There are millions of songs, billions actually, and the thought of sitting down and narrowing it down to a top ten is a bit … well, a bit ridiculous.
So I thought I’d give it a go.
Honestly, I can hardly say these are the best songs of all time, but rather songs from artists and people I think you should hear, re-hear, or pass on to friends.
Some of it is less flashy than its flashy mates, some of it is more daycare than car driving and some of it has just slipped by the wayside, wallowing about in the acoustic puddle of past performers waiting to be picked up, dried off and cranked.
So, here, is my best attempt at my top ten songs.
RED BLACK AND YELLOW – Aunty Wendy’s Mob
Growin up strong is an amazing album solely dedicated to giving indigenous Australians a voice in the early childhood music field.
This album is a total celebration of what it means to be aboriginal, told for children on behalf of children.
Aunty Wendy has travelled long and far in this wide brown land sharing her stories and singing her songs and has become somewhat of a legend in the early childhood field.
Red, black and yellow may not be the best song on the album but it’s a great example of what you can look forward to and what you can expect.
However you feel about her music, Aunty Wendy cannot be questioned on her content.
It is rich, it is simple and it’s a beautiful way to teach your children about our countries first people.
MISTER RABBIT – Caspar Babypants
With over 9 albums to chose from its hard to find and pin point a best song, but if I must, then this simple song from the album This is fun would be it.
Caspar Babypants is a definitely a unique sound.
The creator, Chris Ballew (aka, Presidents of the United States of America) has a very distinct sound and style that you can hear instantly.
Mister Rabbit is steeped in American tradition and is an old folk classic spawning versions from the likes of Pete Seeger and Elizabeth Mitchell to name a few, but either way, this tune is a sweet song about all that’s good in the world, if the world were a rabbit.
This is a great song to sit with your child on your lap and have a bit of a snuggle, as you slowly get to know the words, then just dance to it.
Like all Caspar Babypants song, it has the annoyance factor of being completely stuck in your head for the rest of your day, encouraging strange looks from your surroundings as you chuckle your way through the chorus.
I’M A LITTLE RAIN DROP – Small Potatoes
Four potatoes voiced by children singing songs.
UM…HELLO! Greatest idea ever!!
I’m sure we are all well versed in the humble trappings of the unbearably cute vegetables but when was the last time you closed your eyes and actually really listened to the songs accompanying this program.
In my humble opinion, this is the greatest music on any children’s program today. The music takes on multiple genres effortlessly and if we could only tare our eyes from the infectious animation we may find ourselves being equally enamored by the music.
Musically, I find myself quite proud when my little girl sings along for I believe there’s something different going on here. Something a little more sophisticated than other overtly child-like children’s tunes.
Hard to pick but if I must pluck one from beneath the dirt, boil it, mash it and mix it with butter and milk, it would be I’m a little rain drop . Mmmmm Delicious.
CAN YOU PICTURE THAT – Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
“Fact is there ain’t nothing out there you cant do. Even Santa Claus believes in you” – Dr Teeth
It’s Muppets singing awesome songs.
Whole movie is filled with Muppets singing awesome songs. FACT.
These songs definitely drifts to the more adult side of children’s music but what do you expect from the man who wrote the theme to the Love Boat.
All that aside, the music in this movie is a triumph and this one is the best.
Find it, love it, show it to your children. Then have another listen once they go to bed.
During the 90’s Australia was introduced to the amazing talents of Indigenous all girl acoustic act, Tiddas.
Amongst other great tunes was an original take on an old tune by the Yorta Yorta people in Victoria, Inanay.
This song speaks for itself. No amount of riotous rambling will ever bring us closer to how beautiful it really is.
My only recommendation is, learn it then sing it without the accompaniment. Most versions are reasonably quick, but this song, traditionally used as a lullaby, becomes a whole separate flower when slowed down and shared in almost a whisper.
OPEN, SHUT THEM
We all know it. We’ve all sung it. We all know it exists.
In the usual parental armory of standard classic, this one is the very very very best.
