great music for kids: Smithsonian Folkways Children’s Music Collection

on a whim, i purchased the smithsonian folkways children’s music collection CD when BC was a baby. it quickly became a firm favorite in our house. smithsonian folkways has some amazing recordings by some heavy hitters in american music: people like woody guthrie, leadbelly, pete seeger, and an old fave of mine, ella jenkins. you even have langston hughes reading some poetry on here. our faves ended up being woodie guthrie’s car song, seeger’s all around the kitchen, the animal alphabet song by alan mills, and whoopie ti yi yo, get along little dogies (cisco houston.) of course, with the latter, my fondest giggle is courtesy of BS and his dry humor. he would always sing it:

whoopie ti yo yo, get along little dogies
it’s your misfortune and not my own
whoopie ti yo yo, get along little dogies
you know that mcdonalds will be your new home.

yep. we start our kids on snarky from the get-go.

anyway, i grew up with a lot of folk music, thanks to my mom. and folk music is a wonderful way to introduce kids to a whole world of people. people like them. people with problems, people who are happy, people everywhere. folk music often has reflected the tenor of the times. i love a lot of folk music. and this CD is a fabulous jumping-off spot for the genre.

7 Responses to “great music for kids: Smithsonian Folkways Children’s Music Collection”

  1. I just listened to a snip from Ruth Rubin’s “Oksn” on that disc. How rare it is to hear Yiddish folk music on a mainstream folk CD. Mamaloschen, I love it!

  2. wow i never knew that whoopie ti yo yo song was a folk song. i knew it from Blaine Reininger and Mikel Rouse’s Colorado Suite which is mostly instrumental electronic music but which has one song with that lyric as the chorus…sans the McDonald’s reference obviously.

  3. love “oksn.” unfortunately, neither of my kids cared about it at all. made me sooooo sad. i found a CD of yiddish lullabyes at my library. i think once again i loved it more than the kids, though one of the songs i recall from “schindler’s list” and made me cry just hearing it, even though it is simply an innocent lullabye.

  4. we have this collection also. it’s the best!

    love your blog! i’m an ignoramus when it comes to music, though i know what i don’t like. so it’s always nice to get an earful from someone knowledgeable and omnivorous about music. (i added you to my blogroll.)

  5. and i have added you. love the post on GRUPS. i’ve been thinking a LOT about that. long story, though 😉

  6. i used to love burl ives when i was about little miss’ age. i used to sing along to ‘jimmy crack corn’ and dance like a fool.

  7. They have great children’s concerts from time to time at Strathmore. Maybe your next theme posts should be places to hear music with kids in DC area? We saw some Grammy award winning artist from the Smithsonian Folkways collection there last year. It was in honor of Ella Jenkins. Here is coverage:

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