Wednesday, March 5, 2014 4 Comments
There are many milestones in a child’s life in which their parents can look on with pride…. Their first steps, first words, first day of school… So many firsts in which a parent can boast, “I helped them get to where they are!” For me, a crowning moment in my thus-far illustrious career as a mother was the day I walked in to find my two children, then aged 2 and 4 years, performing a duet to Queen’s We Will Rock You. In fact, that moment pretty much outshone all of their achievements to date…. Walking: Pfft- Most animals can do that on the same day they are born; And what is the use of learning to talk if not to immortalise those words in song?
Now, I wouldn’t go to the extent of saying that the main reason I chose to bring children into this big old world was to inscribe my love of music onto a blank slate, but it quickly became evident that my auditory offerings to these tiny packages of drool would form the basis of their future love of music and thus, their ability to impress friends and influence the masses. Thus, I embarked upon a mission to provide my kids with a well-rounded, quality musical upbringing…. It was, after all, my duty as a good mother.
There was one thing I didn’t count on when I set forth on this mission, and that was the outside musical influences that threatened to override my fundamental musical teachings. It was the likes of those darned kinder friends (whose own parents irresponsibly allowed their kids to listen to nausea-invoking R’n’B) who transmitted such lyrical atrocities on to my kids in the sandpit. If you think head lice are the only bad things your kids pick up at daycare, wait until they come home singing 1D! It was also the television commercials and shopping-center musac that incessantly resonated the latest pop earworms as my kids drifted past, blissfully unaware that as they played with their toys or scoured the supermarket shelves for signs of sugar, their brains were unwittingly being corrupted.
The other thing I didn’t count on was that my own children would then come home and subject me to the torturous tones of their new-found favourite tunes, and even worse… end up having me like those very songs which I had put so much effort in to actively avoiding!! For better of worse, the tables had turned and it was my kids imparting their musical tastes onto me.
Below are a selection of tracks that have made their way onto an otherwise exceptional high-rotation playlist of my kid’s favourite tunes.They are also the songs that I now not-so secretly enjoy picking my kids up to and spinning them around until we all get dizzy with delight!
1. Katy Perry- Roar: This one makes me laugh, because my 3 year old daughter walked around the house singing Eye of the Tiger for months with me thinking, “Wow, she really has got the tune to that Survivor classic completely wrong.” It wasn’t until a friend of mine informed me that she was singing Katy Perry that I realised (with horror) that I was the one who was completely wrong! Truth be told, it’s a catchy feelgood tune that makes you feel empowered and motivated, and it sends a positive message to our kids to stand up against bullies and people who put them down.
2. Taio Cruz- Dynamite: Another track innocuously picked up in the playground, and sung at home with such gusto and regularity by my then 3-year old son, that I had to try and Shazam it from his vocals! Whilst that little endeavor proved unsuccessful, I did eventually locate the song, and its ability to “get the party started” allowed it to secure a prime playlist position.
3. Bruno Mars- Marry You: I think I originally included this song in the kid’s playlist because for some reason I found it overly funny to hear young kids walking around singing, “I think I Wanna Marry You!” After my infantile amusement wore off, for better or worse (richer or poorer) I found I was left liking the song anyway, darn it!
4. Maroon 5- Moves Like Jagger: I initially put this song up as an alternative to Gangnam Style, which was being requested and played with such ferocious frequency in my household at the time that my intellect was beginning to drop. I’d heard from other parents that this song was an instant fave with their kids, and it worked a treat in my house also, allowing the Gangnam Juggernaut to drop to the bottom of the playlist tracks (a position rarely reached during our Friday afternoon dance-offs) and as an added bonus, allowing me to introduce my kids to my own interpretation of Mick Jagger’s dance style and my infamous Mick Jagger lip impersonation.
5. Rhianna- Diamonds: This song has only entered the sacred realm of the playlist recently and I have yet to make up my mind whether I approve or abhor the kids walking around the house screeching “Shine bright like a diamond, Shine bright like a diamond” in a scarily close impersonation of psycho babbling cockatoos. The verdict may be out, but the dub-step remix on the latest Ministry of Sound CD is definitely helping it swing in favor of a long-term secure spot on the list.
Whilst the aforementioned tunes have managed to infiltrate my invaluable ongoing musical education efforts, there remains boundaries to what is considered acceptable to be played across the airwaves of our humble abode. There are still certain artists whose names merely need to be mentioned to result in a time out. We do have standards, after all. In saying that, I am inevitably a realist- I realise that one day I must face the fact that my son and/or daughter is going to want to listen to music that is simply outside of house policy. That will be the day that my kids finally receive their long awaited iPod!
What about you… what songs have your kids taught you to love, or what songs did you teach your parents to love? Let me know by commenting below!