Christmas Product Placement #5: They Might Be Giants “Here Come the ABCs” and “No!”

Have I overloaded your senses yet? There’s been a lot of stuff thrown your way this week at the Cafe. Poor Aunt Billie-Joe Bob must be trembling under all the gifts you got her. But what about her children? Haven’t you thought about her children? Dear God, won’t someone think of her children?! All eight of them?!?!?!?!

I got just the thing to turn those snot-nosed, whiny brats into quiet cherubic mice. Get a copy of They Might Be Giants “Here Come the ABCs” and “No!”. Open up iTunes or Winamp or whatever music program you got. Transfer the CDs to .mp3s. Put the players on repeat. Start the music and walk away.

I’m very, very picky when it comes to children’s music. If I’m going to be stuck in a room making sure that my kid’s paint-smeared hands stay on the paper we’re drawing on and not on the walls, then I better not be listening to some candy-pop drivel that’s been ‘kiddified’ with edited lyrics. And I can only listen so much to high, slightly off-pitch voices singing, “Ring around the Rosie” or “Twinkle, twinkle little star…” before I start stabbing the off button on my CD player. That’s why I highly recommend They Might Be Giants. It’s music both you and your kid will enjoy.

TMBG ABCThey Might Be Giants have been around for quite a while. I remember first hearing a tape of “Flood” when I was a freshman in college. It was one of the things that got me hooked on rock…the underground kind (although I believe “Flood” was more of a mainstream release. Someone tell me if I’m wrong. The two main frontmen: John Linnell and John Flansburgh are considered geeks in the rock world. The music lyrics are weird but fun, though they can get downright strange sometimes. They also have the tendency to run pretty short (most songs being around the minute to minute and a half mark) which made them perfect candidates to switch over to children’s music without skipping a beat. In fact, one could say that it’s adult music for kids.

“Here Come the ABCs” have 23 original songs on the alphabet (though the alphabet song does worm its way into the song “Who Put the Alphabet in Alphabetical Order). Sometimes they focus on one letter. “Flying V” discusses both the poetic formation of flying geese and a certain brand of guitar. Other songs are just plain fun. Can you name countries using every letter of the alphabet? They did with “Alphabet of Nations”. There are even a couple of bonus songs, including the theme song they do for “Higgley-Town Heros”, and a hidden track that I take great delight in: “I never go to work”.

“Here Come the ABCs” is Daniel’s favorite CD, but his absolute, most favorite song that gets him screaming in glee, is the title song off their other kids album, “No!” Do I even need to explain why?

NoNo is no.
No is always no.
If they say no, they mean a thousand times no.

No plus no equals no.
All nos lead to no, no, no.

Finger pointing, eyebrows low.
Mouth in the shape of a letter ‘O’.
“Pardon me?” No!
“Excuse me?” No!
“Can I stay? Can I play?” No! No! No!

If I had fun writing typing that in, imagine a two year old squealing at the top of his lungs whenever this song is played.

Do your kids a favor. Don’t settle for crappy kids’ music they advertise on those commercials. Get them real music. Real music that not only they will love, but that you will love to. That way, you won’t mind if your kids beg you to play it over again for the 328th time. You may even find yourself sneaking it off to listen to it on your own. It’s that much fun.