It has been a long time since I've posted an "Intro to Kindie" list, such a long time that even if you're a regular reader, you'd probably need a reminder of its purpose. (Here you go: Folks like me who are immersed in the genre provide a one-hour introduction to the genre for people who are unfamiliar with it. It's the mixtape equivalent of an "elevator pitch.")
There are a lot of reasons for that, mostly having to do with PEOPLE BUSY ALL THE TIME. And I'd always been planning on doing one of my own, but of course, PEOPLE BUSY ALL THE TIME. Still, I felt like this post -- my post -- in particular just kept slipping further down off the list, and maybe that's because I thought that putting a list down "on paper" would make this list more permanent that it needs to be.
I would note that this isn't a list of the 20 best kids' songs of all time, or my 20 favorites, or my family's collective 20 favorites, or the 20 most important songs or artists. Certainly some of these would appear on all such lists, but the purpose for me of this list is something more modest -- simply introduce an unfamiliar listener to kids' music to such music, perhaps with an emphasis on more modern music, but at least a good overview.
So as you look at (and listen to) this list of songs that I think make for a good introduction to kids music past, present, and future, keep in mind that what makes up the past, present, and future is always changing. (It's changing as I write this.) I'll still always think these songs are great and important, but my perspective, and kids music generally, will continue to evolve.
Without any further ado -- after all, this has been delayed long enough -- here is my intro to kindie, arranged roughly in alphabetical order:
Ella Jenkins - "Miss Mary Mack"
Pete Seeger - "Skip To My Lou"
Raffi - "Mr. Sun"
Laurie Berkner - "Moon Moon Moon"
Dan Zanes and Friends - "Pay Me My Money Down"
Elizabeth Mitchell - "Little Liza Jane"
They Might Be Giants - "Seven"
The Hipwaders - "Educated Kid"
Medeski, Martin & Wood - "Where's the Music?"
Lunch Money - "A Cookie As Big As My Head"
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - "Gotta Be Me"
Recess Monkey - "Sack Lunch"
Caspar Babypants - "Stompy the Bear"
The Okee Dokee Brothers - "Can You Canoe?"
Justin Roberts - "Recess"
The Pop Ups - "All These Shapes"
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band - "Piñata Attack"
Jazzy Ash - "Hide and Seek"
Mista Cookie Jar - "Gratitude"
Frances England - "See What We Can See"