Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Down with Raffi!

If I have to listen to one more Raffi song, or have to sing "Baby Beluga" one more freaking time I'm going to commit Raffi-cide.

Chicky has decided that nothing, and I mean NOTHING (Capitalized for emphasis. Not over emphasis mind you, because, yeah, I'm Raffi's bitch), should come out of my iPod other than Raffi. Raffi in the morning, Raffi in the evening, Raffi in the Goddamn afternoon. Raffi Raffi Raffi. And if I dare put on some TMBG or Justin Roberts, even Berkner (hey, desperate times), Chicky will have a meltdown of epic proportions. I'm starting to hate that poor, sweet, bearded man.

I didn't always hate him. As kids music went I kind of liked dear old Raffi. I liked his messages, I even liked the religious undertones of his songs. Spirituality without having to get our heathen behinds out of the house early on a Sunday morning, I could dig that. And there have been some crucial times when his songs have come in very handy - like teeth brushing. That "Brush Your Teeth" song has worked like magic to get Chicky excited about keeping her pearly whites clean.

But c'mon. Enough is enough. I kinda wish the "Five Little Ducks" would stay over the river and far away. Screw Mother Duck and her tedious quacking. Quack quack my ass, Mother Duck. These little ducklings gotta get themselves some action.

And maybe the fatties of the "Six Little Ducks" wouldn't widdle waddle so much if they went on duckie Weight Watchers. Stop floating in the river and start paddling.

What was I saying?

Oh, yeah. I'm starting to loathe Raffi.

I don't hate kids music, let's get that straight right now. There's a lot of good music out there for the under three feet tall set and I'm thrilled that I don't have to listen to the music of my youth (you know, when we would beat on rocks with sticks and make maracas out of deer hides and bits of bone) if I don't want to.

But, Aha! There lies the rub. I do have to. Chicky is holding my iPod hostage. Play some Raffi and nobody gets hurt, sucka.

I can't always convince her to listen to other children's music but occasionally I can convince her to listen to some of mine. Especially hard rock from the 80s. But though I love to see my two year old bang her head and attempt devil's horns with her wee fingers I think she may be a bit too impressionable to be listening to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" on a regular basis.

So I started to put together a list of appropriate kids music that won't make their parents' ears bleed.

(Mrs. Chicky and Chicky Chicky Baby, LLC do not make any promises that your ears will not hemorrhage after listening to these songs 152 times in a row. That is the choice you made when you had kids. Proceed at your own risk.)

Feel free to add to this list. I'd love to know what you have on your MP3 players that your kids like to groove to.

Bouncing Around the Room - Phish
Coconut - Harry Nilsson
Rock Lobster - B-52s
Any surf song from the Beach Boys
Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
Crawfish Song - Buckwheat Zydeco
If You Want to Sing Out - Cat Stevens
Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
I Like to Move It - Sascha Baron Cohen
Who Let the Dogs Out - Baha Men. Find the clean version.

(Yes this song may make you want to slam your head in a window but kids seem to love it. And in my home it's not just a song, it's a way of life.)

(And the video I linked to is all about cute dogs doing things that any dog trainer would be horrified to see! Good times!)

Theme from Rawhide

(Okay I'm making a funny, but this frequently plays in my head when I'm trying to get Chicky moving in the morning.)

Jump Around - House of Pain (That about says it all, doesn't it?)
Shiny Happy People - REM
Walk the Dinosaur - Was (Not Was)
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede (It's not about the song, it's about the Ooga Chuckas)


As with any list, this is a work in progress. I could be updating this for weeks. Whoohoo! Another time suck!


Karen Putz said...

Just wait, just wait til the little one starts blaring RAP music in the house...

Anonymous said...

HA! That's funny stuff...I've tried to get SF into kids music...she's not into it...Right now, we are listening to...
Beastie Boys: So Whatchya Want
Bon Jovi: You Give Love a Bad Name
Judas Preist: Turbo Lover
From the Musical Hair: Hair
Pink: You and Your Hand

Some of the usuals, you know.

Life As I Know It said...

Oh yes, I try to avoid kids music at all costs.
Some requests from the backseat include:
If I Had A Million Dollars: BNL
City of New Orleans: Arlo Guthrie
The soundtrack to Oh Brother Where Art Thou
Almost any and all Springsteen ;)
Any song that mentions a train...

