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. This month, only one song happens to be available as an MP3, though.)
Erin Lee was also recently profiled by the Kingston Whig-Standard in her native Canada. She talked about her ten years as an actor, in which she “played every disturbed, addicted, pregnant teenager role that came along,” her switch to writing and performing children’s music, the dearth of intelligent music and theatre for kids (“A lot of pop music is aimed at kids, things like High School Musical, but that’s like eating Froot Loops all day”), and her inclusive family song that caught the attention of Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and got Marci and her a gig on Rosie’s cruise.
Erin Lee and Marci are performing in Illinois this month. Check their Web site for details if you’re in the area. —DR
The holiday season is wrapping up, and here in New York, we’ve been listening to the joyful sounds of children laughing, bells ringing, people sneezing . . . . Oh, yes, cold season is upon us. We’re confronted with it every time we step outdoors, so here are some songs to celebrate Cold Season!
This highly creative narrator begs his mom to let him stay home from school in this desperate plea made from his sick bed. This is hands down the most dramatic song we have ever heard. The music is borrowed from Swan Lake and the lyrics are truly pathetic: “I’m too weak to even watch TV”. The narrator’s illness clearly has absolutely nothing to do with the test today or the homework he hasn’t done – it’s just a heartbreaking, unfortunate twist of fate (cough, cough.) Camille or La Boheme’s Mimi have nothing on Tom! So, if you are feeling under the weather…or have a test…or perhaps neglected to do your homework….pop this tune on and moan along. If anyone complains, remind them that Tchaikovsky is high culture!
“I Think I’ll Need a Band-Aid” (Trout Fishing in America, Big Trouble) [No MP3 download]
Even if you’ve managed to avoid cold season unscathed, if you’re anything like us you can’t avoid minor injuries for long. A pox upon the Wii and those darling children that insist we put down the gingerbread and play a game of tennis! And let’s face it—bumps, bruises, scrapes and scratches are all much, much cooler when covered in Band-Aids. You love them, we love them and Grammy-nominated Trout Fishing in America loves them. And once you hear this song you’ll be singing it gleefully as you dance your way into the bathroom to open a box of band-aids and begin applying! (Note: Marci is typing slowly due to the stunning sparkle Star Trek Band-Aid on her pointer finger. The next Wii accessory should be a special box of Band-Aids!)
“I’m Sick” is a celebration of ickyness. It features a fabulous string of symptoms (“My throat is closing, my tonsils glow, my spots are itching, my hair won’t grow”) that the narrator is enjoying a little too thoroughly. For added listening drama, you can attempt to sneeze really loudly every time you hear the words “I’m sick”.
Get these tunes off the iPod and into your life: Make this song into a picture book! Pick different symptoms to illustrate and draw what happens to the narrator! This works really well as a group project—everyone pick a different ailment and then put the pictures together to make a book.