Monday Morning Smile: "I Was Born" - Hanson

Just a great pop song from the band Hanson, a song that in its celebration of individuality and the need to be, well, you, could easily be a kindie song.  A video that features a bunch of kids (11 of the trio's 12 kids) -- this could easily be a kindie video.  The song isn't quite as good as the twenty-years-old "MMMBop," but what song is?  The fact that this new song is in the same ballpark speaks volumes about the earworm-y nature of the track.

Hanson - "I Was Born" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Everybody Gets a Kitten" - Jeremy Messersmith

11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs... cover

11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs... cover

I'm a longtime fan of Jeremy Messersmith, dating back to seeing him at SXSW in 2010.  At the time, he was prepping an album called The Reluctant Graveyard, a baker's dozen of songs about death and dying, not exactly the prototypical album you'd expect to be featured on a kids music website.  (Note: it wasn't featured here, though it's a pretty great album.)

A couple weeks ago, Messersmith released 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs For Ukulele: A Micro Folk Record For The 21st Century And Beyond, an album of, well, that album title says it all.  The songs are 100% delightful and, even better, if you sign up for Messersmith's mailing list via his website, you can get a copy of a ukulele songbook for the entire album, a task I highly recommend following through on.  The songs are a bunch of fun to play, and they're not terribly challenging for anyone with the barest of uke skills.

While I think all of the songs could probably fit unchallenged as a cover on a kids' album, I thought I'd feature the leadoff track, "Everybody Gets a Kitten" because, you know, kittens. 

Jeremy Messersmith: "Everybody Gets a Kitten" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Light As A Feather" - Cat Doorman

Light As A Feather cover

Light As A Feather cover

Typically these Monday Morning Smiles focus on tracks that weren't conceived as kids music, but I thought this track was just the thing needed for a sunny spring Monday morning.  It's "Light As A Feather," in both title and effect, and it was released last December by Portland's Cat Doorman, with help from fellow musician and artist Alexis Gideon.  You can not only stream the track below, but all proceeds from buying the track (just $1) will go towards Save the Children's Syrian Refugee Fund.

Win win, all the way 'round.

Monday Morning Smile: "When I Grow Up" from Matilda the Musical

I finally had a chance to see Matilda the Musical recently and I'd recommend seeing it if musicals are at all your family's thing.  (The show recently closed on Broadway, but a touring production continues to make its way across the country.)  Based on the Roald Dahl novel, it's obviously kid-friendly enough for the youngsters and.... based on the Roald Dahl novel, it's obviously subversive enough for the no-longer-youngsters who tag along.  The music and lyrics from Australian comedian Tim Minchin (who's also done the music and lyrics for the new musical of Groundhog Day) do a good job of matching Dahl's tone.

One of the musical's high points is "When I Grow Up," which features wistful lyrics that will sound quite different to kids' ears than to adult ears.  Matched with some gorgeous choreography on swings, it's a moving moment in the show.

London Cast of Matilda the Musical - "When I Grow Up" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "The One Moment" - OK Go

OK Go is the official artist of "Monday Morning Smile."  This latest video hit the internet just before Thanksgiving, and at least twice over the holiday break I went down the rabbit hole with the family with all the other incredibly elaborate videos they've done.

For "The One Moment," they took 4.2 seconds of incredibly precisely calibrated motion and activity, slowed waaaaaaay the heck down and created something really beautiful (and something that just about demands a repeat viewing once you've seen it the first time.  (My kids and wife did, and so did I, anyway.)  "This Too Shall Pass" is still my favorite video of theirs, but this is a close second.

OK Go - "The One Moment" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Vote for Jim Gill" - Jim Gill

Vote for Jim Gill cover

Vote for Jim Gill cover

As you're aware, usually these Monday Morning Smiles are not kid-music-specific, but when I saw this video from Jim Gill, I knew that this movement-based song would be perfect for this morning of the first presidential debate of 2016.  It's a bit of "Vote for Jim Gill," the title track from his brand-new album, and it's tailor-made for playing during the ad breaks in tonight's debate.

It even includes a baby-kissing politician.  Seriously -- couldn't be more appropriate for this evening's event.

Jim Gill - "Vote for Jim Gill" [YouTube]