Review: Songs For Wiggleworms - Old Town School of Folk Music

It doesn't take much to turn a tired old chestnut of a kids' song into one worth hearing. Usually a little bit of enthusiasm does the trick.

Songs For Wiggleworms, from Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, has 38 mostly classic kids' songs crammed into one 50-minute disc and has enthusiasm in spades. You've probably heard most of these songs ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "If You're Happy And You Know It...", etc.) but a few our family didn't know before hearing this CD. Regardless of whether the songs are new or old to you, your child (and you) will enjoy these lively renditions, sung by assorted musicians at the school (even Ralph Covert makes an appearance). The enjoyment of the musicians is evident in the renditions, whose occasionally ragged nature make it sound like you're sitting in an Old Town class. Thankfully, accompanied by little more than a guitar, if that, the musicians also stay away from "Star Search" vocal acrobatics.

There are some French-language and Spanish-language folk songs, too, along with a few non-kids songs ("Twist & Shout") to go along with the English-language classics. My favorite song on the album is "You Are My Sunshine," whose lyrics are modified slightly to eliminate the darker overtones of the original. And the songs I don't like? Well, as I said, there are 38 songs on a 50-minute CD -- just wait a minute, there'll be a new song coming up shortly. This CD is targeted at kids from birth to age 4 or 5.

The CD was out of print for a while, but is available once more here at Trust me, I've heard a number of nursery school song CD collections -- this is one you'll actually enjoy and the only one worth getting.