Cross-post from Dad-O-Matic:
One day I was watching Michael Chiarello’s show on Food Network, a show about risotto con funghi, one of my favorites. He paused after toasting the arborio and said something like, “At this point I like to add some dry white wine to the rice, I find it gives it a nice crispness underneath. Now whatever you do, PLEASE don’t use that “cooking wine” you find at the grocery store for this. You don’t need anything expensive, but you should NEVER cook with something you wouldn’t gladly drink.”
It hit me like a stone. I tried it next time, and it added a whole new dimension to my risotto, and everything else I use wine in (which is a lot.)
What does this have to do with children’s music? Well, in my house (or at the very least in my car) the same principle applies. I do not play music for my kids that I wouldn’t listen to myself.
Why poison your child’s very soul with some saccharin nonsense sung by a frustrated night club dropout? For God’s sake, you’re trying to prepare that critter for a great life; a life rich with art, lyrical prose, genuine emotion. Raffi is swell and all, but compared to Stevie Wonder? Are you kidding me?
If you doubt this, spin Superstitious the next time you’re in the car with your kids. Give it 3 plays, and if your child doesn’t ask you for that song EVERY TIME they get in the car from then on, I’ll spring for the Laurie Berkner (the LEAST bad of the age challenged genre.)
Some other guaranteed midget-pleasers:
- Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
- Ice Cube – Bop Gun
- Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation Remix
- Kim Wilde – Kids in America
- Frank Sinatra – The Coffee Song
- The Proclaimers – (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles
- Bobby Darin – Splish Splash
- Alphaville – Big In Japan
- Bruce Springsteen – Cadillac Ranch (Live)
Full disclosure: Most of these are artists I love. But that’s the bonus here, Dadawan.
First time Dads think they need to change themselves, become suddenly interested in the elaborate, highly specialized Kid-O-Sphere that profit seeking enterprises have constructed around their children. Kids music, kids food, kids drinks, kids shows, kids everything. When we were kids we listened to, ate, drank and watched what our parents did, and in the process learned more about our parents and ourselves as people. We learned to love – maybe even later in life – some of the things they loved.
That’s a pretty special connection, I’d say. So which of the music you love can you share with your kids today?