I hesitate to call myself an “expert” at anything but if I did, I would say I know a lot about choosing good books for kids but not a lot about choosing good music for kids. So when thinking about good music choices to share as part of my Sounds of the Seasons series, I thought I should go to an “expert”.
Meet Jessica, college friend, music major- and later music teacher, mom to 2 little ones, and bloggy mom (Writing a blog about living life with allergies).Jessica seemed to obvious choice to guest post on my blog. And thankfully, she not only agreed to guest post but she offered to give away copies of some of her favorite music to one of you! Sweet.
Children’s Music. It can be the one thing that gets your kids to not scream and yell in the car. It can also be the bain of your existence after you’ve listened to “The Wheels on the Bus” 12 kazillion times. It’s hard to choose good music that makes your kids laugh and keeps you from wanting to poke your eyes out. My goal with this review is to recommend some of my kids’ favorite CDs as well as mine.
Slugs, Bugs and Lullabies
Because silliness is next to godliness
This first album is by far, my favorite of all time. I was already a big fan of Andrew Peterson’s and Randall Goodgame’s music individually, but nothing could have prepared me for the laughter…and the tears! I bought this right after we found out we were pregnant with our son, Jonathan, and we’ve been loving it ever since! You will laugh so much during the first half of this album, only to cry just as much through the last half with the lullabies!
For laughs, nothing can beat the silliness of tracks like “Piggy Little Toes”, “Tractor, Tractor” and “Who’s Got the Ball.” There is just something about dads having fun with their kids and these songs really capture that. There are some great tunes, too, about God and how much He loves us. “God Made Me” talks about all of the things that God has made. “You Can Always Come Home” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” are sweet lullabies that speak of God’s forgiveness and protection, something we also do as parents.
Slugs and Bugs Christmas
It’s everbody’s favorite Christmas mammal- The Camel Song
Just in case you didn’t get enough with the first album, Slugs and Bugs has just released a Christmas album that is sure to please! I just got mine in the mail last week and I have NOT been able to stop listening! There are some hilarious songs as well as some great adaptations of traditional Christmas Carols. Stylistically, the album ranges from an opening bluegrass tune to bluesy numbers and gentle lullabies.
Some of our favorite tracks on this album are “Happy Birthday, Jesus”, “Jesus Loves Me” and “The Camel Song” (You can’t beat a song that rhymes “camel” with “Mark Hamil.” Just sayin’.) I know that this will be in our Christmas music playlist for years to come.
Slugs and Bugs Christmas was featured as part of Under the Radar’s Best of Christmas 2010 list. You can purchase Slugs, Bugs and Lullabies and Slugs and Bugs Christmas at http://www.rabbitroom.com/
Coal Train Railroad
Can I borrow your toes? Mine are nearly froze! Snuggling suits me just fine.
I was delightfully surprised to get this album. I’m pretty sure that I stumbled over it following Sandra McCracken on Facebook. I have not been a big fan of jazz and not so much out of dislike as out of ignorance. If you like jazz, you will LOVE this for your kids. I love it because the themes are great for kids (juice, sharing, listening to parents, naptime) and the complexity of the music is a great thing to expose kids to. They are not going to hear chords and tonalities like this on most other kid’s collections. Maybe you don’t like jazz? You will be a convert by listening to this. If the music doesn’t get you, the lyrics will! It’s real music with lyrics geared toward kids and adults will enjoy it (and not just tolerate it!) as well!
Coal Train Railroad’s album, “Coal Train Railroad”, was featured on the Ages 3 and Up list of favorite albums of 2010. To learn more about this great group or purchase their album (and various sundries) through their website, visit http://www.coaltrainrailroad.com/.
Behold the Lamb of God
Gather ‘round, ye children come, listen to the old, old story
Of the power of death undone, by an infant born of glory
Son of God, son of man.
I can’t share about Slugs, Bugs and Lullabies without a plug for my all-time, favorite Christmas album. Seriously, we listen to this one ALL YEAR. Why? Because it’s not just about the “Christmas” story. It’s the “true tale of the coming of Christ.” It encompasses all of the Biblical stories that hint at the coming of a Savior. As the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones says,
You see, the best thing about this Story is- it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle- a piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day- but wait. Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning….
This album has beautiful original songs as well as instrumental arrangements of traditional carols that fit into the telling of the story. I’ve had the opportunity to see this in concert and it is something I wish I could go to every year. Any time I listen I am reminded of God’s great love for His people and the lengths He went to in order to rescue His people.
Behold the Lamb of God won the 2004 Best Album of the Year, World Christian Music Editor’s Award.
You can purchase this album and others by Andrew Peterson at http://www.rabbitroom.com/
Thanks to Jessica for that awesome review. I’m getting ready to place my orders for new albums for my kids!!
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(Jessica and I were not paid to write this review– well, at least not that I know of 😉 I asked Jessica for her honest opinions on Children’s music and she picked these titles.)
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