Paul McCartney gives bad advice

The Beatles have been absent from this blog thus far because, let’s face it, most of their songs have already been appropriated for easy children’s listening. From daycare, my kids are just as likely to come home singing Rafi’s Baby Beluga as Yellow Submarine. Some kid appropriation can be appreciated, Sesame Street has been doing it well for decades. I’ve said it, well, once, but I’ll say it again: one generation’s anthem of degeneracy is their grandchildren’s circle time romp.

Tot Rocker: Why don’t we do it in the road by The Beatles

After doing it in the road, one may need to purchase this from the vending machine at the train station. -St. Moritz, Switzerland

I had given up featuring The Beatles on this blog until recently when I was pleasantly reminded of Why Don’t we do it in the Road. And that song is all swamp and swagger, amiright? I love thinking about it as a cautionary tale for children. In their brief few years, my kids have heard, “Get out of the road!” nothing short of 4,000 times. Why don’t we do it in the road? Well kids, there are cars that will come flying down the street and splat you like a bug. That’s why, my dearies. 

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: this little piece of heaven is a Tot Rocker because it’s lyrics are as simple as they get, it’s easy to sing along, the subject matter is near and dear to their hearts because kids love the idea of doing anything in the road, and it’s simple and rough, in the best way possible.

Sesame Street and The Beetles:

Other Tot Rockers by The Beatles: Get Back (awake baby), Drive my Car (awake baby)

Similar Tot Rockers: All night Long by Junior Kimbrough, Do the Romp by The Black Keys

So go ahead, freak out your mother and do it in the road.

Motorcycles and Mamas

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

“Mama,” TotRock Girl said, “tomollow [sic] can we wash your motorcycle?” Spring might be coming along slowly, but motorcycling season is just around the corner. And a girl that wants to get her hands dirty and spend some quality time with her Mama by washing a motorcycle? It’s most assuredly the most beautiful thing I’ve heard all day. To commemorate the sacred occasion, let’s have a motorcycle themed Tot Rocker.

 Mr. Young’s more popular song about ladies riding motorcycles, Unknown Legend, came 14 years after Motorcycle Mama on the album Comes a Time (1978). I can’t think of another musician that has two songs about lady riders, so way to go, Neil. I particularly appreciate that both of these songs depict women driving motorcycles. I could go on and on about the importance of women with their own hands on the throttle, but let’s just listen to the song, shall we?

Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama by Neil Young:

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama is about subject matter kids know: mamas and motorcycles. It has a few  “ooo’s”, “oh yeah’s” sprinkled about for fun, it’s a great song, and even reinforces Mama as the preferred title for this mother (remember Don’t call me Mommy?)

A thing a beauty.

A thing of beauty.

Other Tot Rockers by Neil Young: Helpless (sleepy baby), Teach your Children (sleepy baby), Hey hey (sleepy baby)

Other Tot Rockers about motorcycles: Motobike by The Olympic Hopefuls (awake baby), Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las (awake baby)

If you still have a toothache from the my girl’s sweet evocation, don’t worry. Less than 5 minutes later she was crying because I hurt her feelings. By her report, I hurt them by singing along with the radio. Aaaand we’re back.

Get to know Neil Young.

Vroom. Vroom.

I went on down to New Orleans, and they all ask’d for you.

To celebrate my recent trip to New Orleans and getting to see George Porter Jr (bassist of The Meters) play live, I figure it’s high time to chronicle this great Tot Rocker. They all ask’d for you by The Meters: They all ask’d for you is light-hearted while still bringing the funk. A punster might say it’s putting the Fun in FUNK, but I’m not a punster.

It's not the Audubon Zoo, but it's the best we got.

It’s not the Audubon Zoo, but it’s the best we got.

Other Tot Rockers by The Meters: Just kissed my baby (awake baby), Hand clapping song (awake baby)

My feet can’t fail me now!

Stop what you are doing and watch this video now.

I’ll wait:

Feel better? I knew that you would. I foresee your tots and everyone else in your world will be similarly impacted. So spread it around.

My feet can fail me now by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has the cure for what ails you.

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons: There are 6 words, people- it don’t get more simple, and heck kids totally know what feet are. The upbeat tempo, the clapping, and damn it’s a good song are all the makings for a spectacular tot rocker.

Similar Tot Rockers: Eh la ba by Lizzie Miles (awake baby), Iko Iko by the Dixie Cups (awake baby)

Happy Mardi Gras, ya’ll. Thank you WWOZ for today’s inspiration!

It’s not the weather, it’s the people we love

Have you had enough snow this winter? My little shovelers certainly haven’t. While you won’t find me complaining about the weather, I’d agree with Sleater-Kinney, “It’s not the weather, it’s the people we love.” That line comes from a single off the new album of the same name: No Cities to Love. 

No Cities to Love by Sleater Kinney: 

Kind: Awake Baby

I want somebody to shovel. I need somebody to shovel. I want somebody to shovel me.

I want somebody to shovel. I need somebody to shovel. I want somebody to shovel me.

Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: No Cities to Love is a fun, kicky song. There are verses that are a little more tricky, but you don’t have to wait long until they loop back to the strong fun anthem-y chorus. Did I mention it’s a great song? The women of Sleater-Kinney have gotten back together after a little hiatus to make this new album by the same name. So far, I’m pretty impressed with the whole album. Sleater-Kinney is currently on tour, if you want to see them live ya’ll better step to, because shows are selling out.

Other Tot Rockers by Sleater-Kinney: Modern Girl (sleepy baby), Bury our Friends (awake baby)

Similar Tot Rockers: Romance (Wild Flag), Waterfall (Ex Hex)

Get to know Sleater-Kinney. See you at the show!