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March 31, 2005


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I'm with you, MD. Since my kids are both young, I feel like the only music I listen to these days is kiddie music. The funny thing is when you're working at your desk during the day and all of sudden you find yourself humming a Wiggles song. This will definitely happen to you. But it's like you said. As the involved parents that we are, we're no longer as concerned with our own needs. We just want to please our kids. So for their happiness, I'll gladly sing Wiggles songs all day long.

cam c.

If you're looking for something both you and the little one can enjoy, Greg over at Daddytypes did a review of They Might Be Giants "Here Come The ABCs"... http://daddytypes.com/archive/2005/02/14/here_come_the_abcs_from_they_might_be_giants.html

Very worthwhile, although probably more suited to 4-5 year olds in terms of content... still, my little monkey (11 weeks) seems to enjoy it.

The new Moby is pretty good, although my first impression upon hearing it is "So he's aiming to dominate the planetarium background music market now?" :) I go way back with Moby music though, and I know that even if some of his stuff isn't immediately enjoyable, I'll come back to it in a month or two and love it...


lou barlow "emoh"
arcade fire "funeral"
m. ward "transfiguration of vincent" (he does a sublime cover of bowie's let's dance)
madvillian "madvilliany"
miles davis box set "seven steps to heaven"


Rufus Wainright...and Brahms 4th Symphony. I swear I could die happy if I were listening to Brahms 4th. It's my ultimate hook.


As a fellow child of the 80's, I'm going to throw one out for you. New Order's new album is fantastic. Check it out. If you liked 'em before, I think you'll really enjoy this album (whoops, I mean CD. Do kids even know what an album is anymore?)


I was blown away when one day I was watching tv with my little girl and heard They Might Be Giants singing the Higgly Town song. WTF? I still fondly think about They Might Be Giants and my Punk rock teen years. It was further proof that I am getting older...but I still know how to put a little bird house in my soul.

I am also one of those people who is filled with passion about music. I highly suggest Jack Johnson and non radio Dave Matthews Band (my own personal favorites...rush out right now and find the song Two Step! Do it man, you will be hooked!) Some oldie but goodies are always Tori Amos, and like you said The Cure (Robert Smith once covered my walls). Need a mood lifter? Pop in some REM (pre Monster years dude...take it all the way back to Fables of the reconstrution).

If you feel like power sex I suggest some Nine Inch nails. If you wanna dance with your baby in the living room have a listen to Otis Reddings best of CD. And for a wonderful night with wine and relaxation check out a very jazzy Jamie Cullum.

Have fun.


There is NO REASON to give up grown-up music just because you have a baby. When my daughter was born, her dad was an art director at CBS Records. She was exposed to every kind of music imaginable and now, at 19, has the most eclectic musical tastes of any kid her age that I know. (she hung out with Sting at 3 years old, too, but they didn't smoke a joint together. ;) )

When my son came along 10 years later, he was singing to Dave Matthews at 18 months old. We'd play music every night and dance. By age 5, his favorite singer was Tom Waits (and it still is).

Oh sure, we listened to Raffi too ('cause we liked him), but the majority of the time the kids were discovering new music with us.

My suggestion for today: Rachael Yamagata.

Queen of Ass

As a weee little girl, I remember sitting on the piano bench with my mother while she played and sang, "You are my sunshine" to me. I don't even know if that song is still sung by anybody on the face of the planet, but I loved it.


I sing You are My Sunshine to my daughter all the time :-)

Dan Zanes does wonderful kids music. He does a duet of Waltzing Matilda with Debbie Harry on one album. I listen to his stuff even when my Peanut is asleep.


I recommend the Philadelphia Chickens soundtrack for kids' music that's pretty easy on the adult ears. :-)


I'll expand this thought on my own site. But here goes...(Metro, this will be the 2nd time you've inspired to get busy and write down some of the thoughts bouncing around in my head)

Music has really been an issue for me as a new father.

