Please recommend some bog-standard classic children's music.
May 10, 2008 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend some bog-standard classic children's music.

I'm not looking for original children's music, like They Might Be Giants or Dino 5, but standards, like "I'm a Little Teapot", "If You're Happy And You Know It", "Mary Had A Little Lamb", etc.

I'm also not looking for clever reinterpretations, like jazz versions of the standards, cover versions by hip post-rock bands, etc.

Just the straight-forward, straight-up children's music classics.
posted by Bugbread to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ella Jenkins, and Disneyland records from the '50s and '60s (not, repeat not, the current crop of Disney music).
posted by box at 8:09 AM on May 10, 2008

Seconding Ella Jenkins. She was used in elementary public school music classes in the 60's and 70's. That's not to say the music is charmless.
posted by kimdog at 8:12 AM on May 10, 2008

Are you looking for titles or specific recordings?

Anne Murray's album There's a Hippo in My Tub has some classic stand-bys on it.

And then there's basically everything ever recorded by Raffi.
posted by cortex at 8:14 AM on May 10, 2008

Seconding Raffi!
posted by harrumph at 8:47 AM on May 10, 2008

I think Peter and the Wolf qualifies. Also certain Flanders and Swann works, most notably The Hippopotamus Song, and The Reluctant Cannibal for slightly older kids.

Leave the F&S album rolling and your child may also develop a surprising depth of knowledge about the Laws of Thermodynamics.
posted by dansdata at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2008

I grew up on Wee Sing.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:32 AM on May 10, 2008

Well, we had a Burl Ives album with a bunch of old standards, and Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye, and some other Danny Kaye kids records. All of these albums had songs that we sung in school.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:43 AM on May 10, 2008

If you're just looking for titles: "The Wheels on the Bus." Nobody I know sang it as a kid, but all our children do. Over... and over... and over...
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:09 AM on May 10, 2008

Watch out, because a lot of the recordings out there are terrible. I didn't know it was possible to make "Ring Around the Rosie" sound so grating. This collection from Genius Entertainment, 123 Favorite Kid Songs, is not too bad. All the classics are represented; from "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to "The Ants Go Marching", there's probably not a song on here that will be unfamiliar. I think I found it in our local library, which is a great source for bog-standard, at least in my neck of the woods.
posted by libraryhead at 11:01 AM on May 10, 2008

Disney also produced a four-volume series of albums called "Children's Favorites" in the late 1970s-early 1980s, with a good mix of children's standards and folk songs. I had the first three volumes on cassette back in the day. Most of the songs were sung by a male lead singer with a children's chorus (and backing instruments). No funky post-rock or jazz musical interpretations. It's pretty straightforward children's music with arrangements that kept things interesting and fun.

I just checked and it's nice to find out that they're available on CD at Amazon for about 6 dollars each, which is a pretty good deal. (Note: Although the album art shows Disney characters, IIRC there aren't any characters "singing" on these particular albums.) Definitely check out the track listings/sound clips (there are a lot of songs on each CD) and the reviews:

Disney's Children's Favorite Songs, Vol. 1 (includes "This Old Man," "The Hokey Pokey," "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "Pop Goes the Weasel," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star")
- Vol. 2 (includes "The Farmer in the Dell," "Skip to My Lou," "London Bridge," "Frere Jacques," "Bingo")
- Vol. 3 (includes "If You're Happy and You Know It," a medley with "Itsy-Bitsy Spider," "Ring Around the Rosy," "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe")
- Vol. 4 (includes "I'm a Little Teapot" -- also, a heads-up: it also includes "It's a Small World." Proof that this is a Disney album.)
posted by macguffin at 2:42 PM on May 10, 2008

Any Canadian between the ages of 20 and 30 will agree: Fred Penner and Sharon, Lois & Bram.

(There's a Hippo in My Tub is also extremely great.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:30 PM on May 10, 2008

John Lithgow's Singing in the Bathtub is great.
posted by hilby at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2008

Thanks for all the recommendations. Sorry I haven't been in to respond earlier.
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 AM on May 18, 2008

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