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50 songs for kids AND their parents (or 50 songs for kids that aren’t utter crap)

April 1st, 2007

I love music. Kids love music. The problem is, some people purporting to make children’s “music” obviously hate parents. They’re probably not too keen on children either, come to think of it. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they don’t have any taste. I’m not against spinning the occasional silly songs collection (although I do draw the line at pop covers sung by children). But let’s face it: calling some of this stuff garbage is an insult to garbage.

We recently spent about 18 hours in a car with both of our kids (9 hours each way). There was no way I was going to listen to The Wiggles for 9 hours. So the day before we left, I created a bunch of mix CDs with songs that I thought both the kids and I would like. I’m happy to report that it was a total success. The kids liked the songs and I kept my sanity.

Here are 50 of the highlights from that trip, in no particular order:

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
If I Had $1,000,000 by Barenaked Ladies
Waltzing Matilda by Dan Zanes and Debbie Harry
Cherokee by Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
Garden in the Rain by Diana Krall
Only You by NRBQ
Sunshine Barato by The Mosquitos
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles
Love is Coming Back by The Flying Neutrinos
Sing Your Life by Morrissey
Come On Eileen by Save Ferris
Take Me Home Country Road by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Jump in Line by Cherry Poppin Daddies
Reach For the Sky by Social Distortion
You Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman
Mamma Mia by ABBA
Such Great Heights by The Postal Service
At Last by Etta James
Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer
Love Shack by The B52s
Twist and Shout by The Beatles
Take On Me by Big Reel Fish
Dirty Old Town by The Fenians
Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Hungry Heart by Minnie Driver
Make Someone Happy by Jimmy Durante
Somebody to Love by Queen
Summerteeth by Wilco
Mahna Mahna by Cake
She’s Trying by The Dance Hall Crashers
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper
Whiskey in the Jar by The Fenians
We’re Going to be Friends by Jack Johnson
Grass Skirt by AGSFB
Penny Lane by The Beatles
The Nearness of You by Norah Jones
Misirlou by Dick Dale and His Del Tones
On the Road Again by Willy Nelson
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves
Upside Down by Jack Johnson
Simmer Down by The Skatalites and Bob Marley
The District Sleeps Alone by The Postal Service
Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles
Young Pilgrims by The Shins
Rock Lobster by The B52s
Lonestart by Norah Jones
Salvador by Los Pinguous
Blue by The Jayhawks
Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
Dry the Rain by The Beta Band

If you’ve got more examples kid-friendly grownup songs, post ’em in the comments.