We were parents who believed that we wouldn’t have to listen to nursery rhymes. We planned to raise our children on real music, like Bob Dylan and Nick Cave.

It began well. Driving home from the birth centre with my first baby, Heart Daddy played Biggy. I didn’t think all that gun gangsta sex stuff was very appropriate for a seven day old baby. But she slept.

We tried the likes of Dylan and Cohen. She liked that stuff – if you consider screaming every car journey as ‘like’. We resorted to singing. We sung ’til we were hoarse. But we didn’t sing nursery rhymes.

It was my mum who discovered the magic of the children’s tune. She bought one of those compilation albums for children, and for the first time, my baby sat quietly in the car, looking out the window.

Damn.

My older girl has been known to ask specifically Bob Dylan or Nick Cave (proud moment) but mostly, it’s “Nursery Rhymes please!”

Although, recently, we’ve discovered some child-friendly music, which is also adult friendly.

Elvis

Essential Elvis
Essential Elvis

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald

Otis Redding

Otis Redding
Otis Redding

and if you have to ‘technically’ play children’s music…

Johnny Cash’s children’s album

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash

Vintage songs for children

Vintage Children's Favourites
Vintage Children’s Favourites

and Putumayo Kids World Playground

Putumayo World Playground
Putumayo World Playground

If these more tolerable forms of children’s entertainment don’t suffice, the following children’s albums are pretty good, as far as children’s music goes.

Incy Wincy Spider
Incy Wincy Spider
Fun Times ABC For Kids
Fun Times ABC For Kids

Actually, my children like anything which has a good melody, or is up-beat and happy. They love polka.

In three years of parenthood, I have become more tolerant of children’s music. Some of that synthesised music for children, especially songs which get stuck in your head, can be very irritating.

But occasionally, even my music-obsessed husband will be known to drive solo, without child, for up to half an hour, listening to children’s music.

What do you listen to with your children? Do you like it?

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