Friday, February 04, 2005

Good children's music

I tend to avoid playing the numerous CDs of nursery tunes that we have received over the years, but lately I've been combing through them. I am trying to find decent performances of folk songs, play songs, etc., so the kids can start to sing along. The best one I found was Pete Seeger's Children's Concert at Town Hall. We've been listening to this CD every day for the last two weeks, as the kids love it and I do too. Pete is such an incredible musician, as well as an engaging storyteller. The songs are chosen well, a combination of well-known favorites like "I've been working on the railroad" and "Skip to my Lou" with more obscure English and American tunes and some world music ("Ilka's Bedouin tune," "Fisherman's Song" and "Abiyoyo"). There a little political subversion in the choices of "It could be a wonderful world" and "This land is your land," but as it fits my political outlook I certainly don't mind. What is particularly great about this recording is that it is from a live concert, with active participation of the audience. This encourages my kids to sing along with Pete and the audience, which is absolutely beautiful.

John of UtopianTurtleTop has been blogging about Pete Seeger here and Woody Guthrie here.

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