Anonymous said...

You have perfect timing- My two year old is just starting to bounce his head (badly out of rythym) and I was just thinking, Ive got to broaden his horizons..

Jen said...

LOVE the list! Thanks! I don't know how (and trust me, I've endured plenty of Sesame Street, Wee Sing, etc.) but four kids and none are Raffi fans. How is that possible?

Lawyer Mama said...

OK, there's something about bad 80's music that my kids love. LOVE.

A big hit in our house is "Mickey" by Toni Basil. Another is "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. The lyrics really aren't appropriate, but he's not old enough to figure them out yet.

My 2 year old also really seems to like anything by ZZ Top or the Beastie Boys (NOT appropriate, but he loves it). Puzzling....

If I can't get him to listen to any real music, he makes me play songs from the Backyardigans CD over & over & over again. I mean how many times can you listen to "Argh, argh, argh. The pirate says ARGGHHHHH!" before insanity sets in?

Avalon said...


I am so glad my kid is old.

Julie Pippert said...

I find that The Beatles---or modern cover collections of Beatles songs---makes great kids' music. Do not laugh but I have never, ever bought a kids' CD. My mom got us a 100 song one off the dollar row at Target once. They are also pretty big Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend, KD Tungstall, and Gwen Stefani fans.

We watched Gwen Stefani in concert on the big ass HD special whatevah TV.

The kids were riveted. They're both singing and dancing and hamming it up.

Who needs Broadway?

ewe are here said...

What do you mean too impressionable for Def Leppard? heh heh

I think my toddler likes any music I'll sing and dance to with him... and it's so darn cute when they sing for you.

OhTheJoys said...

I like the Dan Zanes stuff - particularly the one that's all Train themed - can't remember the CD name, but all the songs are good.

Bones said...

Don't forget to add "love that dirty water" by the standells. (Go Sox!)

Damselfly said...

Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants? I've got a baby, so I'm not familiar with Raffi (gulp) yet.

Unknown said...

I made a rule the day Declan was born that ZERO kids music would be played in the car. This has fostered a vast appreciation of music in my son, for which I AM VERY GRATEFUL. Very. Grateful.

So, here are the songs he digs right now. (I will skip the Descendants that his father has exposed him to.)

And P.S. Like other commenters, his very favorite band is the Beatles.

This is my special Declan playlist in my iTunes...
* Bad Day - Daniel Powter
* Over My Head - The Fray
* Something Got Me Started - Simply Red
* Message To My Girl - Split Enz
* September - Earth Wind & Fire
* Lovely Day - Bill Withers
* Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas
* Love of the Common People - Paul Young
* Galileo - Indigo Girls
* Have It all - Jeremy Kay
* World Where You Live - Crowded House
* 1963 - Rachael Yamagata
* Cruel Summer - Bananarama
* Wonderful World - James Morrison
* Brick House - Commodores (yeah, I know - but he loves it)
* Knocks Me Off My Feet - Stevie Wonder
* Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer
* Love Is The Seventh Wave - Sting
* Geek In The Pink - Jason Mraz
* Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
* Mercy Mercy Me - Marvin Gaye
* Highway 5 - The Blessing
* Boogie Wonderland - from Happy Feet
* Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
* New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
* Say What You Mean - Maktub
* All I Want - Toad The Wet Sprocket

Aren't you glad you asked? :)

Binky said...

I don't know if this counts because I think it was created for children, but I'll propose it anyway. It's by a grown up band, after all. And hot diggety dog, it's catchy! -- "Hot Dog" by They Might Be Giants

Whirlwind said...

That reminds me, I have to check on TMBG "Here come the 123's" but I can't find info on it anywhere anymore. I thought it was supposed to be out this spring.

I can't say I've listened to any "adult" music lately. One thing I pop in when I've heard too much Raffi or Strawberry Shortcake is on of our Regee for kids CD's. Very catchy and not annoying at all!

EE said...

When my kids were that age, it was all about Barney.
Nowdays, my IPOD is filled with songs they've heard on Radio Disney.

My mom is on a committee that got Raffi to come play for an Early Childhood Educator's Conference. They paid him BIG bucks, and he only sang 2 of his "kid's" songs. The rest of his music was about saving the earth, or something like that. Needless-to-say, the teacher's hated it. He sold a total of 13 cds.

moosh in indy. said...

