Monday, December 21, 2009

Swiffering and Irish Dancing to Maria Muldaur

We're getting those pesky hold notices from the library again, as some music-loving patron is jonesing for a fix of a certain CD that's in our possession. Since I have way too much guilt in my life already, I figured I better get DJ B to review Maria Muldaur's "Heart of Mine-Love Songs of Bob Dylan" before we get more intimidating emails from the library.

While we were cleaning the house yesterday, I slipped this CD into the player. It attracted ZERO notice from Miss B. She was much more fixated on cleaning our kitchen floor with a Swiffer. When track 10 came on ("I'll Be Your Baby Tonight") she reacted for the first time, as she bounced briefly through the room. She said, "I know it's dancing music" and then wandered off, collecting ornaments and placing them into a Christmas stocking. After hanging her stocking up she announced, "I'm going to bed" and asked, "Mama. What's in my stocking for Christmas?" and then screamed "Open it!"

She continued with her projects around the house and only reacted again when she heard the beginning of the final song ("You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"). She jumped up yelling, "Mmmmm. Irish dancing!" and then began to do an Irish dance. After a few moments she returned to making Christmas cards, but got to her feet again at the end of the song (when she heard a fiddle) and danced before bowing at the end of the piece.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miss B Discovers Vintage Children's Music

The Creepiest Record of the Lot-- "Ring Around A Rosy"

I recently got access to a bunch of vinyl records from my childhood; including some classic children's records from the likes of Mr. Rogers and Disneyland Records. I ended up playing bits and pieces from this collection on my radio show a few weeks back and was very curious to see what DJ B would think of this material.

I hadn't heard these records for decades and I was struck by a few things. The instrumentation on many (especially the Disney records) reflected popular sounds of the day, so it was a treat to hear beatnik bongos and crazy dour organ. At the same time, some of the records (especially "Ring Around a Rosy") had creepy un-PC moments best kept shielded from young ears.

I had Miss B take a listen to the tracks that I played on my radio show. When she heard some selections from "Ring A Round A Rosy," she smiled immediately, saying, "the mulberry bush!" as she recognized some of the songs. She listened intently to the music while eating a snack and added, "this is the book I's the mulberry bush. I have this book."

I'd actually enticed DJ B to listen to the music by promising the song "Fuzzy Wuzzy," and Miss B remembered, asking me, "When is Fuzzy Wuzzy gonna come?" She then asked, "Who likes kid music? Tell me who likes kid music?" I then asked her, "Do you?" and she shook her head "no" and again asked me who likes kid music.

When "Farmer in the Dell" came on she again smiled and bounced in her chair. Then "Fuzzy Wuzzy" finally made an appearance and DJ B screamed "Fuzzy Wuzzy!" I asked her if she liked the music and she just stared at me.

As the sounds of Mr. Rogers emanated from the speakers, Miss B leaned in close to listen. Then came Mother Goose and Miss B got the most excited, saying, "I have Mother Goose stuff!" She then kept requesting that I replay the Mother Goose stories, saying that she wanted "the dog want a bone." She danced and sang and followed along with her Mother Goose book. She particularly enjoyed "3 Little Kittens" and swayed back and forth while listening. After that song ended she said, "Get me little kittens. I want the loud kittens. Meow!"

Today I played the entire "Walt Disney's Treasury of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes" album (from 1965) for DJ B and she sang along to her favorites.

So, although I generally avoid children's music like the plague, I have to admit that I've enjoyed revisiting these records from my youth with DJ B.