We have listened to a lot of music this summer. Many weeks can go by here in our New York City apartment in which we don’t turn on the radio. But in the car on a road trip, you kinda have to.
Doc Hubby is a music snob. Me, not so much. When my parents took us on long road trips across the country we listened to Men at Work, taped from a live HBO special and played loudly on a boom box via cassette. Or John Denver. Or Johnny Cash. “The Devil Came Down to Georgia,” “The Gambler,” “Sounds of Silence.” Lots of these songs have pretty grown-up themes. I memorized every word because I have a freakish ability to memorize song lyrics. I don’t think I realized that when John Denver was sitting around the campfire and singing that everyone was high, that he didn’t just mean in elevation.
We have a now five year old. She loves to sing. She loves to sing loud. She does that thing of inventing words that fit into the rhythms and general sound that she hears on the radio. But then again sometimes she actually gets the lyrics right. And when she started dancing in her room belting out “Call Me Maybe” I kind of thought…maybe we need to take a step back.
I don’t think Cate understands exactly what she’s singing. But there’s a mature nature to these songs on the radio now, and a portraying of girls, particularly young girls, in a certain way, that I’m not so sure I can get behind. I’m not a puritan about this. It’s just…well, she’s only five.
Since I created Babies Gotta Have It, I have been introduced to so much wonderful kids music by amazing independent Kids Bands. Maybe we need to go back to them.
I just received a new CD for kids from the fantastic singer/songwriter Melissa Green called “Sing Loud!“. We played it today again while we made tutus for Cate’s fairy birthday party. The songs are upbeat, rock and roll, catchy…all the elements of today’s top 40 songs. But I don’t have to subtly change the lyrics as we sing along. Melissa Green covers the pop hit “We Got the Beat” by the Go-Gos (with backup vocals by Brooke Shields no less) and the classic “Free to Be You and Me.” Awesome. Totally appropriate. Bean loves “4 Nickels and a Dime” and “The Playdate.” “The Playdate” is about asking a cool boy over to play. No ripped-jeans-skin was showing. I’m singing along too and I’m not cringing at the lyrics. I’m feeling good about the content and the musical quality.
The title track of Melissa Green’s CD is “Sing Loud.” The first lyrics are “Stand Up. Sing Loud. Be Proud. Stand Up for Love.” I think we should encourage our children to sing loud. And stand up and be proud and stand up for love. I want my daughter to sing and dance and wiggle and twist and still be a little girl. Not a woman. Or a teenager. Or even a tween. A little girl.
I see your “Call Me Maybe” and I raise you “Sing Loud.” Watch the video. Stand up for love.
Many thanks to Melissa Green for the opportunity to review her new CD!