This past weekend, JJ and I took our first trip alone (sans Papa) and being the music nerd that I am, I made a mixtape. Below is the track list, along with some snarky commentary and a few sound/video clips:
I made the mix in kind of a rush — which is how I do pretty much everything these days. (Any thoughts from you seasoned parents at what point I can NOT watch my child for more than five minutes for fear of him pulling the TV down on his head, or something equally dramatic and horrific?) Anyhoo, the songs had to meet at least one of the following requirements: 1) the song includes a word or action JJ knows or is learning, 2) the song is already familiar to JJ, or 3) the song is generally pleasant and not full of screaming/profanity. So yeah, no Marilyn Manson.
But most importantly, the music would NOT (with the exception of 2 or 3 tracks*) be “children’s music.” I know, I know… there’s a lot of hip kid’s music out there that parents can enjoy, too! — but I already have the theme song to every show on Sprout and Nick, Jr memorized, so my car is a battleground I’m not willing to cede just yet. I think I’ve still got a couple of years months, so cut me some slack…
Without further, rambling adieu:
Road trip to Gramms!
1. Hello! / Cast of The Book of Mormon
Here’s hoping JJ just practices his “hello”s and not his proselytizing techniques.
2. Mahna Mahna / Cake
A nice way to sneak in a kid’s song, covered by Daddy and Papa’s favorite band.
3. Roam / The B-52’s
The quintessential road trip song.
4. Hey Ya! / Outkast
Lots of clapping, and the “shake it” bridge gave JJ an excuse to wiggle.
5. Movin’ Right Along* / The Muppets
The quintessential road trip song sung by puppets. Plus a fave from Daddy’s childhood.
6. Day Tripper / The Beatles
The Beatles have at least one song for every occasion, and several for car rides. I thought this tune was a little more fun than “Drive My Car”, plus I already had a perfect “car” song…
7. Cars / Gary Numan
I didn’t really care if JJ liked this one or not. It’s one of Daddy’s favorites, so he’ll just have to learn to dig it’s robotic retro yumminess until he gets his own car.
8. Clap Your Hands / Sia
Because I don’t have an indie band cover of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
9. Gone Daddy Gone / Violent Femmes
Great “daddy” practice, duh.
10. Hold Still* / Yo Gabba Gabba!
From the “familiar” category, and the “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, go!” chorus is a great outlet for my pent up toddler.
11. ABC / Jackson 5
In addition to repeating “ABC” in every chorus, it also throws in a “123” and “do-re-mi.” And man could that boy sang.
12 & 13. 1-2-3-4 / Feist • 1-2-3-4 (Sumpin’ New) / Coolio
A little counting — some classy, some Coolio.
14. Come Go With Me / The Del Vikings
Very familiar to JJ, as we’ve had the Stand By Me soundtrack on rotation for a while now. Plus, he sings along to the “Waa, waa, waa, waaahs.” Heart-meltingly adorable.
15. I’m Going Bananas / Madonna
Daddy’s favorite diva sings about JJ’s favorite food.
16. (Theme From) The Monkees / The Monkees
17. Tarzan Boy / Baltimora (wow, forgot how bad this song is)
18. Atomic Dog / George Clinton (wow, forgot how awesome this song is)
19. The Lions Sleeps Tonight / The Tokens
20. Kitty / The Presidents of the United States of America (wow, forgot about the “f**k you, Kitty” verse)
21. I’m Into Something Good / The Bird and The Bee
The Bird and The Bee are always good for a pleasant ditty, whether of their own creation or of Herman’s Hermits’.
22. Lovely, Love My Family* / The Roots
Yes, it’s by The Roots, but is on the Yo Gabba Gabba! album, so technically a kid’s song. A super smooth and groovy kid’s song.
23. Take Me Home, Country Roads / John Denver
Great soundtrack for the final stretch of winding, wooded road to Gramms and Granddad’s.
24. Bye Bye Bye / ‘N Sync
Sorry, got nuthin.
25. Over the Rainbow / Judy Garland
Does this really need an explanation?
So what “adult” music does your kiddo tolerate, especially on long car rides? I’m always looking for ideas to keep from finally crossing over into dreaded Kiddie Music Land.