On the one hand, I have a soundtrack of my life that stretches from Led Zeplin to Miles Davis to Lionel Richie (oh, please forgive me Gods of Music). I want Liberty to have that same connection with time and space that has become so important to me. I also want to share music with her. I don’t mean share like “Hey, listen to Tragically Hip and tell me what ya think”. I mean share like sitting in a room not saying a word, watching the backyard grow dark while listening to Alison Krauss (or whatever Lib may like at the time) While for me music may have been an escape, a (mostly) harmless form of self-medication, it doesn't have to be that to my daughter. I believe if I'm doing my job as a father correctly she won't need a place to go lose herself like I did. Music will just be about the groove.

On the other hand, I want to give Lib every chance in the world grow and develop a strong sense of morality and positive sense of self. Popular music can be a hindrance to that ideal. It is filled with references to sex, drugs, violence and a whole host of negative images and feelings. (I’m not just talking about Eminem, read some DMB lyrics sometime) One day, she'll find music to meet her own needs, her own likes. I don't kid myself to believe that she won't. In fact, I DON"T WANT her to miss the joy and release music can provide. I want her to embrace it, to feel it. Right now those needs are met by pulling down half of my 1500 CD collection and playing with the cases. She is literally surrounded by music. Won't be long til she wants to know what a Pretty Hate Machine is and why she needs one. How on earth am I going to explain what that devil was doing in the back of my car? But, while I am the MAJOR influence in her life I want to keep that negativity as far from her as possible. It will come, and my job is to prepare her for it. But I don't have to get her wasted to know that abusing alcohol is bad. If there is even the remotest chance that something is harmful, shouldn't we keep it out of our children's path for as long as possible?

Thus my quandary. What to expose to her and when... How to share something that is so important to me and yet be able to explain the contradictions it presents.

I'm sure there are some very strong opinions in here about this. I would also wager that a fair number of people think I'm nuts and am impeding Liberty's development by keeping her from all this. But, these are real questions, real concerns, real fears. I would guess at some level we are very similar in this way. We all have the same questions that surface in different ways.

I'm just doing my best to not fuck this up. I will never do anything as important as raising my daughter. Please, don't let me fuck it up...


For kids music that doesn't make you want to blow your brains out - check out Ralph's World. You'll find yourself memorizing all the songs after you play it a couple of times. I hate to admit this but I've been caught listening to it even when dd isn't in the car with me.


I've asked the question before on my blog, but... is it a bad thing if my daughter doesn't know any Barney songs (except the "Clean Up" one and you know what? It actually comes in handy) but she knows the entire No Doubt catalogue? She can even do Gwen's "had it up to here" gesture.

Must draw the line soon, however. Three year olds singing "I ain't no hollaback girl" in the grocery store get strange looks.


As I am reading this my son, three years old is listening to the Beastie Boys. He likes to sing, "I like my sugar with coffee and cream."

Other bands he likes: Devo, The Ramones, The Beach Boys, The Clash, They Might Be Giants, B-52's. If I try to play anything too mellow, my little punk rocker lets me know by telling me, "That's too slow, Eemie!" He likes to rock out.


I'm a background music person, always have been I think. However, that background...the soundtrack...is so very important. It sets the mood, ya know.

Did I freak out about what to expose my kids to and when? Yeah. But that still didn't stop my oldest from going through a GANGSTA-rap stage (yes, she's horrified...NOW!) Can I sing the correct lyrics to kid-songs? Rarely. Do I sing anyway? Yes, badly and loudly and up to a certain age my kids love that.

That certain age has varied. My oldest (and most musically-obsessed @ 14yrs old) was telling me "DON'T SING Mommy!" at less than 18 months old. She has a very discerning ear, you see. My son? He still thinks I'm hysterical as I sing bluegrass to the baby while we rock the night away.

I really don't know what my point is. Except to say that I feel it, Metro. I feel it.

