Jan 27, 2011

Life's Soundtrack - Little Ones

M makes a wish
My niece, Miss M

Today's theme was inspired by two events.  First, I was having a random discussion with my sister and she told me my niece had chosen a favorite song, Katy Perry's "California Girls."  We laughed about it at the time and I remember thinking I needed to expand her horizon's and get her out of the bubble-gum pop world.  A few days later I saw a post on NPR about a 6th grade student whose assignment was to bring in a pop song that was positive or inspirational and related to his current studies in Social Smarts.  Katy Perry features in the article (as a not so great example.)  Take a minute to read this one - it's great and, oh how I wish I'd gotten assignments like that in school.

I spent a couple of days thinking about the topic of the NPR article - and here's where I ended up.  I LOVE the fact that my sister hasn't turned her car into kiddie central where all that plays is kid music.  I love that she is exposing my niece and nephew to different types of music (they also love songs from the Sound of Music.)  And let's face it, at 3 my niece isn't old enough to understand what Ms Perry means when she sings: "California Girls we're unforgettable, daisy dukes bikini's on top, sun-kissed skin so hot, we'll melt your popsicle."  BUT there is still a big part of me that wants to make sure the lyrics she hears and eventually starts to internalize have a bit more depth and present a positive message.

So, today I'm asking you to help me build a playlist for my niece (and your favorite kids!) of great, catchy songs with messages and lyrics that we would want those kids to claim as their favorite.  Let me get us started:

Yael Naim - New Soul - "Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take."
Amy Studt - Just a Little Girl - "Don't ever underestimate what I can do."
Duffy - Distant Dreamer - "And when life gets tough and I feel I've had enough, I hold on to a distant star."
Missy Higgins - Steer - "You control where you go, you can steer."
Natasha Bedingfield - Freckles - "Why waste a second not loving who you are."
Sugarland - Stand Back Up "Sometimes I'm afraid and I don't feel that tough, but I'll stand back up."
Mindy Gledhill - Whole Wide World - "Maybe I'm just a little girl, a little girl with great big plans."

I put together our Just Breathe playlist Wednesday morning as I was waiting for the first of my contractors (tile guys) to arrive (I'm FINALLY getting this project started!)  Your amazing songs completely saved my life as I tried to work downstairs while demolition happened upstairs - all - day - long. (I noticed a comment in YouTube on the songs by Ludovico Einaudi that said "This must be on God's iPod." Keep that quote in mind, I sense a future playlist theme....)  These songs may just have saved my sanity.  I have a feeling this list will be on constant replay for the next 3 to 4 weeks while work continues.

To here the entire playlist, click on the sideways triangle in the middle of the embedded player above.  To skip to the next song, or to go backwards click on the < or > on either side of the player.

Thank you so much for your amazing Just Breath suggestions - if I were you, I'd bookmark this list - you never know when you'll need a bit of musical prozac in your life.

Don't forget to help me make a list playlist for my niece (and your little ones) by sharing songs with great messages (and beats) in the comments section below.


~Kristina said...

Maybe I'm having one of those days, maybe I'm ultra emotional...this playlist has captivated me and infused the empowerment that I need right this moment.
Thank you for offering up the amazingness that you do.

Prairie Girl Studio said...

wow ... these playlists just get better and better ... wow on everyone's part!

if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain
~ dolly parton
pretty much sums it all up ... : )

i slipped over the read the npr article ...
interesting how each new generation has something or someone to raise the level of concern and i think these questions need to be asked and thought about just as they always have been ...
elvis freaked parents out in his day (mothers were secretly fainting)!
mick jagger's screaming and tight pants
was sure to turn us all into ... into ...

as long as there are loving people like you in sweet miss m's life to introduce her to the alternatives, then what you teach her will have the long lasting impact she needs to grow ... she is a lucky lucky girl to have you!

i have a lot of faith in the kids these days ~ they are seeing more and more what is real and they have way more power to keep it real ... : )

thinking back, i have to say i was oblivious to the words of songs ~ what lyrics? it was solely the beat and the music that captivated and moved me ...

hopefully there are lots of kids caught in the mainstream who have people like you to show them the rainbow ...


Ange said...

This is really close to my heart too Kim - with three little ones that I homeschool of which one is nearly 12!!

