Once again, somebody asked when the next entry in this series would be posted just as I planning the post. My readers are nothing if not persistent and possibly endowed with mind-reading abilities. Just another side benefit of reading this website.
With this entry, your opportunity to enter my contest to guess the Top 5 is rapidly disappearing. All entries are due before I post songs 16 through 20, which I expect to do this upcoming week. Winner gets a free CD. You might want to look at the previous entries...
25. "Teddy Bears' Picnic" - John Walter Bratton (music) / Jimmy Kennedy (lyrics): Amazing what you learn in putting these lists together. Did you know the music for this song was written exactly 100 years ago? And then when words were added 25 years later, the resulting recording sold more than one million copies? (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The lyrics are probably what amuses the kiddos, but I love the way the melody bounces up and around. Recorded by many (Trout Fishing in America and Garcia/Grisman, among others), but why not listen to the original million-seller here?
24. "We Are the Dinosaurs" - Laurie Berkner: Long after Jack's Big Music Show has ended production, long after CDs have stopped production for some method of music distribution we can't even fathom, little kids will be singing this song. The earworm-y beginning -- "we are the dinosaurs, marching, marching, we are the dinosaurs..." followed by the "WHADDAYA THINK OF THAT?!!" and the timpani drum is, well, the opening strains of Beethoven's Fifth of the late 20th century kids' music resurgence. (Watch Laurie's Noggin video here.)
23. "This Little Light" - Traditional: It's a Christian hymn, but it's been used in the civil rights struggle of the 1960's and in countless other secular situations. Can I hide this song under a bushel? No! (You can listen to one of my personal favorite renditions -- the very first song on Elizabeth Mitchell's very first kids' album You Are My Flower -- on Mitchell's website. Click on "flower," then "listen".)
22. "Row Row Row Your Boat - Traditional (lyrics), Eliphalet Orem Lyte (music): While I'm not quite sure I agree with Wikipedia's existential explication of the lyrics, it's definitely not the most mind-easing set of lyrics if the parent is really paying attention to the lyric. Luckily, the words are so ingrained in our brain we don't need to pay attention to it in order to sing it. (And, as a result, there is absolutely no need to give you a sound clip. It's already stuck in your brain now anyway.)
21. "Baby Beluga" - Raffi and Debi Pike: This is the biggest hit from the biggest children's musician of all time. Shouldn't this be, like, #2? I feel bad putting it at #21 instead of somewhat higher, but I don't think it's the easiest song for kids to sing by themselves. But there are a bunch of kids who are singing it with their parents (who sang it with their parents). (Listen to the song at Raffi's Myspace page.)