Friday, April 13, 2018

The 12 Most Unavoidable Children Songs

When you become a parent, you open up your mind to an unforeseen invasion of children's songs. These are not songs you seek out. You don't listen to them on purpose. You don't buy these songs. You never pull them up on your phone. You don't hear them on the radio.

But, they're there. They're everywhere. They emanate from children's toys and children's television programs. (Seriously, go and try to find a children's toy that doesn't play one of these songs!) These songs are insidious mind worms that invade your skull, dig in, and set up permanent residence.

There is no escape!

12. Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed--This is a cheerful little ditty about five monkeys who like jumping on a bed until, one by one, they fall off and crack their heads open. I think by the third time the doctor gets called he should probably be calling the department of social services and demanding an investigation.

Head injuries are hilarious! (Or are they?)

11. Rock-a-bye Baby--Let me get this straight--the cradle is in the top of the tree, and if there's any little breeze it will come crashing down to the ground with a baby in it? Between this and those bed-jumping monkeys, there's an awful lot of head injuries in these children's songs.

10. Row, Row, Row Your Boat--Row that boat gently. Row that boat merrily. And remember, life is but a dream. (Hey, at least no one cracked their head open!)

9. Frere Jacques--I don't know French, so I tried to look up this song by googling "Frair-uh-zhock-uh." Seven of the first ten links it pulled up had to do with the University of Houston. (How sad is it that the University of Houston is known as "uh?") The English translation is something about some bells, and a sleepy Brother John, but for all I know in French it could be about stinky socks and/or Hostess Twinkies.

8. B-I-N-G-O--Some farmer had a dog named Bingo, and apparently it's very important to the farmer that everyone should know how to spell his dog's name. Seriously, by the fourth time it's spelled out I think everyone gets it.

7. Old McDonald Had a Farm--Of course, it's possible that the farmer kept spelling out his dog's name (B-I-N-G-O) because his friend McDonald kept trying to spell it "E-I-E-I-O." My favorite verse of this song is the one about the cow, which could also pertain to the choice of clothing  at the nursing home: "With a muumuu here and a muumuu there."

Moo! Moo! or Muumuu?
6. The Farmer In the Dell--Hmm...that's three songs in a row about farmers. You don't hear a lot of songs about farmers on the Top 40 these days, do you? I have no idea what "Hi-ho, the derry-oh" means, but I have to like any song that ends with a verse stating, "The cheese stands alone."

5. The Wheels On the Bus--The wheels on the bus go round and round. So true. I once took a bus for several hundred miles on a vacation. And while it's true that the people on the bus might go, "Bumpity-bump," it's also true that most of them are also thinking, "I wish I could have afforded plane tickets."

4. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider--Those dad-gummed spiders sure are tenacious, aren't they? It's true, and it doesn't matter if they are itsy-bitsy, eensy-weensy, teensy-weensy, incy-wincy, or hairy-scary.

3. If You're Happy and You Know It--Clap your hands! Stomp your feet! Shout hooray! And if no one believes you even after doing all of those things, at least your face will surely show it.

2. Pop Goes the Weasel--If you were to ask most people who would win a fight between a monkey and a weasel, I think the vast majority would pick the monkey. The weasel is always getting underestimated, but just when you think you can count him out...Pop!!!

The monkey thinks it's all fun and games until the weasel pops him one right in the face!

1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star/The Alphabet Song--Most people don't even realize that "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "The Alphabet Song" use the same tune. Each song on its own would be popular enough to make this list, but put the two together and they're unstoppable!

Seriously! Any time you go out at night those stars are going to twinkle, and someone's going to sing about them. And the alphabet? It's everywhere!!! Heck, I know adults who, to this day, if you asked them, "What's the letter before M?" they would sing the alphabet song in their mind so they could get the right answer!

Face it, just by reading this, at least some of these songs have become further embedded into your brain. There is no escape! Sometime, when you least expect it, that weasel will pop!

Edited from a post originally published on 5/27/16.

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