While I think one of the things I've appreciated most about kids music over the past decade plus is the genre's expansion into new sounds, it's a little sad that there isn't as much history, so to speak, aside from the many traditional folk songs that reinterpreted many times over.
So I was glad to hear that Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, key players in the kids music field for many years, were honoring some of their forebears with their forthcoming album Zoom a Little Zoom! A Ride Through Science. The new album takes songs from the classic set of albums called Ballads for the Age of Science. Those albums, also known as the Singing Science Records, featured songs by lyricist Hy Zaret and composer Lou Singer, performed by Dorothy Collins, Smithsonian Folkways artist Tom Glazer, and more. They Might Be Giants covered a couple songs off the album, so it's not totally unfamiliar, but as songs that essentially beat Schoolhouse Rock by a full decade, they're important in the history of American kids music.
Fink and Marxer don't cover every song off the albums, but the ones they do, including this one, "Constellation Jig," (very Irish, natch) get contemporary arrangements commissioned by Zaret's son Robert. The accompanying video is lovely, with lots of detailed animations (including, of course, the constellations themselves) to accompany the lyrics. I'm happy to world-premiere the video below. And if you want to pick up the album, which comes out this Friday, March 30, feel free to check out iTunes or Amazon.
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer - "Constellation Jig" [YouTube]