Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Songs for the Whole Family, Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about songs that I like to sing to my daughter at various points in the day. There was one thing I left out, namely, why I sing these Rock / Broadway / German Techno songs to my daughter instead of the usual nursery rhymes and lullabies.

The thing about lullabies is that they are very violent for some reason. Consider this little ditty:

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all


In this lullaby, lumberjack parents climb to the top of a tree with a baby strapped to the dad's back, then put the baby in a cradle and gently place it atop a bough. There the cradle lay unsupervised, just waiting for all that potential energy to become kinetic.

Then out of the South comes El Nino, America's favorite illegal immigrant, which whooshes through the forest. Egads! This particular branch breaks under the strain of the mighty jet stream, and the child falls hundreds of feet to his or her doom.

We can only assume that the baby who falls in the lullaby is as lucky as the Indian baby who was flushed down a train's toilet and survived on the train tracks, otherwise this lullaby is just too violent for my child. Either way, I give the parents who brought their child up to the treetop an F for parenting.

Or how about this one...

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again


In this lullaby a child is bathing in an outdoor shower that is apparently infested with Black Widow spiders. The shower, it should be noted, is exposed to the elements, and whoever is taking a shower is also being rained on.

Taking a shower outdoors + raining at the same time + spider bite = life sucks.

The moral of this lullaby is that nothing stops a determined spider from achieving its goal of obtaining the advantageous position of height right before pouncing a helpless child taking a shower left outside during the rain. I'd like to personally thank whoever brought this gem of a lullaby into the world.

Now compare those ultra-violent lyrics to Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock:"

I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)
I Wanna Rock! (Rock!)


Not only are the kids soothed and entertained, but they also associate the word "rock" with the action of rocking. It's edutainment!

In conclusion, we as a society put so much blame on violent video games like Grand Theft Auto IV and the Bratz game for much of our children's actions, but in reality it all starts with these lullabies. We're embedding violence right into their minds from the get-go. We all need to be more responsible as parents and start singing better music to our children.

Do you wanna rock? Do you want your chilluns to rock? Then get off that high treetop, stop menacing the spiders in your out-house and sing these joyful yet rocking songs to your children.

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