OohLaLa by Goldfrapp
Black Horse and a Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
Any of the Best of Disney CD's (I think there's 5)

There came a point where if I heard Elmo's song one more time I was going to dig my ears out with blunt objects.

Girlplustwo said...

um, don't hate me, but who the heck is Raffi?

Bjork - Isobel (i'm biased)
Otis Redding

Major Bedhead said...

Coconuts - Widespread Panic
Thirty Dirty Birds - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Give It Away - RHCP
Postcards - BNL
Just about anything by TMBG is excellent.
I'm also quite fond of the soundtrack to Where In The World Is Carmen SanDiego? Excellent cd.

Boo thinks that every song is a good song. Thank goodness. No Raffi in this house.

Unknown said...

Honey, you haven't lived until you've seen Raffi in concert...3 times. Yes... it's true. Three freaking times, including one show in the second row at symphony hall. Because I'm a total and complete asshat when it comes to music my kids liked.

From Raffi we graduated to Tom Chapin, and this is REALLY a true mom confession. We had a birthday party, their 5th, on Boston common at a Tom Chapin concert. Sad, but true! And we've seen him in concert several times since. I happen to LOVE Tom Chapin, but Raffi... a bit sicky sweet.

karengreeners said...

Love your list! Bee is subjected - I mean, loves - much of the same stuff. Phish, check, old-school hip hop, check. TMBG, check. Some good roots/reggae, double check.
And yesterday, Bad Medicine came on the radio in the car, and Bee rocked out. It was a proud moment.

mamatulip said...

Every time we get in the van, the kids ask me to play Dashboard by Modest Mouse. EVERY time.

They also love Sinead O'Connor's "Throw Down Your Arms". Great disc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list - great idea. Why must they always love the most inane music? Perhaps we can share a prison cell - you for your Raffi-cide and me for bludgeoning the Wiggles to death.

Anonymous said...

You mean we are supposed to play child appropriate music for our children???

Damn, THAT'S where I went wrong with this parenting gig...

Tuesday Girl said...

Oooh I just wrote about kid music that I actually like today!

Namito said...

Here are the songs that DON'T keep me banging my head against a wall at three in the morning because I can't get them out of my head:

Not much on the kiddie music scene here. No Raffi or Wiggles or anything.
But The Putumayo Kids has a great album called African Playground

Anything on the Peter Paul & Mommy album (the first one)
The Decemberists: 16 Military Wives
Tom Lehrer: LY and Silent E
Freezepop: Science Genius Girl
B52's: Roam Around the World
Kate Ryan: Ne Baisse Pas La Tete
Smile DK: Butterfly
Thomas Dolby: The Key to Her Ferrari

OK. So. The Thomas Dolby is maybe a little questionable, but really, this is from a woman whose Dad thought the soundtrack to HAIR was just fine for us when we were toddlers. I'd say I'm pretty tame in comparison.

Anonymous said...

i loathe raffi. i want to give the guy a swift kick in his baby beluga.

Cara said...

So far all that Bubbie's listen'd to is anything from "Jack's Big Music Show", I actually like Laurie Berkner, the Schwartzman Quartet.

FENICLE said...

Apparently we hit Chik-Fil-A a few too many times lately. They give out a "Read Between the Lions" (PBS)cd with stories/music with kids meals. We own 3/4.

Can't take much more......

mo-wo said...

B-52s Yeah. Miss Fancy loves Love Shack. Also a lot of early Diana Krall... I think I can play Buzzard and the Monkey to a disciplinarian advantage one day -- "... straighten up and fly right!"

East Bay Rhythm album and the Meters Clap song.

Kara said...

