I've been rediscovering the wonder of the Wombles, the bratty banter of Basil Brush (boom, boom), and the sing-alongs of The Sound of Music. You see, I went record shopping for my little girl Mia the other day. She's only just gone two months but she's already kicking and smiling to songs like Shark Attack by Split Enz and Burning Spear's righteous and bouncy Marcus Gravey. At bedtime Marvin Gaye's What's Going On or Iron and Wine's latest, The Shepherd's Dog, are perfect for lulling her to sleep. There's nothing like starting their music education from day one.
But instead of plying her with my music I thought it was about time she had a few of her own records with songs like Remember You're A Womble (hey, I used to like it) and stories like Flick the Little Fire Engine, Alice In Wonderland, and classic Disney like Bambi (so sad).
The other bonus of shopping for Mia was I managed to smuggle a few gems of my own into the house - an excellent second hand copy of Endtroducing by DJ Shadow, a couple of Beatles albums, Spiderland by Slint (a rarity for sure), and Toto's first album with Hold the Line on it for $2.
Anyway, back to wee Honey Lamb's records. I know this column is about Forward Thinking, but it's funny how you can always rely on the classics and the oldies. Mia will likely think mum and dad are old fashioned in a few years, but at least she'll know Edelweiss backwards. Er, is that a good thing? Plus, I doubt whether soppy old Bambi will be able to compete with the latest Kindergarten Musical movie, or whatever she will be into, in years to come.
But I also bought a secret weapon the other day - Badjelly the Witch, the Back In Black of children's stories.
Badjelly is the one I'll bring out when she's a little older and although I'm sure it will scare the living daylights out of her, as it did me on many occasions while growing up, Spike Milligan's timeless tale is sure to impress nonetheless.
Another fun, and educational, sing-song we have is courtesy of a compilation album of Maori songs a friend of mine from Wellington gave me a few years ago. It was a fundraiser CD put together by the Hataitai Playcentre "to encourage and enjoy the use of te reo Maori through waiata". I had never really played it until Mia came along but she beams when we sing-a-long to Oma Rapeti (Run Rabbit) especially.
And it's amazing how a Beatles tune, sung karaoke style over the top of John and Paul's melodies, can inspire a joyous smile out of someone so young.
I have never been heavily into the Beatles. The only album I owned was Sgt. Pepper's because I knew what they were on when they made it. But while shopping for Mia I bought Beatles For Sale(recommended by a friend because it was a "transition album" apparently) and Rubber Soul (which has my favourite Norwegian Wood, on it). While I'm yet to be convinced entirely by the Beatles, Mia loves songs like I'm A Loser, Eight Days A Week and Drive My Car (beep beep, beep beep, yeah).
Though Mia is into these songs and stories now (she acts that way at least, and smiles nicely to humour her dad), whether she'll be into them in 10 or 15 years time, who knows? But you have to try to educate them in the ways of Marvin and Jimi, Metallica and Mastodon don't you?
And all I can say is, her boyfriend better be into good music or he ain't stepping through the door.