Music that's fun for adults and kids

I am intrigued by what music I choose to play for my daughter — probably because I grew up in a household where popular music was “of the devil,” and I hated pretty much everything my parents listened to.

My daughter, on the other hand… Her lullaby CDs featured everything from the Beatles to Kermit the Frog. She got a regular diet of Enya at bed/naptime and still considers that to be either “elf music” or “ballerina music.” And it’s been fun to uncover music that she likes, that I can enjoy too. The biggest players have been Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes, but we’ve also learned to look at “adult” music as fun for children. Not counting Laurie and Dan and the Disney music, here are some choices from the CDs I most recently made for her:

- Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” and “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)”
“The Hampster Dance” by Hampton the Hamster
- “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin
“Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants
- The Harry Potter theme music
“Linus and Lucy” by David Benoit
- “Songs About Texas” by Pat Green, Guy Clark and Robert Earl Keane (this is one of the songs I first understood her to be singing, when she was a baby)
“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor
- “True Colors” by Phil Collins
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles

As far as “kids’ music,” I love Laurie’s “Moon Moon Moon” and “Under a Shady Tree,” also Dan’s “Let’s Shake” and “House Party Time.” And we all love, for some odd reason, “Everywhere I Go” by Moose A. Moose (one of the songs they play during breaks on Noggin).

One song from Noggin that I love dearly and can’t find anywhere is “Grumpy,” by a band with a really odd name that’s left my brain at the moment (something about aardvarks?). We also love, and can’t find, Lisa Loeb’s version of “Jenny Jenkins.”

Another song she loves that isn’t on her CDs is “Black Horse and Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall. What toddler doesn’t resonate with the “No No No” part? :) I’ll never forget the day we were listening to it in the car; I look back at her and she’s got both arms in the air, waving from side to side to the beat, restriction of the five-point carseat harness be damned.

Anyone else got family favorites that still probably fall into the realm of popular music?

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