Not only is it sweet, simple, easy to follow and easy to remember, the actions make it truly an interactive volcano.
Truth? It kinda loses its steam once a child hits three or four but by simply reversing the actions eg, shut them when you say open, is cause for riotous fun and stupidity.
There are many versions of this song on the web to listen to but I have to say, this has never been a recorded song as far as I’m concerned, its joy comes from you singing, in your own voice, at your own pace, face to face with your child.
You know you know it, so turn all electronics off, cross your legs and sing. That’s what it was made for.
SHANE AND JOSH – Gary and Carol Crees
Again, this song is more about the people.
Gary and Carol have dedicated their lives to children and children’s music.
Travelling the world to learn and explore, collate and bring it all home to share with us.
Their objective is not fame nor is it fortune; they serve children and children only.
Note: there are no bells and whistles in this music but what there is, is a healthy dose of variety.
Music you may not have known came from them, and music you simply may not have known. Multicultural goodness, nonsensical madness, and do it yourself presentation, this is grass roots in all its growing glory.
Shane and Josh? One of the greatest western inspired songs I know and if you learn the chords G and C on the guitar, this is a cracker to erupt onto a bunch of unsuspecting bored kids.
There are many to chose from with these people but if I had to, Shane and Josh would be my pick.
WATERMELON – Justine Clarke
Can’t have a top ten list without Justine Clarke.
Again with so many albums to chose from, the choosing takes on a top ten list all its own, but… if I must.
WATERMELON. Single greatest idea for a kid’s song EVER. ‘Great big bites, catch all the drips, spit out the pips, lick your lips’ COME ON!!!!!! If Shakespeare was clever enough to pen kids songs he may have asked Justine for help.
Peter Dasent (music), Arthur Basting (lyrics) and Justine Clarke are a force to be reckoned with as they pour quality music in torrential fashion over all of us.
We must say thank you. We must we must we must. Or at the very least, get up and dance.
HOLD STILL – Yo Gabba Gabba
Yo Gabba Gabba have the unique accolade of being one of the only children’s acts ever, to be known and totally loved by adults without children.
With guests such as, The Killers, MGMT, Mix Master Mike, The Ting Tings and Money Mark, how could they not?
It sounds roughly like the line up of the last festival I went to. However, unlike other children’s acts that appealed to the parents, kids liked Yo Gabba Gabba as well. Phew!
Imagine the travesty if we parents had to watch this gem disappear into the land of the non-rating.
Thankfully though, it floated and now we have awesome hip hop for kids. At the top of that hip hop pile is Hold Still sung by Flex, the overly helpful and nice, yellow robot.
This is just chaos this song and has one purpose, to make your kids wiggle. And wiggle they will.
If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this act live, it’s a little like the before mentioned last festival I went to… at around 4 am.
As one parent at the show mused to his partner ‘I feel like I’m at a rave”
Rave indeed. Yo Gabba Gabba is GO!!!!
THE SAND PIT. – The Hooley Dooleys
Back in the early 90’s, The Wiggles tore open the children’s music scene and pretty much redefined it, saturated it and ate it whole with their explosive debut album, The Wiggles, and pretty much every album since.
It wasn’t long before their musical style, whether your into it or not, became the norm and children under 3 around the world screamed at the foot of their parents legs demanding all things with a Wiggles emblem.
However, lurking just behind the impenetrable Wiggle shadow were David, Antoine and Bruce aka. The Hooley Dooleys.
They are very similar to The Wiggles and, well, they had to be.
That’s all the public wanted at the time and they didn’t disappoint. The Sand Pit is cute simple and basic. Perfect for under twos.
Unfortunately, living in the freezing depths of the wiggles shadow doesn’t leave much light to grow on and despite great efforts, they were and remain just too similar and just a fraction inferior. After some troubles, they eventually disbanded and that was that. Understand that this is Wiggle-esque so if that’s not your voice, then steer clear at all cost.
So that’s it, my attempt at a top ten.
Some you may know, some you may not, and some you may have forgotten.
Enjoy the research!