My two girls are absolutely obsessed with music. Like, ALL MUSIC. Any time music comes on, they want to dance and sing at the top of their lungs. Now, I don’t think I’m alone in my frustration with all of the profanity, lewd content and general gross-ness of most music on the radio today, so I’ve been doing a little homework. I swear, every time I find a song with a great beat that the kids seem to LOVE, up pops a curse word, or a line that makes my eyes bug out. I recently read somewhere that Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was a song that’s got a “great message for girls”…. uh, yeeeeaaahhh… after hearing the lines “We know that sh*t ain’t real“, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night“, and “Tell them skinny bitches that“… mmm NOPE. I mean, yes, overall that’s probably a good message for teen girls (basically that being skinny isn’t everything and you should be proud of your body), but the presentation lacks the G-rating I’m needing for my babes right now.
So… here are 10 radio-popular songs that I feel comfortable allowing my nearly-2-and-4-year-olds to listen to (links are to tunes on Spotify):
1. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift - Oh holy hell, is this song catchy. We have probably broken the record for most-times-played-in-a-row on this one. The second the car engine starts on the way to drop Ellie off at school every day, Jamie is shouting at me from the backseat: “SHAKE! SHAKE! LISTEN SHAKE! SHAKE!” (Also, a GREAT message in this one. Shake it off, get back up, do it your own way.)
2. Happy – Pharrell Williams - Pretty sure every kid (okay every person) in the world starts wiggling when this song comes on. How can you not?? I can barely listen to this song in the car because I want to jump out of my seat and start dancing.
3. ROAR – Katy Perry - Catchy beat, zero profanity, and a great message for kids. A good one for them to scream at top volume.
4. Good Feeling – Flo Rida - Upbeat, happy, clean (surprisingly so, considering the artist).
5. We Found Love – Rihanna - Probably the cleanest song Rihanna has released. Unfortunately the video is NOT clean, so if you play music on YouTube for you kids, this may not be a good choice. On the radio or a Spotify playlist, however, this is a great dance tune with no profanity.
6. Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepson - Oh man… there was a good 8-12 month period in which this was the ONLY song Ellie would allow me to play. SO catchy (major ear worm, this one), and fun. I used to sing different words to the tune all the time – “Woke up with Ell-ie’s feet on my head… What’s up with that girl sneakin’ in my bed?” … still makes her giggle.
7. Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper - Love this one. Probably leaning toward the adult side, but I just chase and kiss and tickle my kiddos when this song is on and they think it’s hilarious.
8. Break Free – Ariana Grande - Yeah, it’s about a failed relationship, but it’s also about independence and it’s clean, catchy and fun to dance to.
9. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson - Super positive, and major girl-power lyrics. Another one the kids’ll want to scream-sing.
10. Cups – Pitch Perfect (Anna Kendrick) – Besides the mention of whiskey, this one is really fun. I actually taught myself how to do that whole cups rhythm with Disney princess cups, so I use it to sing the girls stuff like the Alphabet Song and many others… but they still love it when this one comes on the radio. And then they want to bang on cups LIKE RIGHT NOW.
Here’s a few bonus songs as well – ones my kiddos ask for on a regular basis (daily), either to listen to in the car via Spotify or for me to sing to them in the evenings. I didn’t include them in the above list because most of them are not necessarily radio-popular, but boy do my girls love these:
1. September – Earth, Wind & Fire - That chorus a fuuuuuuun one. I love listening to Ellie belt it out.
2. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Julie Andrews - Because it’s super fun to try and say. Not sure I can even say it. But I do remember that when I was a kid I loved telling people that this “word” has 34 letters in it! (Side note – I also loved telling people that the longest REAL word in the world is antidisestablishmentarianism… at 28 letters. And I could spell it. BOOM.)
3. Heavenly – Harry Connick, Jr. - I often push HCJ on my girls. I’m pretty much in love with him as an artist, and I would have NO problems if Ellie & Jamie grew up loving him as well. This is a super-cute song about the sun and the moon falling love.
4. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson - Although it seems to be about not-so-happy things, it’s got a happy and upbeat way about it. Ellie loves singing this one – there aren’t many words so it’s easy for her to get into.
5. WitchDoctor – David Seville & The Chipmunks - Jamie is SO into this song right now. “DOCTOR! DOCTOR!” She sings it while running around our living room a lot as well. “ooh eee ooh ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang!”
6. Splish Splash – Bobby Darrin - Who doesn’t like a bath song? :)
7. Lollipop – The Chordettes - Dead lord MAKE SURE you click on the Chordettes song with this title. Trust me.
8. What Does the Fox Say – Ylvis - No explanation needed. A ridiculous hit that makes absolutely no sense, yet all children go bananas whenever this song is played.
9. Real in Rio – Jamie Fox, Jessie Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway (from the Rio Soundtrack) - Jamie went through a 4-month phase where Rio was the only movie we were allowed to watch, and this song was the only one that would make her happy. I even had to turn it into a lullaby for her so I could sing it softly while putting her to sleep. (Actually… Ellie did that first. I copied her because it toooootally worked to calm Jamie down at bedtime.)
10. You Make Me Happy – Cathy Heller - SUCH a sweet song. I love it as a lullaby, and the girls like to sing along.
11. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham! - Fun for all ages. You’re made of stone if you don’t like JitterBug. :)
12. ANYTHING FROM FROZEN - Because, Disney wins everything.