Video: "Me and My Kangaroo" - Justin Roberts

Lemonade album cover

Lemonade album cover

Not enough kangaroo-themed songs in kids music, in my opinion.  Who doesn't love kangaroos, right?

Sure enough, Justin Roberts has got me (and you, fellow kangaroo friend) covered with his latest video, for "Me and My Kanagaroo" from his Lemonade album.  A sweet song, a good friend, and even a bit of a laugh track.

P.S.  Justin -- let me know if you ever want to play Ticket to Ride!  Love that game!

Justin Roberts - "Me and My Kangaroo" [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]

Songs for Thanksgiving (Updated)

About five years ago, I compiled a list of songs for Thanksgiving that brought together a bunch of kids music themed for Thanksgiving either overtly or somewhat more subtly (i.e., songs about gratitude).

It's time for an update.  I've included some stream/video links, along with a Spotify playlist for those songs on the service.

And if I've missed one, please let me know in the comments or via e-mail and we'll add it in.

Laurie Berkner - "(I'm Gonna Eat on) Thanksgiving Day" (as close to a kindie Thanksgiving Day anthem as we have)

John McCutcheon - "Thanksgiving Day"

Charity and the JAMband - "Thank You" (close enough, right?, and you can still download it for free or pay what you like)

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer - "Thank You" (this one's much more Thanksgiving-related)

Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies - "Last Thanksgiving"

Todd McHatton - "Happy Vegan Thanksgiving Song" (listen here)

Bill Harley - "Enough is a Feast" [parents: see note below]

Bill Harley - "Thanksgiving Prayer"

Kindiependent - "Kids' Table"

Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove - "Gobble Across the USA"

The Harmonica Pocket - "Give Thanks"

Dre Towey - "Turkey Bop"

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights - "The Tofurkey Song"

Spencer the Gardener - "The Gobble Song"

Kurt Gallagher - "Tommy Turkey" (watch here)

Shine and the Moonbeams - "Soul Food Holiday"

Renee and Friends - "Gather Round"

Aaron Nigel Smith and the One World Chorus feat. Dan Zanes - "Grateful"

Mista Cookie Jar - "Gratitude" [stream]

José-Luis Orozco - "Thanksgiving"

Rocknoceros - "This Thanksgiving"

Justin Roberts - "How Lucky We Are"

Gustafer Yellowgold - "Pumpkin Pied"

Miss Nina - "Grateful" [YouTube]

Video: "Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)" - Sugar Free Allstars

No tiny dinosaurs here.

The latest (and greatest? yes, greatest) video from Oklahoma's Sugar Free Allstars goes life-size in its song about crankypants of all ages.  The video for "Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)" from their most recent self-titled album features the title characters, who seem like they should be mascots for a minor-league baseball team somewhere, (gently) expressing displeasure and general raucousness to the tune with a killer singalong chorus.

Crankosaurus Rex's arms seem to be slightly longer than his (or her) older brother Tyrannosaurus, for what it's worth, dinosaur experts.

Sugar Free Allstars - "Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)" [YouTube] (h/t: Geekdad)

Kids' Songs About Emotions

While I generally shy away from songs and kids music that explicitly teach subjects in a didactic way, that doesn't mean that a) non-didactic songs don't teach the listener, and b) you can't create a very catchy song that also happens to be educational.

There are lots of songs that take history as their subject, and there are any number of math, non-English language, science, and standard school or preschool life skill subjects in song.  Emotional literacy, however, is a trickier subject, as the songwriter isn't so much covering facts as she or he is trying to write a song explaining the very emotions songs usually generate.  It's a meta idea... for 4- or 7-year-olds.

Back in 2008, I said that there really hadn't been much if any non-didactic kids music about emotions written, and that there was a niche waiting to be filled.  Luckily, I think that niche has been filled, at least a little bit -- there are now a number of tracks that I think could serve as tuneful introductions for a young audience to what emotions are.

I've provided a list below, but if you've got more to add, list them in the comments!  (Note that the list generally tries to limit itself to songs about emotion, rather than including songs that deal with emotion in passing.  Such a list would be much, much longer.)

“It’s Alright to Cry” - Rosie Grier (among many others) [stream]

"Cry Cry Cry” - Ziggy Marley (feat. Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga) [stream]

“Joy Comes Back” - Alastair Moock [stream]

“Furry Happy Monsters” - R.E.M. [video]

“Sad” - Big Block Singsong [video]

“Brave” - Big Block Singsong [video]

“Happy” - Big Block Singsong [video]

"Mad" - Big Block Singsong [video]

“Mama Is Sad” - Justin Roberts [stream]

“Happy Sad Silly Mad” - Jeremy Plays Guitar [video]

“Sad Robot” - The Jellydots [stream]

“Are You Happy?” - Alison Faith Levy [stream]

“If You’re Happy and You Know It..." - Raffi (and many many others) [stream]

"In All of the World" - Papa Crow [stream]

"Alright, Okay, Just Fine" - Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang [Spotify]

"Feel What U Feel" - Lisa Loeb feat. Craig Robinson [Amazon]

"Feelings Change" - The Pop Ups [stream]