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Music to Make You GaGa
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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:19 PM
School of Rock
By Joseph Kelly
My car is generously appointed with speakers. There’s one in each door, two in the cargo area and a couple of tweeters next to the door handles. All this is designed so that I can blast myself silly to some testosterone fuelled guitar-God driven rock mayhem. Only this never actually happens because my musical taste, along with most other things in my life, is dictated to me by the three hecklers in the back seat.
Every time I go to load a new CD into the car stereo I have to be ready for the immediate judgement of my very own Kyle, Dicko and Marcia. “No daddy! Don’t want it!” is Frances’ definite thumbs down, while Maisie’s “turn it up, daddy!” is more potent than any Mark Holden touch down.
Having fine tuned the in-car listening experience with Maisie, Frances and Rita I can offer a few simple rules for toddler listening pleasure:
Rule 1: No inappropriate lyrics.
This is the hardest rule to follow, but is essential. What might sound cool and sultry out of the mouth of a 24 year-old diva from South London doesn’t quiet work out of the mouth of a four year old from the ‘burbs. After weeks of Frances singing “They tried to send me back to Rehab but I said No! No! No!” she finally dropped it only in favour of the Rolling Stones’ “Doctor, please help me, I’m damaged”. Not a good look in aisle 7 of the local supermarket. And Susie knows exactly where she’s picking it up from.
As for Maisie constantly parroting Lady GaGa’s “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”, I can only pray that this is a phase she will soon grow out of. And while I’m praying, I will ask forgiveness for having bought the CD in the first place.
Rule 2: Reggae is King.
I was never a fan of Reggae, steel drums and dread locks just not my style. But given the choice between listening to Taylor Swift for the 700th time or listening to some new tunes, I’m happy to mellow into the reggae groove. And the kids love it. The absolutely best thing about reggae is that, even if the kids can decipher a lyric, it’s highly unlikely to be inappropriate or even sensible, such as Maisie constantly urging Frances to “Lively up yourself”. Everyone wins!
Rule 3: All Hail the Ladies of Rock!
If Robert Plant from Led Zepplin got into my speakers and implored Maisie, Frances and Rita to flee the impending Vikings, they would all rightly freak out. Likewise, if the Artic Monkeys told them they looked good on the dance floor, Maisie or Frances would try and chew their way out of the car.
But if Missy Elliot tells them to get their freak on, they’re there. If Beyonce, Pink, Britney or GaGa tell them to hit the dance floor, they ask “where’s the party?” Even when Sinead O’Conner is graphically detailing the intricacies of her latest relationship break down, the girls want to know. As long as she’s not singing country, the girls want to hear from their sisters in rock.
Rule 4: No Country. Ever.
I love country music. Maisie and Frances don’t. Even when I’ve invited such luminaries as Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to share our car, the girls have been savage in their appraisals. This is not to be confused with Folk music, which is definitely in with the girls. Bob Dylan singing about God giving names to all the animals – in. Gram Parsons singing about how much love hurts – out.
Are there any other rules for music harmony in your family’s people mover?
Posted 06 April 2010 - 11:42 PM
I'm stingy with the car radio, usually listening to talkback and yes, occasionally muttering rude - big - words at a particular presenter (nincompoop, complete-and-utter-nong) that DD1 can't quite repeat.
Occasionally she will insist on "music mummy please" at which point I will sing nursery rhymes. Not good for her sense of tone and pitch, but it saves me from listening to crappy commercial radio ads and the risk of hearing dodgy lyrics.
DH has put together an 80s collection CD which he plays for the girls when they're in the car together. I think they also like the Bee Gees...but for me it's Old MacDonald all the way.
Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:45 PM
My problem is not so much what my children (7 and 11yo) like to listen to but how often. Last week I bought them a Cat Empire CD as they had been playing the song 'Hello hello' (which they have on a compilation CD) over and over for months. I did quite like Cat Empire but now after almost a week of school holidays and listening to this one CD being played over and over, I have almost had a gutful and already thinking what CD I can get them to wean them away from their Cat Empire addiction. I just have to be prepared for the fact that if it is someone I like, then I may not like them anymore after a week or two (so no Paul Kelly!). Could be worse I suppose. If I let them have their heads completely, it would probably be something like Kei$ha.
Edited by mrsjessop, 07 April 2010 - 04:46 PM.
Posted 07 April 2010 - 11:17 PM
I am not entirely sure what it means for me when at not quite 2.5 my son walks around singing "wooooooaaaaaaaaaaaah Caught a bad romance" and dancing with his little monster claws up in the air in a similar fashion to that of the zombies in Thriller (as they do in the film clip). And he is taking a liking to her new song Telephone as well.
But we balance it with vintage Sesame Street footage and a lot of wiggles. Plus the kid can sing!
Posted 21 April 2010 - 12:08 AM
In our house?
Can't reply, can't reply, now you know my poker face. Kookaburra, kookaburra, kookaburra face.
All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies. Wuhuh O Wuhuh Oooooo.
Posted 28 April 2010 - 11:56 AM
When there were only 2 of them, I decided to buy a couple of children's music cds. I can say after 5 years of it, I have had a gutful!! And something else; I realized that my love and appreciation for the great rock gods such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones' came from growing up with it. My dad always had it playing. He scoffed at disco and stuck with rock. I love classic rock. Although all my kids can sing "So What", I have also made sure they are learning the words to Sympathy for the Devil and the Immigrant song.
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