I know. This is madness, right? Trying to come up with a list of my 30 favorite songs from the past year? Completely. Nuts.
But that's what I'm willing to do for you, dear readers. More so than a list of albums or debuts or videos, however, a list ranking favorite songs is ephemeral, subject to the whims of a particular moment. More than that, it probably tends toward the poppy, upbeat, and lively. Tender lullabies have to do more work to stand out in my (or your) memory if you've heard literally thousands of kids' songs over the past year.
But regardless of how different my list would next week (or late in the evening), these 30 songs are among the best that kids music offered us in the past year. ("Year," as always, defined as Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014, though that's harder to stick to given the prevalence of singles which might have been released on either side of that window. Deal.)
Also, these are in alphabetical order -- if you think I'm going to attempt to rank all these, you're even more nuts than I am in deciding to pick them.
Bears and Lions - "Pancakes"
The Laurie Berkner Band – "Fireflies"
Caspar Babypants – "The Girl with the Squirrel in Her Hat"
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – "When I Grow Up"
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band (w/ Laurie Berkner) – "We're in Love"
Laura Doherty - "I'm a Little Fish"
Django Jones – "Counterpoint"
Gustafer Yellowgold - "Toothloser"
The Hipwaders – "Kings & Queens"
Charlie Hope – "Harmony" (feat. Elizabeth Mitchell)
Hullabaloo – "Like a Bird Must Feel"
Jazzy Ash - "Throw Me Something Mista" (feat. Mista Cookie Jar)
Randy Kaplan – "Not Too Young for a Song"
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – "Food Fight"
Josh and the Jamtones – "Green and Spakkled Frogs"
Luscious Jackson – "Hula Hoop"
Walter Martin - "Hey Sister" (feat. Kat Edmonson)
Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips – "My My My"
The Not-Its! - "When I Fell (The Scab Song)"
The Okee Dokee Brothers - "Through the Woods"
The Pop Ups - "All These Shapes"
Raffi – "Love Bug"
Recess Monkey - "Smooth Sailing"
Red Yarn - "The Fox"
Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – "Just Say Hi!"
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – "Imaginary Friend"
The Short Films – "The Mysterious Okapi"
Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots – "The Grape Jam" (feat. Spare Parts)
Danny Weinkauf – "Oh No Oh Yeah"
The Whizpops! – "Sea Turtule"