Thank You David Bowie: A Playlist for You & Your Kids

A playlist for all your David Bowie tribute needs.

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring. – David Bowie

David Bowie, a master of re-invention, was more than an artist. More than just a performer. Through his life and music he embodied the idea that all we have to be is who we are. It’s a sad thought that it’s come to an end, yet sharing all of his ground breaking cultural contributions with our kids can be a spark that ingnites something in them. And that’s infinite.

We’ve put together some of the most universally loved songs and videos for you to share with your kids today or any day.

And a Spotify version:

Songs for snuggling and singing and falling asleep

For the past nine plus years, I’ve sung this song nearly every night.

I suppose I had an average affinity for it as a child. However, as a parent, Ernie’s sentimental ballad about wanting adventure minus the homesickness, instinctively became my go-to lullaby. I learned the words quickly, but would wind down into a hum after round twenty or so. Occasionally, I’d even put myself to sleep. By the time my son could talk, he’d snuggle up under the covers and whisper, “moon song!” as though perhaps I’d forgotten. Eventually, I tried new ones, but it always came back to Ernie.

Suddenly, one night as I started to sing, he clamped his hand over my mouth and demanded, “No song.”

It was a good four year run. Somewhat mournfully, I laid beside him silently until he fell asleep. (“Snuggle me. But don’t sing.” was the nightly request.)

Then my daughter was born. A person to sing to who couldn’t protest! Technology had advanced to the point that the lyrics to any song I could imagine were in my pocket. I’d nurse her for hours learning and expanding my repertoire. Despite the many numbers in rotation, “the moon song” stayed at the top of the charts.

Recently, one night, as I put both of them to bed, my son requested a song for the first time in years.

“Mom? Remember that song you used to sing sometimes about an airplane? Would you sing that?”

I tried to hide just how eager I was to fulfill this request as I quietly started in on John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jetplane”. By verse two, he slowly pulled the covers up almost over his face. Moments later, I heard a sniffle.

I paused.

“Oh! Are you crying? I’m sorry!”

He tossed the comforter over his head, muffling his voice as he replied, “No. But don’t sing that any more.”

He’s right. That’s a really frigging sad song.

Tears or no tears, I love those last moments of the day with my kids. Ushering them to sleep with melodies that have become part of our fabric makes me feel like I’m doing at least one thing right.

Here’s my playlist. What’s in yours? 

Song list 

Sweet Child of Mine- Guns N’ Roses (lyrics)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Judy Garland (lyrics)

Blackbird- Sarah McLachlan (lyrics)

Lean On Me- Bill Withers (lyrics)

My Girl- The Temptations (lyrics)

Three Little Birds- Bob Marley (lyrics)

Sweet Baby James- James Taylor (lyrics)

You Are My Sunshine- Johnny Cash (lyrics)

Tomorrow- Annie original cast recording (lyrics)

Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (lyrics)

Landslide- Fleetwood Mac (lyrics)

More Adventurous- Rilo Kiley (lyrics)

The Way I Am- Ingrid Michaelson (lyrics)

Smile- Madeleine Peyroux (lyrics)

Here Comes the Sun- Nina Simone (lyrics)

Honorable mentions to the jams not available for a Spotify playlist include:

I Will- The Beatles (lyrics)

Pretty Much Anything By- The Beatles

Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel)- Billy Joel (lyrics)

Annabel- Don Henley (lyrics)

 

Audio Stories for Family Road Trips and Back-to-School

We’ve previously mentioned how much we love Sparkle Stories. They produce wonderful original audio stories full of non-preachy life lessons, happiness, and humor for kids up to about third grade.

Basically, Sparkle Stories is the antidote to the crappy, commercialized, dumbed-down entertainment kids are usually subjected to.

Sparkle Stories is offering two series that are perfect for the end of summer vacation.

“Back to School” Audio Book

These three stories are designed to ease the back-to-school transition for kids (and by extension, their grown-ups).

  1. In “Zebra Stripes,” Clancy is starting first grade and worries he won’t fit in.
  2. Young Cami is hesitant to go to school for the first time until she meets “Mr. Salamander.”
  3. In “The School Master,” a boy named Micajah moves for the umpteenth time and must join a new school.

This series is the perfect thing to play in the car while driving home on your summer family road trip. They’ll inspire excitement for the adventures yet to come.

Martin & Sylvia “Travel!” Audio Book

This series features five stories and nearly two hours of audio for traveling families. Martin and Sylvia are traveling from New England to California via car, plane, and train. Along the way, they play a heap of games.

While listening to this story, you and your kids will come away with new ideas for travel fun. Find the Martin & Sylvia “Travel!” Audio Book here. At that link, you can also download a printable game sheet, featuring three original travel games.

