As a parent, there are moments I now look back on with a whole new appreciation.
I remember when I was seven and my father made me tapes of his Beatles Red and Blue Albums.
I remember listening to those tapes over and over and over again. It was like he had brought me into a small piece of “adultland”, like they were a window into understanding him and something we could share.
I remember spending hours in my early teens leafing through his LP collection. I remember finding tapes he had made in college of the British “Top of the Pops” and thinking they were just the coolest thing EVER because my parents had met in London and so maybe he’d been taping these while they were dating. As a bonus, this was also how I discovered Johnny Cash’s Boy Named Sue.
I remember at 15 coming home from school SO EXCITED about my English class because Simon & Garfunkel’s Richard Cory was in a poetry book and I’d been able to comment on it. But mostly? Wasn’t it awesome that music is recognized as poetry?
And I remember when I got my first CD player at 16 that the second CD I went out and purchased was Sgt. Pepper, because by then my father had drilled the coolness of the Beatles into my head (and I couldn’t quite afford the double White Album, so I saved up and got that later).
As an adult I remember how I felt as a child at each of these moments.
But as a parent, I now also imagine the joy my dad must have felt to first share the music he loved with me and to then see me honestly enjoying it.
With my kids – now six and three – I love watching them get excited about music. I’ve already done a few posts about my eldest’s first music attachments: her early love of Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup and Nicki Minaj’s Pound the Alarm, and her obsession last year with Britney Spears.
We also often do dance parties after dinner for fun, have recently discovered the Karaoke Channel and talk about and listen to a variety of music in the car.
With that introduction, here’s what my kids currently find awesome.
- 99 Red Balloons – Nena (1982)
(Update: Link went dead and I found this one which I love because, wow, she was still performing in the 20-teens. Respect. Oct. 2022 update).
This is my 6-year-old’s current favourite. It showed up on one of our first nights playing with the Karaoke Channel and has been her #1 request ever since despite my singing it quite poorly. Maybe enthusiasm compensates? Either way, I’ve now also subjected her to the video, which she watched with what can only be called an academic interest.
2. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses (1987)
This is my 3-year-old’s current top pick. As far as my husband and I can figure, this is pretty much the only CD we can agree on in the car (you know, for those moments in underground parking garages where we can’t be arguing over which radio station to choose). As a result, a G N’ R Greatest Hits CD has been sitting in our car CD player for about a month now.
When this one ends, my youngest asks to hear it again. She also quizzed me on the song. I explained the band was really big when I was 11-14.
Her: When you were a little kid?
Me: Well, yes, I guess so.
Her: Ohhh, that’s so CUTE! [this is done with my 3-year-old AFFECTING a “little girl squeal”]
I felt somewhat diminished in my former aspirations to some level of bad-assness, but … Rock on!
3. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira (2010 FIFA World Cup Song)
I’ve always loved Shakira so when my 6-year-old came home last fall singing this one it made my heart smile. One of the boy’s in her class had taught it to her. So I found the video for her, explained who the artist was and that we had other albums by her, that the song was done for a soccer competition (yay sports!), and that her grandmother grew up in South Africa (this involved using our globe – yay again!).
Thus ends the list of currently awesome. But I also love that there’s one song on my 6-year-old’s Do Not Play list:
Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon (2014)
Its crime? The word “Shut Up”.
I’d forgotten about her hate-on for this song until it came on the radio again a few days ago and STILL she demanded I change the station.
Apparently it’s never okay to use bad words.
So that’s what the kids are currently loving here. I can’t wait to see what grabs their attention next.
What about you? Any special music moments with your kids you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about them!