So here's the first installment of my quixotic attempt to produce a list of the Top 50 Kids Songs of All Time.
In general this list is supposed to produce a list of songs familiar to a wide range of kids, at least in English-speaking North America. (OK, I realize that's not quite so wide.) As we approach #1, the songs are more likely to be "classics," recorded multiple times, and familiar enough to people for them to join in singing spontaneously. Which is not to say that more recent and more recording-focused tunes won't make the list, just that they're probably more the exception than the rule.
And remember, if you haven't entered the contest to pick the top five, go do so now.
Without any further ado, then, here we go...
50. "Bicycle" - The Jellydots: Did I say this song wouldn't make this list? OK, I changed my mind. Of course, a lot of the Jellydots' tunes were written to help teacher guitar to kids, so maybe 20 years from now some 10-year-old kid will jam out on her own guitar to this. (Listen at the Jellydots' Myspace page.)
49. "Tricycle" - Lunch Money: "This tricycle / Was my brother's tricycle / And that's why it has / This dent in the fender." Lunch Money's debut Silly Reflection is a small gem of a CD and I could've picked any one of a half-dozen excellent songs here, but this one is the most accessible and relatable to kids and their parents. (Listen at Lunch Money's lyrics page for "Tricycle".)
48. "Car Car" - Woody Guthrie: Hard to believe this song is, what, 50 years old? Covered by Elizabeth Mitchell on You Are My Sunshine (with a "beep beep" that still makes us swivel our heads every time we listen to it in the car), it's still timely today. (Listen to a sample of Woody's version here.)
47. "Yellow Bus" - Justin Roberts: Roberts is one of the top 2 or 3 crafters of kids pop tunes working today. This track is a fine example of his folk-pop talent merged with his ample sense of humor -- kids and parents might not necessarily sing his music on their own all the time, but they'll definitely sing along. (Listen to a sample here.)
46. "Trot Ol' Joe" - traditional: An excellent example -- the first of many -- of songs that have been shaped through the years to fit slightly different melodies and lyrics. Also an excellent example of songs to combine with physical movements with toddlers. Love the "whoooooaaa, Joe" part.
Final note: Note the common thread here? Yes, all these songs deal with modes of transportation. No, the rest of the list will not be organized quite so neatly.