There's nothing I dig more than turning people on to cool stuff, which is one of the reasons I tend to dig on kids. It's all new to them, and I get to share the experience of discovery.
For example, let me tell ya about my godson. You may consider that a warning of personal indulgence, or you may hopefully find some small instructive value giving you practical thoughts regarding your own younguns - or just a note of rejoicing in the beauty of discovery.
For the occasion of his third birthday, I had just made the thug godson some CDs. His Ma's incapacitation with the flu this weekend left me in charge - prime opportunity for some developmental observation/programming. I figured on discreetly playing music for him while he's playing with his trains and such, and looking for spontaneous responses - see what he's picking up on unprompted.
I started with Jonathan Richman, which didn't make much impression. Neither did They Might Be Giants. He might just have been too deeply involved with Thomas the Tank Engine (his top obsession at this point) to notice the music. We'll try 'em again another day.
But then we got to the main entree: Baby's First Beatles, which got more response. I engineered a Beatles mix CD to be the first introduction to the grooviness that is Beatles fandom. I figured on emphasizing the simpler early guitar pop for this, rather than the later weird stuff.
I found that I could put 30 fine Beatles classics on one CD, looking something like this
B IS FOR BEATLES
"Why Don't We Do It In the Road"
"When I'm Sixty-Four"
"A Hard Day's Night"
"All My Loving"
"Love Me Do"
"And Your Bird Can Sing"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Drive My Car"
"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey"
"Good Day Sunshine"
"Here Comes the Sun"
"I Saw Her Standing There"
"I Want to Hold Your Hand"
"I'm So Tired"
"I've Just Seen a Face"
"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
"She's a Woman"
"Twist and Shout"
"Tomorrow Never Knows"
First off, I wish to congratulate myself for the responsibility and restraint I showed in NOT putting "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" on this collection. It's a perfect children's song, but the thug's Nietzchean will to power is already pretty strong without teaching him the joys of assassinating teachers and judges (yet) - no matter how fun it may seem.
"Yellow Submarine" was the obvious place to start for a child-oriented collection. That simple singalong chorus and groovy sound effects caught his attention a little the first time through. Ringo himself wrote the follow-up companion song "Octopus's Garden" years later for Abbey Road.
On the first pass, he was also right taken with the clanging cowbells and percussion of "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey." He also caught on pretty quick to the main hook where Paul jumps up to grab that high note in "I want to hold your Haaaaaaand."
Probably the strongest response on the first pass though was for the gospel preaching by way of Little Richard and Jerry Lee as channeled through Paul as "I'm Down." That screaming and the organ had my thug twisting up, ready to roll on the carpet in Pentecostal ecstasy - as who wouldn't? Then again, he's already being raised on Jerry Lee Lewis - his mother's favorite. Indeed, she drug out of her misery to go with me to see Jerry Lee that very night. I noticed that she was similarly twisted up like she was about to come out of her skin that evening in delight over "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye" in particular. I'm just saying that the thug's got that kind of stuff in his blood.
As Ma further recuperated Sunday morning, I got a chance for another pass at the Beatles while we were making and consuming our oatmeal. I got a much more attentive and detailed response to some of this. He was particularly pleased with remembering parts of this from the day before- the joy of recognition. He could pretty well sing the chorus of "Yellow Submarine" on the second listening. Reckon how long will it be before the boy gets a DVD of the movie? Probably not very, I'd venture to guess.
He had picked up a bit the first time on the simple guitar chords played against the beat on "She's a Woman." He honed right in on that the second time, bopping his head sharply, very pleased with that rhythm. He was also waiting for the chorus of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," waiting to throw his head back and reach for that "haaand." He was also picking up on the five piano chords from "Drive My Car," and the "beep-beep, yeah" part.
He was strapped into the highchair for feeding for most of the second half of the disc. Thus, part of the increased response was likely partly simply increased attention, as he was not running around the room with 100 toys.
The thug demanded that I dance for his entertainment specifically to the "Paperback Writer" as he ate his oatmeal. The basic lead guitar riff is his main attraction there, to which I gave interpretive dance. Not that my dancing would make you forget James Brown, but I'd say this was probably a more fulfilling display of Pentecostal ecstasy than I ever managed in a church building. If I were going to meet my maker anytime soon, that would have been the moment when I was most nearly fit. Hey, the thug liked it.
He was done and back on the floor in time to "Twist and Shout," which was a good chance to help stir up that breakfast. He was just starting to pick up a bit on Ringo's basic drum riff from "Tomorrow Never Knows" this second time, but by then his mind was heading back to Thomas. Fair enough.
I didn't get much reaction to the lighter pop songs or ballads. "Penny Lane" and "Julia" aren't getting much response yet. But also, he's a big ol' rambunctious boy. If you're working with gentle young girls instead of a large Italian thug, you might get a bigger immediate response to stuff like "All My Loving" or "Michelle."
Also, this was all presented to my thug early in the day. We were having the Beatles for breakfast. "I'm So Tired" might make a bigger impression on him in the last hour of the day, while he's laying up with Mommy and winding down. Perhaps another day I'll pick out a Bedtime Beatles mix.
I conjured this collection up as "Baby's First Beatles," liking the alliteration and all. However, you may wish to title a similar mix engineered for your youngun as something like "B Is for Beatles" to avoid the forseable likelihood of offending the dignity of a six year old for whom this would otherwise be equally appropriate. Ain't I a sensitive fellow?
BEATLES PICTURE COLLECTION - 100 pages PAGE 1 PAGE 2 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 PAGE 5 PAGE 6 PAGE 7 PAGE 8 PAGE 9 PAGE 10 PAGE 11 PAGE 12 PAGE 13 PAGE 14 PAGE 15 PAGE 16 PAGE 17 PAGE 18 PAGE 19 PAGE 20 PAGE 21 PAGE 22 PAGE 23 PAGE 24 PAGE 25 PAGE 26 PAGE 27 PAGE 28 PAGE 29 PAGE 30 PAGE 31 PAGE 32 PAGE 33 PAGE 34 PAGE 35 PAGE 36 PAGE 37 PAGE 38 PAGE 39 PAGE 40 PAGE 41 PAGE 42 PAGE 43 PAGE 44 PAGE 45 PAGE 46 PAGE 47 PAGE 48 PAGE 49 PAGE 50 PAGE 51 PAGE 52 PAGE 53 PAGE 54 PAGE 55 PAGE 56 PAGE 57 PAGE 58 PAGE 59 PAGE 60 PAGE 61 PAGE 62 PAGE 63 PAGE 64 PAGE 65 PAGE 66 PAGE 67 PAGE 68 PAGE 69 PAGE 70 PAGE 71 PAGE 72 PAGE 73 PAGE 74 PAGE 75 PAGE 76 PAGE 77 PAGE 78 PAGE 79 PAGE 80 PAGE 81 PAGE 82 PAGE 83 PAGE 84 PAGE 85 PAGE 86 PAGE 87 PAGE 88 PAGE 89 PAGE 90 PAGE 91 PAGE 92 PAGE 93 PAGE 94 PAGE 95 PAGE 96 PAGE 97 PAGE 98 PAGE 99 PAGE 100
The Beatles Are Masters of the Universe
Music Sustains the Soul
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