So, I might get my children’s librarian card taken away for saying this, but I have a confession.
There are very few CDs filled with songs for children that I actually enjoy. Most of them are way too freaking cutesy for me and there isn’t enough movement involved with the ones I like to use in storytime. I hate singing a song with zero body movement and we’re all just staring at each other singing and they kinda sorta but not really know the words and i know the words and sound like a dumbass. Also, I have the tendency to not necessarily learn the words actually on the CD and I’ll start singing a different version of the song and look like a dumbass.
There are a few favorites though. Like Raffi. And… Raffi. At least as far as CDs not specifically designed to be used with say, rhythm sticks or bean bags or something fun like that. And, of course I exaggerate when I say I only use Raffi, but he’s the only one I can think of right now, so he must have made a pretty big impression on me.
That is until I met Aaron Nigel Smith and his CD Everyone Loves to Dance. This CD is amazing! So amazing that I would probably listen to it by myself in the car. So amazing that I can “Can You Dance?” Stuck in my head all day after storytime on Monday and I didn’t mind. I didn’t want to cry because it was painful or cutesy, but I sang along and enjoyed it. And the kids really loved it too. They were dancing with their lips and their heads and their shoulders all over the place. I really want to use his song “Simon Says” next. His music seems like a kind of reggae-jawaiian-chillaxing to the sound of the beat kind of style. The kind I’d imagine you’d want to listen to high. I guess if you were 5 and high, but hey, I’m 26 and sober and never been high and I don’t mind it, so i think you should all give it a listen. especially if you’re a parent and you’re tired of listening to barney or other stuff like that.
I know that as a child the cassette tape my mom wanted to throw out of the window due to
1. cutesy-ness and
2. having to listen to it over and over and over again
was called Tia and was sung by Tia Simcha in the mid-1990s. Me and my brother were turned on to Tia when she performed at the South Bay Galleria in the mid to late 90s. You see, the Galleria used to have a summer children’s program and once a week, every week, they’d have some kind of entertainer or storyteller or something like that for us kids to enjoy in the mornings, before the mall opened, and while Tutu was bowling and after Papa was retired and after Marsha the horrible babysitter at the South Bay Bowl retired so there was no one to watch us there. but, I digress. Here’s to Tia and Aaron Nigel Smith!
OMG — update. I just looked at Tia’s website and she’s performing at Del Amo Mall on August 4th! If I wasn’t going to be in Kauai I would seriously consider offering to babysit somebody’s kid and taking them to see her… who knew that almost 20 years after I first saw her she’d still be performing! I wonder if its all the same songs….