I need songs!
February 24, 2012 11:42 AM   Subscribe

You're 3 years old. You love holding up your plastic microphone and looking at yourself in the mirror as you sing along dramatically to diva women with big voices. Who are you singing to? Give me names and songs for this compilation, and make a little girl super happy!

Well, I guess the text explains it all. I need songs with great beats and not complicated lyrics that will help a 3 year old rock.

I've got A. Franklin's Respect, and Shakira's Waka Waka, but I'm drawing a blank. Everytime I think good beat, the lyric doesn't work - like Tina Turner's Private Dancer, or the lyric works but the song is too slow to hold a three year old's attention. But between Celine Dion, Cher, Etta James, Mariah Carey, etc., I know there's a CD worth of fabulousness out there.

Help me hive mind! All suggestions will be seriously considered!
posted by anitanita to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Not exactly diva vocals:

Ace of Bass - The Sign
Wilson Phillips - Hold On
posted by empath at 11:46 AM on February 24, 2012

Man, I think so much of the Funny Girl soundtrack would be great for this. My suggestions:

Don't Rain on My Parade
I'm the Greatest Star
posted by cairdeas at 11:49 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Working 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
She Works Hard for the Money - Donna Summer
The Tide Is High - Blondie (well, chorus at least)
How Will I Know, Greatest Love of All, I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Houston
Physical - Olivia Newton John (questionable lyrics I suppose. I thought it was about exercise when I was a kid.)
posted by NikitaNikita at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

As the father of a three-year-old who does exactly this, I can promise you that every song on the soundtrack to Just Dance Kids is perfect for this.
posted by jbickers at 11:51 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me
posted by jquinby at 11:51 AM on February 24, 2012

When my daughter was about that age, she loved singing along to Jewel, of all people.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:52 AM on February 24, 2012

Stupid Girls by Pink. My niece loved singing along with that.
posted by wwax at 11:54 AM on February 24, 2012

Really Rosie! The whole show is great, but that song is the most diva-ish. I've been known to belt out the "Hey, can't you see/ I'm terrific at everything/No star shines so bright as me" line from time to time myself.
posted by amarynth at 11:56 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

The cuteness of this question is amazing.

Amy Winehouse Rehab would be perfect to sing along too in terms of tempo, I think, but the subject matter is a little dicey for a 3yr old. Maybe check out her other songs?

Also, musicals are a GREAT source for the kind of song that you can just belt out and sing. I'm going to think about some good songs from musicals and post again later.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:59 AM on February 24, 2012

For my niece of a similar age, it's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler and "Heart of Glass" by Blondie.
posted by KateViolet at 12:00 PM on February 24, 2012

Bohemian Rhapsody. I'd put Freddie Mercury up against any of those ladies any day.
posted by phunniemee at 12:00 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

My sister and I liked Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse of the Heart, Glora Gaynor I Will Survive, and The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss).
posted by Jehan at 12:02 PM on February 24, 2012

How about the Supremes, Ronettes, and other music of that era?
Cyndi Lauper - Girls just wanna have fun or True Colors?
Tina Turner - Proud Mary
Dolly Parton - 9 to 5 comes to mind, but really a thousand other songs too

We Are the World for nostalgic 80s action.

But caideas is right that musicals will have lots of songs that are perfect for belting.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:03 PM on February 24, 2012

Chicago has some good ones that you can really belt out:

All that Jazz
When You're Good to Mama
Mr. Cellophane
posted by insectosaurus at 12:10 PM on February 24, 2012

I was personally obsessed with the Queen of the Night's second aria from the Magic Flute, much to my parent's chagrin.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:13 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

The lyrics are wholly inappropriate (Kill this dude or I will disown you!) but they are in German, and, well, operatic and very hard to understand.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:15 PM on February 24, 2012

Shirley Bassey - Moon River
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:18 PM on February 24, 2012

I came in to suggest Freddie Mercury, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:20 PM on February 24, 2012

Since You Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
Anything from ANNIE (though you might regret it after the 100th rendition of "Tomorrow")
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:21 PM on February 24, 2012

When I was three I loved "I Love the Nightlife" -- I thought the words were "I Love the Night Light"
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:25 PM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

My 3-year-old is currently really digging Adele, especially Rolling in the Deep .
posted by goggie at 12:26 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

My daughter liked to do this with KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree"
posted by Reverend John at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2012

Annie soundtrack.
posted by vitabellosi at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2012

I have been told that I absolutely killed as a three year old when I sang Tina Turner's "Private Dancer."
posted by palindromic at 12:48 PM on February 24, 2012

I really loved Linda Ronstadt's version of "It's So Easy" when I was around that age.

