Thursday, May 07, 2009

Appropriate Children's Songs

I'm no prude about everything children should see. It's okay to venture away from the Island of Sodor** before 3rd grade. Yeah, sure you can watch a movie with a sword fight. We've been listening to Jungle Boogie since B was 2 or 3. I've spoken before on this blog about how Stevie Wonder's Superstition may be better fare on Sesame Street than Elmo.

Anyway, today I was at B's elementary school for "Fun Fair" this week, which is inflatable jumpies and classic young kid games like "throw the string on a fishing rod behind the wall and have the person clip a cheep 50 cent prize to the clothes pin" game. As I walked into the school yard to find him, suddenly some teacher kicks off the music with J. Geils Band "Centerfold".

Really? Your playing Angel is a Centerfold for the 6 and 7 year olds?

Sure that's your best choice?

Now, I'm not denying it's a catchy tune. I was a huge fan in 1982 of the song, when I would have been... 9. But I don't think it was featured at Winnsboro Upper Elementary.

For the record, I'm not actually upset. None of the 6 year olds know what the song is about. (It's about a guy finding the schoolgirl he had a crush on appearing as a playboy-type centerfold). Still. Let's just say... incongruous.

Kindergarten, kindergarten, angel is a centerfold. One of these things is not like the other.

**Translation for those not blessed with very young children at this moment, the island of Sodor is Thomas the Tank Engine's home.


Sarah Laurenson said...

Thanks for that note at the bottom. I was lost.

I would write something about the song choice, but seriously don't know what to say other than WTF?

Moonie linked to this article on the Kilngon language that I thought you'd enjoy.

pjd said...

Maybe the person who selected the song had one of those "hearing the wrong words" things going on. Like when I thought "Paperback Writer" was "Pickle-back Rider" when I was four or five years old. (No, I didn't understand why adults would want to be a pickle-back rider, but I found it a very funny image.) Or the classic Credence song, "There's a bathroom on the right."

Or maybe they turned the lyric around and thought the song was about a girlie magazine repenting and turning its sin-mongering into inspirational photography. As in, they changed their centerfold from a scantily- or non-clad woman to a glorious representative of Heaven.

Or, maybe they just like the song and are totally clueless. Or maybe they somehow thought it appropriate to play for nine-year-old girls. Which would of course be the same thing.

We had the Island of Sodor permeating our house for many years. Even today, when my 12 year old does a chore without being asked, I sometimes praise him with, "You're a really useful engine."

pjd said...

Darn you, Paca! Now I can't get that danged song out of my head.

McKoala said...

Soccer Boy's class sang 'We are the Champions' last year. They changed the lyric from 'no time for losers' to 'no time for losing', which was utterly pointless as most ofthe kids knew the original version anyway.

writtenwyrdd said...

I bet if the person who played that music thought for even a second, s/he wouldn't have put on that particular song.

Anonymous said...

Darn you, Paca! Now I can't get that danged song out of my head.Pete! Now I've got Bad Moon Rising stuck in my head.

Paca, my oldest starts Kindergarten in the fall. One MORE thing for me to watch out for...*sigh*. Makes me very glad for Backyardigans (I can't do Sodor. Baldwin's voice gets to me. I do like William H. Macy on Curious George, though.)