Recent faves here in the TinyHouse:
The Killers, fer sher. Old school Jimmy Eat World (although I dig the newest album too). I'm putting a ton of milage on my Garden State soundtrack cd. Oh and Modest Mouse. The White Stripes make most of us smile, while anything "classic" will have us going as well: The Cure, The Smiths, shit, I'd even take a Duran Duran-fest at this point.

Here's another cool thing...when your "glory days" music ends up being "retro-cool." I timed the beginning of my child-bearing years *perfectly* for this, as my kids now think the 80's new-wave/punk/alternative/college sound is the bomb. After all...they just discovered it (just like we were the first to get into The Beatles, The Doors and The Who.)


Just hope your Peanut won't evince a taste for the Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera/Lindsay Lohan/Hilary Duff, etc. crew. Basically, anyone who has had anything to do with Disney. As for suggestions for yourself, I'm digging groups like Snow Patrol and Keane. Coldplay is good, too and I'm really anticipating their new album this June and hoping that marriage to Gwyneth did not make Chris Martin lose his talent.


As a corollary:
I was always interested in music as a child; I remember listening to music with my dad in the car (he is a big Stevie Ray Vaughan fan, which rubbed off on me). But not only that, my parents gave me the opportunity to create music for myself. They never forced me into it, but they allowed me to take music lessons from an early age. When I was 11, I took up playing the drums. Forever will I be indebted to my parents for putting up with me during the time I was learning!

But in all honesty, the opportunity to create music has been one of the best gifts ever given to me. It's allowed me a method of expression I would otherwise be without. When I left Seattle for college here in New York, I had to leave my beloved drums behind, so I took up playing the guitar, which keeps my creative side happy.

Might be something to keep in mind.


I gotta put in a plug for my brother's band, Hypatia Lake. You can download a couple of their songs in MP3 format on their record label's website, here:


Check it out and let me know what you think. Their music is amazing.


I just wanted to add that my husband and I can't get enough of veggietales songs. It's music for kids yes, but you will find yourself grooving to "Where is my hairbrush, and "I love my lips" check out the ultimate silly songs CD or DVD. Or get a sample of these songs at http://www.ultimateveggie.com/silly/silly05.html
you won't be disapointed. Larry the cucumber really knows how to rock.


MD - Check out the latest from - The Dan Band - you might recall them as the wedding band in the movie "Old School". They sang - Total Eclipse of the Heart.

....and I see the fucking look in your eyes...turn around....



My daughter(2)and I both love to dance so she listens to pretty much everything I listen to, we especially enjoy reggae music which is a big part of our roots and culture. Like you MD I don't really remember any kids song but I bought a few CD's from Fisher Price that we both enjoy.


My eldest son loves this compilation, especially the punky version of The Sound of Silence:
Luckily he's tending towards indy rock which I can stand listening to. I loathe kiddy stuff but I do love the more traditional songs that they learn at kindergarten, even the religious stuff. Living in Germany there's a great folk song tradition. It's like the Grimm Brothers set to music.


No! by TMBG is quite good. I got it for Christmas (3 months pre-baby) and memorized it within the week. I've listened to TMBG for years now. Their Dial-A-Song 2-disc set is quite good as well. I haven't had the chance to pick-up the ABC album, but the samples I've heard sound good. Personally, I don't see why their other albums aren't kid-friendly. (Shoehorn with teeth? Sounds good for kids...)

I totally agree with a previous comment that you don't have to give up adult music. The Monkey got her first Ska (Let's Go Bowling!) last night at 3 a.m. during a feeding to help keep everyone awake. I foresee a lot more of that.

On the baby music side, we also got a great Latin Lullaby album. It's part of the Ellipsis Art Lullaby series and it's catchy. I woke up the other morning humming one already. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00000AEPQ/ref=m_art_li_8/102-2735358-5160913?v=glance&s=music)


One of the singular pleasures of life with Robert is cranking up "We Are The 80s" on VH1 Classic. I get to re-live my ridiculous adolescence and watch a three-year-old rock out to "Smokin' in the Boys' Room."


