Top 10 songs you won't mind your preschooler singing

Thank you Katy Perry!
Thank you Katy Perry! 

There are very few songs on the radio today that you would be happy to have your preschooler sing along to but there are a few exceptions, writes Amber Robinson.

Thank you, thank you Katy Perry. There's finally a song on the radio that I'm happy for my four-year-old daughter to listen to.

While Lady Gaga is imploring her duet partner R Kelly to "do what [he] wants with her body" in her latest single and Miley Cyrus is swinging naked on wrecking balls, it's refreshing to hear something a little more empowering.

If you're the last person on earth to hear Katy Perry's ‘Roar’ (it’s now Quadruple Platinum in Australia), the chorus goes something like this:

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Look - it's not Shakespeare, but like the single 'Firework' from Perry's last album Teenage Dream it’s about discovering an inner strength.

Whether or not it’s about the recovery from her break up with actor and comedian Russell Brand, it’s an interesting counterpoint to the number of pop songs which talk about being torn, broken and destroyed after relationship break-ups.

In fact, neither ‘Roar’ or ‘Firework’, on the face of it, are about boys, love or sex at all. Which is perhaps why pre-schoolers can relate to them (although, as my daughter asked, ‘how do you dance through fire?’).

If you are still not convinced that this is the go-to inspiration song for 2013, just watch this viral video of Children's hospital patients lip synching along.


Cynics might suggest that it’s Perry's canny management team who scatter a G rated track or two amongst the more risque pop offerings on each of her albums, just to extend her brand reach. The fact that they’re her most successful should speak volumes to industry execs everywhere.

Here’s a few more tunes we found for our girl power playlist. If you want to avoid the frequently awful video clips, try loading them up on Spotify.

1. Sara Bareilles - Brave

Noted for its musical similarities to ‘Roar’, this track by American singer songwriter Bareilles urges kids to speak up against bullying.

2. Destiny’s Child – Independent Women Part 1

While the r'n’b revenge anthem ‘Survivor’ packs more of an emotional punch, Independent Women teaches girls that they don’t need a man to get what they want in life.

The shoes on my feet/ I've bought it
The clothes I'm wearing/I've bought it
The rock I'm rockin'/'Cause I depend on me

3. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful

Written by former 4 Non Blondes singer Linda Perry, Beautiful became an anthem for introspective teenagers everywhere.

4. Selena Gomez & the Scene – Who Says

The former Disney star has had 182 million views of her song about overcoming self-doubt.

5. Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire

Alicia Key’s was apparently inspired to write this stomping hip-hop anthem after the birth of her son Egypt. It’s pretty stirring stuff – and you’ll be singing this girl is on fiiiiiiiiiiire for the rest of the day.

6. Cyndi Lauper - Girls just wanna have fun

Punk princess Cyndi Lauper was a breath of fresh air in the early 80s. She was given the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun by her record company, but rewrote the lyrics as she felt the original words were mysogynistic.

7. Madonna - Vogue

This irresistible dance track is a must for any disco party.

It makes no difference if you're black or white/If you're a boy or a girl
If the music's pumping it will give you new life/You're a superstar, yes, that's what you are,
you know it.

8. Pink - Perfect

Singer Alecia Moore, better known by her stage name Pink is a force of nature. In this ‘clean’ and acoustic version of her song Perfect she urges listeners to change the voices in their head to ‘make them like you instead.’

9. Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten

Bedingfield received a Grammy nomination for this perfect slice of upbeat r'n’b, which is all about embracing life with arms wide open.

10. Aretha Franklin - Respect

The original girl power anthem from the Queen of soul. Because it’s never too early to teach children to spell the word R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

What are your favourite empowering tunes? Leave a comment below.