I’ve been sorting through my children’s CD collection and there are so many memories associated with the music we have been listening to for over six years since my eldest was born.
I was happy to get rid of some – Bob the Builder, a Disney CD where songs were sung by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck et al – but there are some that I think I’ll keep and that are still great for bedtime or the car.
I’ve scaled my all-time favourites (so far) to three CDs.
1. That Baby CD
This is a fantastic collection of adult-oriented songs produced for children. Released in 2007, this collection features family friendly acoustic and vocally arranged versions of songs like “Songbird” (Fleetwood Mac), “These are Days” (10,000 Maniacs), “Garden Song” (Peter, Paul and Mary), “Pony Boy” (Bruce Springsteen) and “St Judy’s Comet” (Paul Simon) among others.
We have played this CD to death since we got it in 2007, when it was released by American couple Rob and Lisi Wolff. The Wolffs released a hugely popular CD and DVD called Oy-Baby with songs for Jewish Babies and Kids. Their good friend Stephanie Schneiderman, a musician well-known on the Portland, Oregon music scene, produced the tracks for the CD and sings on most of the songs. My favourite tracks are These Are Days, which is a rousing version of the song made popular by 10,000 Maniacs, and Happiness Runs/Circle Game, a combo of the songs sung originally by Donovan Leitch and Joni Mitchell.
Available from thatbabydvd.com
2. Big Songs for Little People by Rory McLeod
I’m a big fan of British wandering minstrel Rory McLeod and his collection for children is a wonderful CD. The theme of the wind is ever-present on this CD with songs and spoken word tracks like “Me and the Winds Blow”, “Polar Winds” and “What the Winds Carry”. There is also a wonderful spoken word track, which my children adore, called “Death in a Nutshell” which is a very age-appropriate tale of the life cycle and death. My favourite track, which is the most gorgeous song about a child becoming an older sibling, is called “Big Brother Soon”.
Available from rorymcleod.com
3. Putumayo Presents Dreamland
This collection is played a lot at our house at bedtime. (I’ve even put it on my iPhone and play it at night to unwind.) Soothing songs and World lullabies from Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia, this collection is a must-have for parents. My favourite track is “Naima” by Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo (and featuring Carlos Santana).
Available from Educational Esteem