Children’s musicians Erin Lee and Marci bring us the next of their regular posts with thematic recommendations for kid-friendly music, plus activities to make the songs an interactive experience for the whole family. Look for Erin Lee and Marci here on the first Monday of each month, or visit their homepage, www.gottaplay.org.
I’ve created links to Amazon for the full albums (click the album image or name), plus links to Amazon MP3 downloads for those who want only the singles. (Click the song name.) —DR
We began writing this column a year ago when we met Dana on R Family Vacations’ summer cruise. She heard our song “Fine by Me” and she sat down to talk to us about inclusivity in children’s music and how we came about writing this particular song. Apparently, we had quite a lot to say about the subject, because we’ve ended up writing a monthly blog! So this month, on our one-year anniversary of writing for Mombian—wow, we can’t believe it’s been a year!—it seems fitting for us to revisit that song and to share some other great songs about inclusivity.
With the opening lyrics “Carlos says ‘Hola’, Sun Lee says ‘Nee-how’, Chantal says ‘Bonjour’, Mario says, ‘Ciao’” Marla reminds us of how different we all are from one another. But, like the title says, our laughter is the same. This simple, unifying idea connects us all, despite where we are from, what we look like, or who we are. This easy-to-listen-to tune is perfect for everyone in your family and leaves a wonderful door open for discussion about how we are all the same despite our differences.
David and Jenny Heitler-Klevins, who make up Two of a Kind, have printed on their website “This song was originally inspired by a bumper sticker and by the diversity of families in our neighborhood”. Each verse describes a different kind of family – some verses written by David and Jenny and others contributed by other musicians, with a beautiful chorus that builds in harmonic layers each time it is sung. Our favorite part about this song is how unintimidating it is to singers of all ages and skills – everyone wants, and is able, to sing along and add their own harmony. So put it on, and sing real loud!
We were both raised in families that were considered “different” by our communities. Luckily for us, in the 70’s there was a lot of music that spoke to everybody. When we grew up and started looking for music for today’s kids to sing along to, we realized that if we needed songs celebrating the fact that people and families come in every shape, color and size, we would have to start writing! So here’s our song for people who think that “different” is good thing! Celebrate!
We believe in getting kids music off of ipod’s and into homes or classrooms. Whether you write something, draw something or get on your feet and do something, find an activity to tie music into daily life. Our favorite activity for Fine By Me? Art projects! Draw, paint or learn how to work a camera and photograph your blue jeans, your bedroom, your family, and maybe even what you aspire to be when you grow up. If you’re super proud of the result, e-mail it to us at our website—we’d love to see it!