kid. I still like them but that could be the nostalgia talking.

Other suggestions: Sound tracks to various musicals (Sound of Music, Fiddler on the roof etc), unless those drive you up the wall. Hillsong kids.

My mother used to play Handel's Messiah and other choral pieces because she liked it. I loved them as a young child - not so much as a pre-teen / teenager. Now I love them again though - go figure!

The biggest thing we listened to in the car were books on tape. We listened to Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy - I think only the first two tapes - over and over and over again. Especially loved the whale sound effects. There was also a fun one about a fox. We had some musical ones too - one about Bach, musical instruments and Peter Wolf.

Seems like a lot of good suggestions! Anyone have lullaby suggestions? I'm looking for some


MidnightCafe said...

YES! We have lots and lots of music! Most of these have already been mentioned:

* Beach Boys
* Philadelphia Chickens
* Dog Train
* Rhinoceros Tap
* Around the Campfire by Peter, Paul & Mary
* Sweet Honey in the Rock
* Go Fish
* The Sound of Music soundtrack
* Acapella
* Newsboys worship album
* Graceland by Paul SImon

We find that Mane likes most Reggae music (Bob Marley, UB40, etc...), and she likes much of the more upbeat music that we like. We play lots and lots of music in our house & our car. We've found that Mane is happy to listen to "grown-up" music a lot of the time. She likes anything with a catchy tune and a bouncy beat.

charrette said...

Okay, I'm too old and tired to have any more music ideas for you today (and I can see you have PLENTY here) but the thought of you screaming about the pussycat song just made my day! :)

Valerie said...

OK, my kids are 22 and 15, so I'm sure our musical taste is rather dated. But, they both loved Raffi and Steve Green's Hide 'Em In Your Heart Songs. So much, that they still remember them today. We were talking about the Fruits of the Spirit last week, and they launched into on of the Steve Green songs which named all of them. That lead to other kid church songs they had learned. And Raffi's Baby Beluga is still a favorite!

Kristen said...

I hate, hate, hate children's music. I won't even do it. The kids basically don't know it exists. We listen to:

musical soundtracks
Jackson 5
James Taylor
The Beatles
Worship Music (of the grown-up variety, Tim Hughes et al)
Jack Johnson
and basically whatever I feel like listening to that is rated G. :)

They have no clue what they are missing! Mwahahahaha!

Jessica said...

You are a better mother than me because my kids don't know that our car plays anything other than my music! I feel bad . . . but not that bad! ha!

We do listen to music at home and my favorite is They Might Be Giants!

Carrie said...

The Praise Baby Cd's are awesome- my little Z loves them & so do I - they are a good mix of praise songs & even some hymns - really nice & relaxing, for all ages of listeners. :)

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