Song of the Day: Mama Don't Allow - Brady Rymer

One of my favorite kids' books is Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, which simultaneously manages to capture the mindset of a three-year-old and permits that same three-year-old to yell "No!" repeatedly. It's a safe rebellion for the child, while also allowing him or her to exert control. (It's also now a musical, apparently, but that's a whole different subject.)

The musical equivalent is the traditional "Mama Don't Allow," which allows the listener to do all sorts of things mama (a particularly strict sort) don't normally allow: hand-clappin', foot-stompin' -- you get the idea if you somehow have never heard the song before.

Brady Rymer has a nice version of the song on his latest album, Every Day Is a Birthday. It's uptempo, full of energy, but the part that I really dig (and I why I'm mentioning it here) is when Rymer sings, "Mama don't allow no backup-singin' 'round here," and, sure enough, the backup singers chime in. It's a nice, slightly meta-, slightly humorous moment in a fun version of the song that could easily be no different from countless other versions of the song.

Reminds me a little bit of They Might Be Giants' "Fibber Island," off of -- appropriately enough, given the start of this post -- No!. "Here on Fibber Island / No one sings along," and then the backup singers (or whatever the squeaky voices are) chime in "no one sings along." Just as with Rymer's version, it's a meta-moment that challenges the listener and gives them a little bit of excitement when they figure out what just happened.

You can hear Rymer's version of "Mama Don't Allow" here. And, while we're sending you to CDBaby, you can hear TMBG's "Fibber Island" here.