I feel you on the music front. Jack Johnson is my suggestion for music that's kid and adult friendly - maybe. Even if you're not a fan personally, it's great music to put kids to sleep to. When my daughter was born two years ago, Jack Johnson always calmed her down...even when it was me singing it. Rachel Yamagata also good for kids/adults.


John Mayer handles the dual role of keeping us all musically satisfied, as do The Beatles. Completely different stylistically, but the new Marillion CD, Marbles, is well worth a listen. Excellent lyrics, and a bit more modern sound than their usual stuff. Give it a spin and you'll see where Coldplay, Radiohead and others were influenced by this band. They also utilize some classic children's melodies within their sound, so it's good for The Sweetness, too.


though the radio show is based in the tri-state area, one show that should be required listening is "greasy kids stuff" on wfmu. but regardless of where you are in meat space, you can find it at www.wfmu.org/gks in cyberspace. the program airs saturday at 10 and all the shows are archived. it is a treasure and thoroughly enjoyable.


Hi Metro. NYC was so fun and I loved being there. You have to take Peanut to adopt a baby at FAO in a couple years. That was so much fun. Thanks for thinking about NYC ideas, I appreciate it. When you are ready to be a tourist in your own town, let me know and I will send you the list of things I did with my little girl!

We are having a contest at our site: best parenting advice ever. We are getting some good ideas in, but need lots more. And hey, we all benefit, right? So, please come visit and let us know the best advice you have received to date. Send your friends! Thanks! Cooper


Weird. I was joking with a friend of mine last week and I asked him why he didn't read more of my blog, and he said it was because I don't write nearly enough about ROCK MUSIC. Which is true - and then you go and write this entry.

Anyway, I'm really into the Arcade Fire CD - Funeral (like everyone else I suppose) and I've rediscovered The Cars, which is just weird. Plus I have to admit that Kelly Clarkson rock song is infectious (Since U Been Gone). Check out the accoustic version from Ted Leo that's been floating around the internet. A well crafted song is a well crafted song.


My 2 yr olds favorite music is a little P-Funk. Yes, that girl will shake her butt all around the room and get funky with it. Not only is it hilarious to watch, but it keeps her quite entertained for awhile.

We have raised her listening to everything. My hubby, the music enthusiast and sound engineer, has been playing ska, punk, rock, emo, rap, R&B, funk, jazz, classical, etc... for her since she was born. He can't wait until she is old enough to take to live shows. We try to hit local outdoor festivals with bands playing, so we don't have to try and take her into loud, smokey bars to see some live music.

Your kid will love anything you sing to them. I have been making up songs for over 2 years now, and I am getting pretty good at it. My hubby has even joked around that if I write down some of these lyrics, he will write the music to them, and we can record this stuff!!


Hi MD!

I forgot to tell you that my husband actually plays on the Ralph's World CDs (he's Sammy the Dog, among others). He's a jazzer born and bred and he won't play any tinned or synthed music for Charlie.

He's okay with Ralph. All the music is actual live music and most of the songs were originally written as spoofed adult songs. If your kid likes kid's music, Ralph and TMBG's No! are the best bets out there, I think.


You gotta get Rachael Yamagata and the new Bright Eyes' Wide Awake Album. Two gems.

Leila Winters

Hee hee...it's so funny for me to hear people talk about There Might Be Giants for KIDS...admittedly, I grew up listening to them, but their Flood album, not their kiddier stuff. :P

For wonderful, cheesy and laugh-worthy kids music, Marlo Thomas and Friends: "Free to be You and Me." It's wonderful in diversity and I think had I not grown up listening to it, I might not have understood different gender dynamics at such a young age. "William's Doll," "Dudley Pippin," "Girl Land," and "It's All Right to Cry" were integral to my daily life.