I'll second many of the rec's above and give you the abbreviated shakedown of Kiddo's ipod playlist (P.S.- Hey Baby by No Doubt was the first pop song she sang spontaneously... Yellow by Coldplay was the first pop radio pop song she sang along with only at that point she could only say Lellow- so cute)
*Lellow by Coldplay
*Hey Baby by No Doubt
* Hollaback and Wind it Up by Gwen Stefani (find the clean versions)
*1985 by Bowling for Soup (clean version)
*Careful by Guster
*Here it Goes Again by OK Go
*Don't Panic by Coldplay
*She's a Rebel by Green Day
*Alex Chilton by the Replacements
*Landslide by Dixie Chicks
*Easy Silence by Dixie Chicks (swoon, cry, swoon some more)
*Little Maggie by Ralph Stanley
*Maggie May by Rod Stewart
*Maggie by Colin Hay
*Friday I'm in Love by the Cure
*God Only Knows by Joss Stone (sigh)
*I will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
*Just Like Heaven by the Cure
*All the Same by the Sick Puppies
*Two of Us (Beatles cover) by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
*Love is the Seventh Wave by Sting
*Inner Smile by Texas
*Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield
*You are the Sunshine of my Life Steve Wonder
*Fortress around your Heart by Sting
*A Sort of Homecoming by U2
*Not While I'm Around by Mandy Patinkin from Sweeney Todd which she still asks me to sing to her when she's feeling sad. I live for that song and if you haven't heard it- you MUST! Here's Angela Lansbury singing it live:

Bon said...

see, i'm loving these lists. i also love that you started with Bouncing Round the Room, which beats the ass off Raffi any day.

O seems to like Cake, the Be Good Tanyas, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, and Leonard Cohen (the droning gets him groovin', who knew?) plus he goes nuts for Reno Dakota by the Magnetic Fields, and If You're Gonna Play in Texas by Alabama...i think it's the bounce factor.

we only do kids music for lullabies. so far, so good. of course, eventually he's going to notice that he lives in a bubble, but until that day...!

Crunchy Carpets said...

Here it is the Wiggles...ALL THE TIME.

But we do a fun family dance version of "Chicken Noodle Soup"

And the kids love Scissor Sisters.

mommiebear2 said...

Thanks for the songs - The kids also love the Scissor Sisters here!

cooler*doula said...

We listen to NPR in the car.

Thank you Jeebuz.

I have seen Raffi in Gymboree stores. It's not good. I'm sorry.

(Actually, Josh DOES have a playlist and it DOES include "Rawhide!" and "Back in the sadle again" as I need a laugh... Also "I've been everywhere" (US Geography) "Free Nelson Mandela" (Middle name Nelson, named for the statesman) and "You can get it if you really want"... (Probably a dangerous message for a toddler, but hey, I'm a risk taker...)

Fairly Odd Mother said...

We are on our 100000000 listening to of the Mary Poppins musical soundtrack. I hear "Spoonful of Sugar" at every waking moment, even if I'm no where near the music, b/c it is ringing in my head. I'd even welcome a bit of Raffi at this point.

Stu said...

This post has been nominated for a Hot Stuff Of The Week at our site, GNMParents. Good luck in the voting!

Anonymous said...

Check out this great website about non-kids music kids music -

Stu said...

Yay! You Won! Your post "Down With Raffi" won "Hot Stuff Of The Week" - voted by our readers at GNMParents. Way to go! And it was a great post, and wonderful comment thread. We all learned a few new musical alternatives, which is always a bonus. Thanks, and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Have to say, I listen to whatever I want around my son (9 months) and I sing along full-out. He seems to like when I sing along to Dixie Chicks, Avril Lavigne (yippee!) Kelly Clarkson, and pretty much anything with a dance beat. Makes my life easier!
Good kid and parent-friendly CD is "For the Kids", a compilation of kid-type songs sung by mainstream pop and rock artists. Great tunes!

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't really have posted this entry.. What if you regret typing it later? When Chicky gets older and you remember her younger days? Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Your blog entry here reminds me of the time when I was twelve years old and my parents (specifically my dad) would bring up how I listened to Raffi at a young age. I would go, "Seriously? I'm twelve. Do you really have to embarrass me like this?"

Anonymous said...

R is pretty well-known in Canada AND the USA. Can't blame Chicky...

Anonymous said...

Also, just a friendly tip - do not use swear words! What if your kids start to use the bad words in public and then they tell others, "My mommy says that word!" Easy on the language, Ms. Tania.


Anonymous said...

If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. It's simple.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Nothing nice to say? Then keep your mouth shut!

Anonymous said...

You guys! If you have nothing nice to say, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!


Anonymous said...

To Tania and all of the mean commenters... Go stand in a corner and think about what you said!

Down with you, Tania.


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