Non-Children’s Songs with Child Vocals
January 10, 2021 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to make a playlist of modern (post 1955) non-children’s songs that feature vocals by children, such as “Aeroplane” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and “Afraid” by Nelly Furtado. The children’s vocal would need to be more than just a word or two!
posted by juniperesque to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
XTC - Dear God.
The Clash - Career Opportunities (Sandanista! version).
posted by pompomtom at 4:15 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall, part 2
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:17 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]

High Hopes by Frank Sinatra

...or do you mean just one kid, not a chorus?
posted by Rash at 4:17 PM on January 10

I think the children's chorus is rather common on "Christmas singles" in the UK. The (in)famous "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Wizzard is a good example.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:20 PM on January 10

Leonard Cohen - The Partisan

(note: the children are singing in French)
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 4:21 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Phish - Contact (towards the end. Caution, earworm!)
posted by bondcliff at 4:27 PM on January 10

Dead Man's Bones - My Body's A Zombie for You
posted by knile at 4:34 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Abba, “I have a dream.”
posted by Melismata at 4:36 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Jason Mraz - Coyotes
posted by yawper at 4:38 PM on January 10

Julian Cope Western Front CE1992
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Brown skin girl - Beyoncé
Paper planes - M.I.A
posted by umwhat at 4:46 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:47 PM on January 10

We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner
posted by BrashTech at 4:51 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Martika, Toy Soldiers.
posted by Melismata at 4:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

It's choristers rather than a regular kids chorus but Little Star by Stina Nordenstam has children singing towards the end.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:03 PM on January 10

Yeasayer - I Am Chemistry
posted by wats at 5:04 PM on January 10

Cry Little Sister
posted by whistle pig at 5:17 PM on January 10

We Belong - Pat Benatar
Possibly: Heaven is a Place on Earth - Belinda Carlisle? There are kids in the video, but not sure about the actual song and not in the mood to go listen to it (sorry).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:18 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]

There's also a rich seam of suggestions in this thread on I Love Music.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:26 PM on January 10

Playground in my Mind includes a duet with a seven-year-old boy.
posted by FencingGal at 5:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Decemberists, The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge)
Phish, Contact
posted by D.Billy at 5:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Hard Knock Life (The Ghetto Anthem) by Jay Z
posted by barnoley at 5:57 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]

Mike and the Mechanics - the living years
posted by skewed at 6:15 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Faith No More: Be Aggressive
Crass: Big A Little A
posted by Woodroar at 6:17 PM on January 10

Are you that somebody - Aaliyah
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 6:22 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

You made me think of Grandad We Love You and it will take time for me to recover. This... thing spent three weeks at the number 1 spot in the UK in 1971.

Laibach's Rossiya has a chorus of children singing the Russian national anthem.
posted by Vortisaur at 6:25 PM on January 10

Sault—Stop Dem
posted by exceptinsects at 6:50 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

It might not be a long enough section to meet your requirements, but part of the middle verse of Cheyenne Anthem?
posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 6:54 PM on January 10

Trick Daddy: I’m a Thug

Nas: I Can
posted by hovizette at 7:20 PM on January 10

George Strait's Heartland, the version off the Pure Country soundtrack
posted by stormyteal at 7:52 PM on January 10

Talk Talk - Happiness is Easy
Yo La Tengo - Nuclear War (Version 2)
De La Soul - Trying People
Caetano Veloso - Um canto de afoxé para o Bloco do Ilê (I guess the vocal by Moreno, Caetano's son, is just a refrain of two words, but he did get writing credit.)
posted by hydrophonic at 8:16 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

(sigh) Do I have to be the one to post this?
Jordy - Dur Dur D'être Bébé!
posted by hydrophonic at 8:21 PM on January 10

Tori Amos' daughter joins her on Holly, Ivy, & Rose and sings a couple full verses.

John Darnielle-of-the-Mountain-Goats' older son's voice is heard in the chorus The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All The Other Jedi And Eats Their Bones.

hydrophonic, I think it had to be you, because the rest of us had repressed it.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:41 PM on January 10

Garrett Shider, the five year old son of P-Funk guitarist Gary Shider, sings backing vocals in RHCP's Brother's Cup.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:52 PM on January 10

I just stumbled across this one I had forgotten: Dr. John - The Patriotic Flag-Waver
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:23 PM on January 10

Justice - D.A.N.C.E

Vocals provided by the Foundation for Young Musicians choir.
posted by arha at 9:57 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]

One of my favourites: Ryuichi Sakamoto - Zen-Gun
posted by ovvl at 10:39 PM on January 10

Might this version of They Might Be Giants’s Particle Man sung by schoolchildren count? No? Okay.
posted by ejs at 11:13 PM on January 10

M83's Raconte-Moi Histoire? (The song is not in French, despite its title.)
posted by Athanassiel at 11:48 PM on January 10

Black girl pain by Talib Kweli
posted by mani at 12:54 AM on January 11

Swans: Michael Gira's daughter chimes in on You Fucking People Make Me Sick off of My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.

I feel utterly certain that there are more Current 93 tracks featuring vocals by children, but for some reason I'm only coming up with the very beginning of Invocation of Almost off of Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain at the moment. Well, that and there are definitely some background vocals in The Frolic on All the Pretty Little Horses, but they mostly remain in the background.
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 2:56 AM on January 11

Rammstein - Spieluhr
posted by Stoneshop at 3:20 AM on January 11

Pa-Pa-Power by Dead Man's Bones (yes, that Ryan Gosling), as well as the rest of the album that track is from, features the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir.
posted by terretu at 4:37 AM on January 11

Nightwish often uses children's voices in their songs, some I can think of quickly are

Dead Boy's Poem
The Poet and the Pendulum

I am biased but I prefer the live recordings I have linked with their current singer Floor Jansen (these would be found on "Showtime, Storytime" and "Vehicle of Spirit" live albums)
posted by ceithern at 5:19 AM on January 11

The Carpenters - Sing A Song
posted by lhauser at 7:00 AM on January 11

Does a tiny school choir covering contemporary 70's pop count?
The Langley Schools Music Project - Space Oddity
posted by Uncle at 8:44 AM on January 11

Fleetwood Mac - Say You Will

The kids singing include John McVie’s daughter, and Stevie Nicks’s niece and her niece’s best friend.
posted by keep it under cover at 2:04 AM on January 12

The Yamasuki Singers - Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki - a 1971 French psych-rock opera sung by a Japanese children's chorus.
posted by Gortuk at 6:40 AM on January 12

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