Also seconding songs from Really Rosie (my favorite was Alligators All Around) and Annie.
Other songs from musicals:
I Could Have Danced All Night - from My Fair Lady
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius - from Mary Poppins
The Lonely Goatherd and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria - from The Sound of Music
Defying Gravity - from Wicked
posted by SisterHavana at 12:56 PM on February 24, 2012

I came in just to recommend ABBA songs (very popular with the under-five set), but then it occurred to me that many of the songs on the soundtrack to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert would be equally good.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:58 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do was my jam at age four. (I liked to pretend a girl was singing it.)

I was also a big fan of the Motown girl groups (The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas).

And being an '80s kid, I loved the Go-Go's, Bangles, Bananarama, Paula Abdul, Roxette, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, and of course Whitney Houston.

I'm pretty sure I would have absolutely loved ABBA if I'd known of them when I was little.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:25 PM on February 24, 2012

My nieces looooove singing along to Beyonce's Single Ladies.
posted by desjardins at 1:39 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Gay icons.
posted by rhizome at 2:02 PM on February 24, 2012

Love will Keep us Together, Monday Monday and Coal Miner's Daughter rocked my world. There's a cassette tape somewhere of me singing You Light up my Life as well, but that's a bit slow.

Please have her sing New York, New York, even though Sinatra's a guy. Little kids belting out "these little town bluuuuuuues" are hysterical.

(I was 3 a while ago...)
posted by ladygypsy at 2:02 PM on February 24, 2012

Does Alison Krauss count as a "diva"?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:06 PM on February 24, 2012

Lenka - Everything at Once is a big hit with our 3-year-old and 18-month-old.
posted by puritycontrol at 2:22 PM on February 24, 2012

Diana Ross- I'm Coming Out

The Staple Singers- I'll Take You There

Thelma Houston- Don't Leave Me This Way

CeCe Peniston- Finally

Also Annie Lennox/Eurythmics and Alison Moyet/Yaz have good songs for hairbrush karaoke.
posted by ambrosia at 2:45 PM on February 24, 2012

Dreamgirls stage production soundtrack has lots of big singing by big girls with big, big voices.
posted by Cookbooks and Chaos at 2:51 PM on February 24, 2012

Oh, man, head back even further.

Ella Fitzgerald has some good ones:

A-Tisket, A-Tasket
It's Only a Paper Moon
Blue Moon
I've Got the World on a String
It Don't Mean A Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing

And many, many more!

I'd also recommend the Andrews Sisters with things like:

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Lullabye of Broadway
Mr. Sandman
posted by zizzle at 2:51 PM on February 24, 2012

And don't forget Carole King!
posted by zizzle at 2:55 PM on February 24, 2012

My very first favourite band when I was 5 or 6 were ABBA.
Stuff like Dancing Queen, Take A Chance On Me, Ring Ring etc is very sing-a-longy and mostly harmless lyrics-wise. (my fave song throughout my childhood was Chiquitita, not sure if that fits the bill though)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:04 PM on February 24, 2012

I will survive. (ms. Veg)
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:25 PM on February 24, 2012

Ann Wilson
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:47 PM on February 24, 2012

Gotta have some Laura Nyro here. I like Wedding Bell Blues or Stoney End. She´s more famous for other people´s covers of her songs than she is in her own right (the famous versions of the songs I listed are by Fifth Dimension and Barbara Streisand, respectively), but that´s a damn shame. Such an amazing voice.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings--Nobody´s Baby or How Do I Let a Good Man Down?.

If you want to go the jazz/old standards route, someone´s version of Get Happy--I like this Ella Fitzgerald version, but Judy Garland´s is the famous one, and there are tons more around.

I´m told that my favorite song ever as a tiny child was Dancing Cheek to Cheek, though I have no recollection of this at all.
posted by ActionPopulated at 5:33 PM on February 24, 2012

Oh, and Kina Grannis, In Your Arms.
posted by ActionPopulated at 6:10 PM on February 24, 2012

Juice Newton - Queen of Hearts.
posted by deborah at 6:49 PM on February 24, 2012

I have to just add that "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid is an extremely powerballadesque song, actually.

Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon taught me how to sing when I was a little girl.
posted by so_gracefully at 7:24 PM on February 24, 2012

I was immediately reminded of a similar, recent question from a couple weeks ago.

Not as focused on "diva" music, which I think is just as well. (Delicate, subtle vocals seem to be shunned in favor of big overpowering belting that grabs more attention.)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:20 PM on February 24, 2012

Bonnie Tyler - Black Velvet
posted by Omnomnom at 5:10 AM on February 25, 2012

Brick House
Love Shack (good beat, message, um?)

- Ms. Vegetable
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:01 PM on February 26, 2012

Still Ms. Vegetable, may be slight not-it, but maybe:
R Kelly's "I believe I can Fly"
If religious songs are ok, perhaps Kirk Franklin's "Stomp" and all the ones from Sister Act.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:02 AM on March 1, 2012

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