Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Bottle Let Me Down: Songs for Bumpy Wagon Rides

Okay, parents. I'm about to make those extra long rainy days stuck in the house a little less irritating.  We all know we can't rely on Elmo, PBS, and DVD's to entertain them all day. Eventually, you're going to have to put on some music and have a dance party. And maybe those Rhianna and Ke$ha lyrics aren't something you want your three year old repeating at preschool. So you're stuck with those children's compilations of songs like "Ol' King Cole" and "Ring Around the Rosie" sung by a creepy chorus of ethereal children's voices, right? Wrong! There's a new breed of children's cds full of catchy originals done by contemporary artists and fresh takes on the classics. My favorite of the genre is The Bottle Let Me Down: Songs for Bumpy Wagon Rides.
In my former life, I lived in Austin, TX for a time and enjoyed the dynamic local music scene there. So imagine my delight when, many many years later, I found some of those same musicians lending their considerable talents to children's music. What a godsend! I used to love to see such Austin legends as Alejandro Escovedo, The Asylun Street Spankers and the The Meat Purveyors live, and now I can jam out with my kids in the living room and relive the experience (sort of). And there's a lot to learn from the songs on this album. Hot topics such as stranger danger ("Godfrey" by Robbie Fulks asks, "Who's that feller by the jungle gym?"), manners (The Cornell Hurd Band's "Don't Wipe Your Face On Your Shirt"), nutrition ("Cheese, Peas, Pickles and Bananas" by Nora O'Connor and Steve Frisbie) and family values ("I'm My Own Grandpa" by The Asylum Street Spankers).

As great as this compilation is you might, eventually, get sick of it. Here are some back-ups. Singable Songs for the Very Young and More Singable Songs by the Elton John of children's music, Raffi, Meltdown and Yellow Bus by Justin Roberts and For the Kids by Various Artists. These titles are all available for your listening pleasure at VBPL.

1 comment:

Jennifer L. Place said...

I cannot generally tolerate children's music (hence why my five year old can recognize the voices of Mike Ness of Social Distortion, Johnny Cash, and Michael Poulson of Volbeat in about five seconds. After this recommendation, I will give this album a go.