Everybody needs a little music in their lives. Some of my most special childhood memories involve the people I love sharing songs with me.
My granny taught me all the tongue-twisting words to “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” when I was three. When I was a little older and spending the night at my grandparents house, my grandaddy would serenade me on school mornings with “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella.” This never failed to elicit a just-woke-up grumpy growl from me, which he thought was hilarious.
These days I wake Sierra, my 4-year-old, by singing Jason Mraz’s “Who Needs Shelter.” “Good-day sunlight. I’d like to say how truly bright you are. You don’t know me, but I know you, see. You’re my favorite star…” She usually smiles instead of growls (usually).
My mom remembers her mama and daddy singing to each other when she was growing up: Hank William Senior’s “Hey Good Lookin’” and “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck.” Now she sings both those songs with my girls.
I laugh to think that my own kids will have memories of me singing my heart out along with Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews and Maroon 5 on my iPod. Or listening to Sirius Hits 1 with daddy on the way to school.
Of course, that’s not much different from the way my mom shared her music with me when I was a little girl. I remember her singing along to Elvis songs on the stereo and playing Willie Nelson’s version of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” on her autoharp.
As an adult, there are so many songs that are meaningful to me because of their lyrics… but when I think back to the songs of my childhood, it’s the feeling of the music that I remember, the love and connection inspired by singing together, even with imperfect voices.
At Sunflower, we celebrate that feeling weekly at Circle of Song, our signature family sing-along. Susan plays the guitar, kids play shaky eggs and bells, and parents and kids dance and sing along to songs that have been shared for generations: “Little Red Wagon,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Baby Beluga,” “Here We Go Loopty Loo.”
Check out our website calendar for upcoming Circle of Song dates.
We’d love to share our music with you!
What songs do you share at home with your children? Do you have fond memories of special songs from your childhood? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
© Jaime Greenberg and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011
It’s a little random, but…
Suzie & Sierra’s Greenberg Family road-trip/dance party sing-along playlist (Summer 2011 version): “Baby” Justin Bieber, “Dynamite” Taio Cruz, “Forget You” Cee Lo Green, “Pursuit of Happiness” Kid Cudi, “Hey Soul Sister” Train, “Firework” Katy Perry, “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans” Louis Armstrong, “Paparazzi” Lady Gaga, “Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO
Play. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…
One of the reasons I love Circle of Song is that it reminds me a bit of being at Girl Scout camp, sitting around a campfire and singing songs. I loved that as a girl and then later as a counselor — teaching girls the songs that I’d loved for years. Susan even sings some of those same songs at Circle of Song.
My boys usually listen to kids’ music — but what I consider the fun stuff. Music I actually enjoy (most of the time): Trout Fishing in America, Folk Playground, “That Baby CD,” and, yes, Laurie Berkner. Lately, we’ve been choosing one of these CDs and doing a “dance party” in our playroom after we’ve cleaned up each evening. We are inventing new moves all the time. They love it!
I used to sing Rockin’ Robin with my mom!
Music! Sweet Music! Here’s my top songs recently keeping my toes-a- tappin’!
1. Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist
2. Just Jack – The Day I Died
3. Bright Eyes – Land Locked Blues
4. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds (Live at Luther College) – Say Goodbye
5. Death Cab for Cutie – Stay Young Go Dancing!
It’s funny how certain music and certain memories become intertwined.
Listening to Pandora today, and it’s reminding me of when I was pregnant with my older daughter Suzie, and how that *felt.* During that pregnancy I craved cheese (we had at least six different kinds in our fridge at all times) and Maroon 5. I listened to Songs About Jane on repeat for months while Suzie bounced around in my belly. If she’d been able to talk, she probably could have sung the words to “This Love” at birth…
All my first-time parent, expectant, nervous, excited feelings come rushing back when I listen to those songs–and it has nothing to do with the actual words Adam Levine is singing. Ah, music. 🙂