Children’s songs

So heres the deal.
For those of you who don’t know (or care to remember), I have two kids. Boy-Girl twins. They are almost 5 and getting closer to a cool age where toys are fun for the both of us and video games, well, let’s just say I’m going to teach them Tetris and Street-Fighter AND BLOW THE PANTS OFF OF THEM. (I’m too immature to be one of those caring dads that can let their kids beat them at stuff.)

Soon, I will be forcing, er um, I mean hoping that they will follow the same industrial and punk influences that I do.

BUT FOR NOW it’s just non-stop nursery song stuff, which brings me to today’s rant.

We watch the Noggin channel or Nick-JR A LOT. There are a few shows that actually have decent tunes on them.
Take “Lazytown”.
All the music is written in a “I’m a Barbie-Girl” dance/pop style. It’s not bad at all. (For childrens music. Give me some credit.)
Then there’s this chick Lori Berkner who has some good jams between shows.

So what’s my problem? You want to know? Really?

It’s that none of these songs will be remembered 20 years from now! Who the f*ck made the rule that only certain songs, written 200 years ago, are allowed to be passed on through the generations.
I got dozens and you know them all too.
“London Bridge is Falling Down.”
“I’m a Little Tea pot”
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (grossly plagiarized by the ABC song, yet no lawsuit… WTF?)

Some are even sung purposely off-key. Example “On top of Spa-get-teeee
Shoot me.
No, not me.
The moron who came up with that one. Shoot him.
If I could go back and see that song as it was being written. Maybe by some lumberjack taking a break, back in 1810. I’d swipe it from his hands. Read it out loud, so that he can hear how stupid it sounds, then rip it up and tell him to get back to choppin or you’re fired.

What’s aggravating is, that you can’t stop it.

When my kids are 25, I’ll ask them if they remember a show called Lazytown and maybe, after thinking for a second, they will get a vague picture of the show BUT the music will be lost to them.
YET if I we’re to start singing “There’s a hole in the bucket, Eliza Eliza…”
They’d be slappin’ their knee and singing right along with me.

5 thoughts on “Children’s songs”

  1. They may remember the TV theme songs to those shows. I still remember the theme song to a show called “Zoom”, which I had to see every night.

    We’re gonna zoom zoom zoom-ah zoom
    We’re gonna zoom-ah zoom-ah zoom-ah zoom

    Repeat, ad infinitum.

    Ha, the show’s still on. You can supposedly hear the theme song here, but it’s not working for me:

  2. You’re probably right, but that’s not really the point (I’ve seen the new Zoom on TV, with the same theme song too.)
    I mean, I remember the theme’s to Mr Wizards World, Pinwheel, Electric Company, Vegetable Soup I could do this forever.
    My point is that it won’t get passed down like the old school patty-cake crap that MUST be passed on through penalty of death or something.
    The same goes for Christmas songs written god knows how long ago. New songs are written all the time, as artists put out their Christmas albums, yet none stick too well.
    I think “Jingle Bell Rock” is the most recent lasting entry. Written 1950 or so?
    No one will be singing Brittany Spears’ “Holiday Kisses” 50 years from now.

  3. Alright !! Buy vicodin, vicodin, valium, valium, vectrex, vectrex. Oops, that latter is a game system and not a mind-altering drug. Wait, they’re both the same thing!!!!

    Songs are fickle things. Look up Roger Ebert’s article on “memes” and informational packets that get passed from generation to generation. Some people think that religions are just really complex memes that are getting passed around; witness the sucess of L.Ron Hubbard and Dianetics. At the same time I would ask: who made your brain a particularly good meme-catching-machine?? ANd Why?

    So some of these songs are better memes than others. London Bridge must be have fantastic characteristics. However, in the Darwinian world of the school playground, lots of songs (or memes) are competing. ONly the really annoying ones survive. If you could determine what makes a good meme, we could start flooding the airwaves with catchy, long-lasting tunes (and filling our pockets with the resulting ill-gotten gains)

  4. Well, I think a major part of why songs like London Bridge is Falling Down, Ring Around the Rosie, and Rock-a-Bye Baby survive is that they are short, the lyrics are easy to remember (enough for a child) and because they are geered towards children. Which means, they are most likely going to be replayed over and over again on the playgrounds. And during their youths, these first songs will remain embedded in their cute little brains for a lifetime.

    Also, the three rhymes I mentioned are both about historical accounts transcribed in song. One is of an actual bridge, another about an Irish plague, and the last is just disturbing. Yet, the mood or feeling of the song doesn’t reflect it. Maybe it’s subliminal.

    The real question is why do the most infamous ones remain the most memorable? And why nursery rhymes??

  5. I was taught that nursery rhymes were often created to spread news about important figures who would kill you if they knew what you were really saying. So they’re essentially designed as memes, ideas that spread like viruses, but make no sense to us because they’re current events for the Middle Ages. In addition, songs like Ring Around the Rosie and I’m a Little Teapot have a physical component that kids seem to gravitate towards, esp. with nonstop encouragement from grandparents and aunts who can’t get enough of the little buggers.

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