Thursday, March 10, 2011
Jumbo and Peanuts
I am almost embarrassed to admit how many times I've listened to my Jumbo CD. It has been in my car since it first came out (right around when Julio was born), and in the past year and a half I have listened to it over and over... and over. This has had an interesting unexpected consequence: Julio loves it, too. More than I do. When we get in the car he starts saying, "Jumbo!" If I try to play any other music, he starts shouting, "JUMBO! JUMBO! JUMBO!" Like some magical elixir, Jumbo stops his crying immediately when he hears it. If he's tired, it puts him right to sleep. If he's neither tired nor cranky, he starts laughing when he hears the first notes. You can listen to the title track at the link above to see how hilarious this is. It is certainly no "Hush, Little Baby."
Jumbo is my brother, Mole's, album, but all sisterly pride aside, this album is excellent. My brother wrote and sang all of the songs, the music is complex and catchy and beautifully produced, and his lyrics are alternately brilliantly funny and touching. This is not kids' music, but in our family it's at the top of the charts.
If you want some great music that was actually written for kids, check out "Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts" by Sam Hinton. My brothers and I literally wore the grooves off of our old vinyl album when we were kids, and you may hear some of its folksy influence in my brother's music. There are a lot of old traditionals on this album, and although there are many sweet songs, it is not saccharin like so much of today's kiddie music. There are fights and dreams and drunkards and death and there is plenty of silliness, too. Hinton was a superb vocalist and a true folk master (he was also a naturalist), and I count him among my personal heroes.
You can listen to the beginnings of some songs from the album:
Old Dan Tucker
The Frog Song
My music list is not quite as long as my book list, but there you have it: Jumbo and Peanuts. What are you listening to at your house?