But Peanut'll love anything you'll sing to her. ^_^

Dude...you had some awesome music in your personal soundtrack...my favorite moments include times when my brother puts in a CD and I'll swear I've never heard the music before, but will suddenly start singing along as though I had soaked it all up during osmosis as a baby. It's in the blood, for sure. Hope Peanut does the same thing. :P


I can't believe you smoked with sting. Metro, you're SO cool!!!

Ann D

My seven year old has loved Sarah Harmer for years -- and she's one of my favorite artists. See http://www.sarahharmer.com for more about her.

If you like easy-listening jazz with no lyrics (great background music if you have young children talking all day long!), I highly recommend Pat Metheny's latest -- This Way Up.

Ann D

My seven-year-old has loved Sarah Harmer since he was very young. (See http://www.sarahharmer.com)

I also recommend Pat Metheny's latest -- This Way Up -- if you want some lyric-free jazz that can provide a nice relaxing backdrop to kid noise. :-)


today i played Bjork for my daughter, and she didn't like it. What a tragedy!

Girl in the Locker Room

It doesn't matter what the heck you sing. When I was a little kid, my dad (not my mom) used to sing to me before bed. He couldn't really hold a tune and he knew almost no songs at all..so he sang me, get this, his college alma mater "Sturdy sons of City College..." and some Army songs he brought back from WWII. I just loved that he sang these things for me and they are among my very very best memories of my father.


Metro dad, where hast thou gone?

Also, may I recommend for your (and peanut's) listening pleasure "The best of Jimmy Reed", "The best of Taj Mahal", and "How Blue Can you Get" by BB King. Because everyone should have a little blues at their disposal.


My .02 would be to not try and mold your peanut into one of those tragically hip NYC toddlers that you see around all the time. The ones that the parents wear like an accessory - "see my kid has cool taste in music like me."

The fact is she's only going to be a kid once. Enjoy the music that comes along with it. It's magical.

There will be nothing more fun than dancing around the living room to a top-of-her-lungs redition of Zip-A-Doo-Da or seeing the wonder and delight in her eyes the first time she gets the finger part right on Itsy Bitsy Spider. It's priceless and something you'll never forget.

Don't rob yourself or her of the delight of childrens music.


Metrodad where are you? I need a metro blog fix!!


Ditto... Metrodad??? Hello???? Bueller???? Anyone????


are you still there?!?!


Your Blog is really great!!!

Dancing With Tears In My Eyes



I have also grown up in the 80's, although my music interests include just about everything, I did favor the "big hair bands". The Crue, Bon Jovi, all the men that looked like women. LOL.
There was a time when I knew almost anything under the sun. But having kids, I have lost touch with music, at least the way it used to be. I have my oldest child that likes pretty much anything, then for some reason, my 2nd son isn't really too much into the music. Anything I sang to him he would cry at the top of his lungs. Now mind you, I know I'm not musically inclined, but I'm not THAT HORRIBLE. My firstborn loved the singing. Anyhow, I have learned that the kids music is actually not that bad, and I could dance like a fool anyhow! Just know that no matter what you sing to your child, they will love it because its you! (unless of course, you have a child like mine that well, just doesn't really care about music). When your child gets old enough, THEY can teach YOU the correct words to the songs! I wish you the best!!!

Joseph Ratzinger

I prefer classical music.


Listing to KEXP in Seattle they play great new bands
Buffalo Daughter
surf coasters
TV on the Radio
Clem Snide
Wanda Jackson
Lyrics Born
bambi molesters
anthony and the johnsons...I am the bird
Queens if the Stong Age
Brazilian Girls
M.I.A: "Bucky Done Gun"


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Lily Flower

I can understand how you feel. Sometimes you need to share a moment with your daughter. Try giving her a bouquet of lily flowers.

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