Mamma Yamma: The Canadian Foofa (Or Is It Toodee)?

mammayamma.jpgI recently got a note from reader Susan suggesting I check out Kids' CBC, because they "seem to be doing a Yo Gabba Gabba-type thing by inviting Canadian indie musicians to jam with the character Mamma Yamma, who is a large, ebullient yam. In particular, Susan directed me to this video which featured musician Joel Plaskett doing a kid-friendly take on his song "Fashionable People."

Joel Plaskett - "Fashionable People" (from Kids' CBC) [YouTube]

Goofy, and kinda cute, even if you don't know the pretty-much-not-kid-friendly original. Though I'd been vaguely familiar with the show (it even has a CD of songs), I hadn't paid too much attention. My loss, I suppose.

As I watched this video and dug deeper into the Mamma Yamma archives, I got not only a YGG vibe, but also a Sesame Street feeling. That show's been inviting musical guests onto its street pretty much from the get-go forty years ago. Admittedly, it's generally gone for more mainstream musical guests than Brobee, Foofa, Toodee, and the rest have on their own show, but they've occasionally dipped into slightly more off-center artists. (See: Feist.)

In fact, Mamma Yamma has her own Feist-ian equivalent, with Kathleen Edwards reworking her kid-unfriendly (albeit pretty awesome) "Cheapest Key" into a very kid-friendly (and still pretty awesome) song "Eat the Alphabet". (Sorry, for some reason it's cutting off early, but you get the point. If you want to listen to a live version, Bill played it before at Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, perhaps he'll do so again, hint hint.)

And here's one more complete one to finish this off. Any show that features Tegan and Sara gets a thumbs up in my book.

Tegan and Sara - "Alligator" (for Kids' CBC) [YouTube]