We like 'And we've lost our fear that it couldn't be done
All we needed to find a like-minded someone
Who had no idea it couldn't be done
Who said it couldn't be done' by Tim Finn (Kiwi singer with great Lyrics), Step by Step (Whitney Houston) and a few others by her have great, uplifting lyrics. 'Je vais au bout de mes rêves' Jean Jacques Goldman - I live out my dreams!!. In fact - I've compiled 2 CDs of songs with contemporary music, of which Yael Naim is part, that we all sing to in the car. I call it positive brainwashing ;-)


blue elephant photography said...

i love love love these collection! thank you music lady ♥ i have to think of some nice songs for your niece now =)

Anonymous said...

amazing set... many, many thanks!

Anna said...

Thanks so much for the tunes! Miss M is super cute and lucky to have you to enjoy the beauty of music with.

Diana Joy said...

..have bookmarked this one. Thanks a lot.

bobbi said...

this is an amazing playlist. I love Ludovico Einaudi. It's incredible how music has the power to turn your mood upside down and make days brighter.

The Felix Family said...

Kylie LOVES music!! And I just barely put together a CD for her of some of her favorite songs she hears in the car. Her all time favorite artist is Taylor Swift. Any song from her she loves, but she especially loves Love Story, You Belong To Me, and Speak Now. She also loves Miranda Cosgrove's Spakespear, Taio Cruz Dynamite and Bruno Mars Just the Way You Are. I would love to see your completely playlist when you get done and introduce Kylie to some new music.

lisa said...

What a beautiful post. Truly.
I so wish I could help out with songs, but my "little ones" are now 21 and 22. Been a long time since I've heard any little ones music!!
Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for the memories!



what a cute post and oh so true your sister sounds like a wonderful mother :) thanks for sharing Jaime!

ELK said...

dolly parton is just an amazing woman .. she has been around forever!!

cindy said...

i love the song & video 'my best days are ahead of me' by danny gokey!

Janna said...

Music plays such a big part in our lives and like your sister, I have kept away from the Disney music and opted to expose my kiddos to a wide variety of music. I love Alanis Morrisette's 'everything', 'thank u', and 'one' and India arie's whole albulm 'Voyage to india' for inspiration. Carla Bruni is one of our recent faves too. Oh, and Modest Mouse 'float on' is one of my kids faves too. Oh, there's just so many!
Thank you for some new additions from your list.

bee said...

Hi Jamie!

Sorry that I missed you last week... it was a busy time for me, so I was very grateful when this post came with the wonderful, relaxing, just breathe mix. I really needed it - what a great collection of songs!

This is a really interesting topic this week... thinking about what kind of effect listening to music that has an overtly sexist, sexual, or violent message can have on the young'uns... I agree that so often, especially when you are younger, it's more about the music, the beat, or the feeling instead of the lyrics.

Nonetheless, being someone who does pay a great deal of attention to lyrics myself, I find that I'm often searching for positive lyrics, or that I gravitate to songs that have a positive message.

When I was younger and more into straight-up pop music, I loved Lauryn Hill (I think she's also mentioned in that article). I also loved Nelly Furtado's early stuff (for a great positive message, listen to either Forca or Powerless). Sadly, she went in a bit of a different direction after that album...

I don't have a great love for Rap music... but I live with a fella who does. Fortunately, he likes the artists who have something political, or interesting to say about the world (not the ones who just talk about guns and women). There's a great tune he introduced me to by K'naan called "In the Beginning". K'naan does a little rap about youth and freedom in the song that starts at about 1:51, that I cannot listen to without tearing up for some reason.

Another one that pops into my head from way back when is that song by Des'Ree (You Gotta Be). It was popular when I was younger, and I remember loving it so much!

I think if I am ever to have sweet little young ones like your beautiful niece, I'm going to play lots of Jack Johnson and Bob Marley for them. It's like a spiritual, happy, uplifting tonic for me to listen to those fellas!

Anyway - sorry, this is getting to be a long and rambling post (making up for not posting last week). Sending you hugs to get through these busy days and your reno project. I know the Just Breathe mix will help you through!


Kelli said...

Hi Jamie
I love these playlists... thanks so much for putting them together.
I love this week's topic - I don't have my own kids, but am a middle school teacher an auntie too.
I'm glad your niece has an auntie who can expose her to great music!
Here are some of my picks:
The Puppy Song ~ Harry Nilssen
Hope ~ Shaggy
I Hope You Dance ~ Lee Ann Womak
Beautiful ~ Christina Aguilera
This One's for the Girls ~ Martina McBride
The Climb ~ Miley Cyrus
Home~ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
(you HAVE to watch the cover of this song by Jorge and Alexa Narvaez if you haven't already...)
Have a great week!