 Sparkle Stories Podcast

An easy way to sample all that Sparkle Stories offers is via their free weekly podcast with a free story. It was featured by Apple as one the “Best of 2013.” View the podcast on iTunes. They also produce an excellent blog, full of recipes, crafts and wonderful writing. Visit SparkleStories.com.

Playlist for kids and parents: Karaoke Hits!

Allegedly it’s national karaoke week. We’re not saying these are our favorite songs. We’re just saying they sound awesome when you belt them out after you’ve had a few drinks. Or, whenever you commandeer your kids’ karaoke machine.

Spiderwebs- No Doubt

Total Eclipse of the Heart- Bonnie Tyler

Don’t You Want Me- The Human League

Pour Some Sugar on Me- Def Leppard

Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey

Stay- Lisa Loeb

Say it Ain’t So- Weezer

Heartbreaker- Pat Benetar

I Want You to Want Me- Cheap Trick

Like A Prayer- Madonna

Livin’ On a Prayer- Bon Jovi

 

Earth Day Jams – A Playlist for Our Home

For Earth Day, we made a playlist of songs that both celebrate our one and only home, while also reminding us to take care of it. This playlist is best enjoyed outside!

Like all of our playlists, it’s great for both grownups and kids.

Feeling Good – Jennifer Hudson

My City Was Gone – Pretenders

Jungle Boogie – Kool & The Gang

Leaves That Are Green – Simon & Garfunkel

Trees- Dr Octagon

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

The Green Fields Of Summer – Peter Wolf

(Nothing But) Flowers – Talking Heads

This Land Is Your Land – Neil Young

Playlist for Kids and Parents: Letter Sending Songs!

Once you have kids, there’s no reason to instantly sully your music collection with the song stylings of chubby purple dinosaurs and endless loops. Save your brain cells and expand theirs with music you actually want to hear via our weekly curated playlists.

Songlist

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)- Stevie Wonder

Take A Letter, Maria- R.B. Greaves

The Letter- Alex Chilton

Please, Mr. Postman- The Marvelettes

Return to Sender- Elvis Presley

Postcard- The Who

Postcard- The Lemonheads

Walking on Sunshine- Katrina and the Waves

Box Full of Letters- Wilco

The battle in this music video is actually a beautiful lullaby

“Nothing I had done before did anything to prepare me for you.”

 

Motherhood is the juxtaposition of many things. Badassery and softness. Energy and exhaustion. Who we are, versus who we thought we were.

On Swale’s 2014 album, The Next Instead, keyboardist and singer, Amanda Gustafson delivers a startlingly honest and beautiful song about her experience as a new mother. More than appropriately titled, Beaten Down, it was written as a sort of lullaby to her first child. Like many of the songs she writes, it began with the melody and the first line. (“I thought I was beaten down, then you beat me down.” SING IT, SISTER.)

“It’s like a ghost shows up, and then I have to figure out why it’s there.”

Thankfully, she did.

It seems impossible that our journeys as parents are so unique yet so universal at the same time. But there’s not a single lyric that doesn’t have to push its way past the lump in my throat as I sing along (What would I give for that voice?) It resonates, from beginning to end.

“The feeling of being beaten down is coming face to face with the reality of what I’m going to mother like. And that’s a hard realization. Because you will be mad at an infant.”

 The video, shot at the Northern New England Golden Gloves of Vermont,spanned less than three weeks from concept to shooting . And while Shem Roose shot footage of several different fights of both men and women, it became clear during the editing there was only one match they wanted to use. Hannah Rodrigue vs. Anna Gagnon. (The fact that their uniforms matched the band’s clothing and instruments was a complete coincidence.)

“This feels very particularly a woman’s fight. The pressure that we put on ourselves to be kind and loving and sweet mothers- that’s our expectation of ourselves and the battle is to be that all the time.” 

Hear more Swale and follow them on Facebook.

Hip hop playlist- no earmuffs necessary

There’s never a bad time to listen to hip hop. Ok. Maybe it’s a bad time if your kids are around. Unless you’re listening to this earmuff free playlist. Turn it up!

Songs

The Message- Grandmaster Flash

Parents Just Don’t Understand- DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

My Adidas- Run-D.M.C

First in Flight- Blackalicious

Ham’n’Eggs- A Tribe Called Quest

Bridging the Gap- NAS

120 Seconds- Freestyle Fellowship

Children Play With Earth- Arrested Development

It’s Tricky- Run-D.M.C

Hype- Kid ‘N Play

Dance Partay Playlist

Spontaneous Dance Party?
IT WILL BE, ONCE YOU PLAY THIS.

SONGS

Work It (edited version) – Missy Elliott

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson

Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes

Lose Yourself to Dance – Daft Punk

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

Pon De Replay – Rihanna

You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) – Dead or Alive

1999 – Prince

Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

Living For the City – Stevie Wonder