My wife and I are not the type of parents who enjoy listening to syrupy music recorded for kids. We can’t stand the usual stuff from Barney, Disney or Sesame Street. So we figured if the kids don’t hear it, they won’t know what they’re missing. On the other hand, listening to Los Lobos cover Disney’s “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” can make a parent appreciate quality family music.
Due to our resistance to typical children’s music, if you ask our 6-year-old son about his favorite band, he most likely will start talking about The Clash. He loves the “London Calling” album and he’ll often be heard mangling the lyrics to “Spanish Bombs.” He’s a discerning music fan — and maybe a budding anarchist. But at least we share musical tastes. (Let’s not talk about the Jonas Brothers, however.)
As we drive around Chicago, we can listen to the HD2 channel (Channel X) from WXRT-93.1 FM and everyone will be quite pleased. But when we take road trips, we need CDs. So here’s a list of the Dad-approved CDs that make the cut in our family car. (If you have suggestions for other CDs, please comment below).
Wee Hairy Beasties. Both albums from this Chicago-based super-group are in heavy rotation. Fun, witty songs that never get old.
Ziggy Marley. Did you know Ziggy Marley performed the theme song to the PBS show “Arthur?” Me neither. Marley’s “Family Time” CD is probably our favorite right now, a Grammy-winning disc filled with memorable songs and a great message. If you buy one CD from this list, you won’t go wrong with this one.
The Bottle Let Me Down is a compilation from Chicago’s Bloodshot Records. This compilation of rockabilly music launched bands such as Wee Hairy Beasties. Good entertainment.
Beyond The Clash, we have also found 80′s music to be fun for kids. Choices here include Big Audio Dynamite (a Clash sibling), The Police and Michael Jackson (the boy loved the very fine “This Is It” movie). Current bands we like to play include Spoon, The New Pornographers (the music is clean, don’t be fooled by the name) and The Shins.
Like reading and writing, we feel it is our duty to provide appreciation for good music. And it helps our sanity. Do you have any music favorites for kids to recommend?