Most music for kids is lousy. I don't think this means anything, other than to show that kiddy music is not exempt from Sturgeon’s Law, which is a rule coined by a famous sci-fi author, who, when he got tired of people pointing out that 90% of sci-fi was crap, rebutted that 90% of the work in any field is crap.
That said, there are some good bands for kids. I'm all for Lily
developing her own preferences, but as long as I have to listen to it, I'll try to steer her away from, say, the Wiggles, and towards
bands that I can enjoy too. I'm partial to (and by partial to, I mean
that I'll listen to it when Lily's not around) Lunch Money and the kids stuff from TMBG and Kimya Dawson, and of course, Tom Chapin.
He's almost certainly better known as the brother to Harry Chapin,
the composer and performer to "Cat's in the Cradle" and other famous folk songs
of the era. I think that does him something of a disservice. He's
extraordinarily talented in his own right and everything about him
points towards him to being as nice a guy as he seems. He's involved in
all sorts of charitable work, his kid songs are about loving your family
and taking care of the planet. (One song about buying locally grown food rhymed paradoxic and carbon dioxic and farmer and karma. How can you beat that?)
show itself was great. At one point he had his daughter up on a stage
to sing Gertie's Birdseed Diner with him, and when her toddler missed
her mommy, they welcomed her on stage too. It was marketed as an all
ages show, and I went with Lily, Jen and Jen's mom and I couldn't tell
which one of us enjoyed it more.
Lily describes herself as a
"fan" of Tom Chapin, and while it's strange to think of a five-year-old
in terms of being a fan of anything, I think it fits. She certainly
knows his works. We bought a CD after the show. Lily asked if it had
"Nick of Time" on it. I asked her which one that was, and she proceeded
to sing it, as far as I could tell, flawlessly, after hearing it once.
the end of the show, he was singing along with one of the songs, loud
enough to be heard over the sound system, and Tom's daughter, who had
returned to the audience after her time on stage, looked over at her and
smiled, and it just makes me happy that he's able to bring that kind of
joy to his family and other families through his work.
bought the CD, Tom was at the table. He autographed it for Lily and took
the time to talk to her and tell her that one of his daughters was
named Lily too.
It was a pretty long night and we were listening
to it at bedtime and Lily said "I could never fall asleep listening to
these wonderful songs!" and true to her word, she made it all the way
through the disc before drifting off.