Thursday, 29 December 2011

A heartfelt thank you to Laura Veirs by Kate

One of the things I had been dreading when it came to parenting was that music category known as Children's Songs. Even before Rosie's advent, I had already heard too many brittle ditties with sickly, high-pitched vocals laid over the kind of artificial synthesiser arrangements a self-respecting Kraftwerk-lover would rightly eschew with contempt. Or indeed any self-respecting music-lover. Some of the tunes from Disney cartoon musicals pass muster (I will happily listen to The Jungle Book OST on repeat) but otherwise there are far too many that I believe are given second-class musical treatment simply because the songs are aimed at children. It's both cynical and patronising, in my view. Not to mention exquisite torture to long-suffering parents who are forced to listen to the horrible things over and over every time they get in the car with their pint-sized offspring.

So when I heard Laura Veirs' arrangement of Jump Down Spin Around played on BBC 6Music, I was immediately interested to hear that it came from an entire collection by Veirs aimed at children (inspired by her own experience of new motherhood).

I'm not ashamed to say there was a high degree of self-interest in our decision to buy the CD for Rosie as a Christmas present. Anyone with small children knows if they like something, they will want it repeated ad nauseam. And ad infinitum. I was determined to find something Theo and I could bear to listen to on repeat as well.

And I'm pleased to say Tumble Bee by Laura Veirs absolutely fits the bill. Theo and I are totally charmed by the folksy arrangements of (largely) American traditional children's songs. But what would Rosie think?

She was immediately intrigued by the cover art and the little booklet that came inside the CD, so that was a good start. Then we put the CD on and held our breath as Rosie listened to the first track. There was a infinitesimal pause after it ended, then Rosie shouted; "Again! Again!"

We breathed out.

In fact, Rosie called for an encore on every track played and happily danced to Tumble Bee and bounced in time on her new trampoline (another Christmas present) for the rest of the afternoon.

She has since settled on Why, Oh Why? as her favourite track from Tumble Bee, but that's okay. Because we like it too. A lot.

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