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Musical Suggestions for Children

Your Baby Today: New Baby, New Mom: Baby Style
By David Menconi for Your Baby Today

So let's say purple dinosaur burnout is in full effect. You've already written out of your will the person who gave your kids a copy of "Barney's Favorites," and you're going to scream if you have to hear that I-Love-You song one more time.

What to do? Short of hiding Barney in the attic, a better strategy is distraction. Start exposing your young 'uns to adult music you can stand to listen to yourself, maybe via mixtapes, and get them started on the notion that there's a wider musical universe out there beyond what they hear on "Teletubbies" or "Sesame Street."

Eventually, of course, the music your children listen to will drive you crazy in entirely different ways. But until they discover Limp Bizkit, there's room for agreeable compromise in the form of a band like the B-52's. "Rock Lobster" and "Planet Claire," both available on the B-52's "Time Capsule" Best-of (Reprise Records, 1998), exude a cartoonish sci-fi vibe that's perfect for kids, knowingly cheesy for parents. Speaking of cartoonish, the Squirrel Nut Zippers play music that sounds like it should be a soundtrack for one of those old black-and-white cartoons where all the toys in a store come to life late at night. "Hot" (Mammoth Records, 1996) hits a good balance between uptempo jump tunes for the mornings, and quieter ballads for evening.

It's never too early to start delving into musical history. To that end, try the Coasters' "Very Best" (Rhino Records, 1994) and Cab Calloway's "Are You Hep to the Jive?" (Columbia Records, 1994). The Coasters were the quirkiest of the 1950s R&B vocal groups, specializing in goofy novelties like "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown." A giant of the '30s big-band era, Calloway was the original rapper. "Minnie the Moocher," "Everybody Eats When They Come to My House," and his other hits remain drolly hilarious.. Finally, there's jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, a one-mouth orchestra who produces some of the most astonishing a capella sounds you've ever heard. "Simple Pleasures" (EMI Records, 1988) does include his dippy signature hit "Don't Worry Be Happy," but also a genuinely amazing how'd-he-do-that cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" that has to be heard to be believed.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.
© Studio One Networks

Categories: Babies, Toddlers, Children, Family,

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