You know something I really, really love about having kids?  Children's music.  You know, the soprano British woman.   The choir of 30 kids singing gaily screaming nursery rhymes.  9-year-olds singing bad Ricky Martin covers.  Yep, I can't get enough. GAG.

Since Madeline was a baby, we've been slowly discovering and collecting children's music that doesn't make us want to cut our ears off with a pair of safety scissors. (Safety-scissor-song Exhibit A.  Warning:  Be sure to remove all sharp objects from within arms reach before clicking the link!)

In order to maintain SOME of our pre-parenting sanity, we've "encouraged" Madeline to listen to music that we find more tolerable.  Some of the songs Madeline has learned to love under our iron fist, I mean healthy parental influence are:

  1. "Little Lies" by Dave Barnes
  2. "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" by Paul Simon
  3. "Never Say Never" by The Fray  (In fact, Madeline could sing the first verse and chorus of this one before she turned three.)
  4. "Lay Em Down" by NEEDTOBREATHE
  5. "Fireflies" by Owl City
  6. "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti & Spearhead
  7. "Mary Mack" by The Wild Oats & Theresa Freese  (The link is different from the version we own, but you get the idea.)
  8. "Never Stop" by Chilly Gonzalez

We happen to think that Madeline has great taste in music.  But impressionable as she is, there is still something to be said for kids music.  I mean, they love it!  No catchy piano or amount of synthesizer can compete with that business.  So without further ado, I present you the fruits of my three-year search for children's music (that won't make you want to have yourself committed).

1. Elizabeth Mitchell, "Stop and Go"


Kids respond to whispering as well as they do to shouting.  (Dora the Explorer could learn a thing or two from Elizabeth Mitchell.)  Her "You Are My Little Bird" album is our hands-down favorite.

I mean, I can't say enough good things about it.  It features a great Bob Marley cover, chirping birds layered over a song or two, a song in Japanese and one in Portuguese, and a catchy percussive cover of Woody Guthrie's "Grassy Grass Grass" that makes me cry every time.   It is soft, melodic, and magical.  Madeline has danced to it and fallen asleep to it.  Here is the first track, "Little Liza Jane."

2. Lisa Loeb.  Remember this chick?  Watch her totally infectious version of the folk song "Jenny Jenkins."  Love, love, love.


3. Laurie Berkner.  Madeline adores all things Laurie Berkner.  Some songs I love, some border on safety-scissor songs.  Here are some that we can all enjoy.

"Fast and Slow" [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZgHeJ6yO1c[/youtube]

"We Are the Dinosaurs" [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLdDKNxrL68[/youtube]

(We also like "Moon, moon, moon;" "Let's Go Swimming;" and "Victor Vito")

4. Sesame Street has some real gems.

Fiest singing "1,2,3,4" [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ9WiuJPnNA&feature=related[/youtube]

Some super-fun versions of the ABCs.  "Hip Hop with Miles" and "Tilly and The Wall" are two of our favorites. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-f6aboKAEE&feature=relmfu[/youtube]

This is fresh on my mind this week because we recently received a little musical treat in the mail.  All week we've been dancing, laughing, and playing to Steven Courtney's newest album, "A Million Smiles To Go."

Doesn't that album title just make your day?  So good, in fact, that it deserves its own post.

Stay tuned!