Please suggest good, upbeat recordings of classic children's songs. Criteria: no actual children singing, no lite-pop instrumentation, preferably some harmony. Will also gratefully accept recommendations for singable, melodic and repetitive grownup songs that a toddler might enjoy.
My 20-month-old is starting to be interested in music we can sing along to, which means, I guess, that at some point soon I'm going to have to bite the bullet and purchase some actual children's music. (Her current favorites are Old Macdonald
, If You're Happy and You Know It
and Jingle Bells
, which should give a decent idea of what elements she likes-- lots of repetition, bouncy tempo, simple melodies, ideally fun sounds or motions to go with the song.)
I draw the line, though, at purchasing one of those horrible standard recordings featuring shrill children's choruses, annoyingly chirpy hippy chicks, or Barney-style candy pop instrumentation with heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines. Ideally, the recordings would sound as much like actual music as possible, while still being recognizable and somewhat singable by a toddler.
Any genre is fine-- bluegrass, folk, (real) pop, rock, classical, a capella, barbershop, whatever-- but there must be real adult singers, real instruments, and real settings, preferably including some harmony. The closest we've found to this is Raffi, but he's missing some key songs and doesn't have very much harmony. Have read these threads
, but a lot of that music is not very singable for a wee tot. What else should I be checking out? We do iTunes and Amazon, so individual track suggestions are welcome, as well as whole albums. Thanks!