Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand,” Reimagined as a Dr. Seuss Book

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

There are very few bands more rock and roll than Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Likewise, it doesn’t get much more kid-awesome than Dr. Suess. Mash them both together as Dr. FaustusAU has done, and you’ve got one amazingly creepy-fun rendition of Cave’s Red Right Hand.

Get to know Dr. FaustusAU.

See the video for Red Right Hand. Get to know Nick Cave.

A big thank you to Flavorwire for sharing!

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Image credit: DrFaustusAU

Talk about redemption.

Ask 100 parents how they approach talking about bad things in the world, and you’ll get 100 different opinions. But this Mama thinks it’s important to discuss challenging subjects.  It’s important to talk about slavery. It’s important to discuss oppression and discrimination in age appropriate ways. One way to start that conversation is through music.

Tot Rocker: Redemption Song by Bob Marley (sleepy baby)

Rolling Stone places Redemption Song at #66 of the top 500 songs of all time, behind No woman, no cry at #37. (Incidently, Hotel California is at #49. Ruh- Roh.)

Redemption Song is credited to Bob Marley and Edwin Hawkins, but the iconic lines “emancipate yourself from mental slavery… none but ourselves can free our minds” are attributed to civil rights activist Marcus Garvey in 1937. There have been several covers of Redemption Song lately (you probably have to try really hard to make a bad version of this song), but my favorite cover is by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer.

Other Tot Rockers by Bob Marley: I think this is a gimme. Like The Beatles, Bob Marley has so many very recognizable songs and so many of them  translate easily into a lullaby that potentially every child has heard Three little birds and No woman, no cry by kindergarten. But just in case they haven’t, there you go.

Similar Tot Rockers: Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin (sleepy baby), Black boys on mopeds by Sinead O’Connor (sleepy baby).

Stuff to think about: 

New Republic: Cities need to understand what riots over police brutality are saying. 

New York Times: To talk Baltimore with kids, focus on the positive.

Get to know Bob Marley

Hand over that Sleepy Baby

Sometimes this needs to happen. Sleepy Baby music can help.

Sometimes this needs to happen. Sleepy Baby music can help.

Sometimes kids (and their adults) need to chill out. You know those times, everyone is just a little bit crispy, and you can tell somebody’s about to lose it. Sleepy baby music isn’t just for lullaby’s, it’s best used when the room needs to chill. It’s too early? Try Sleepy Baby. Need some quiet time in the car? Try sleepy baby. Hangry? Yep, sleepy baby.

Despite it’s many special powers, Sleepy Baby music has been underrepresented on Tot Rockin’ as of late. That’s mainly because as my babes have gotten bigger and like to rock harder. Toddler’s usually prefer to have their music kicked up a notch, but what do they know?  To right this Sleepy Baby wrong, I’m sharing three great sleepy baby songs in one she-bang. Or shhhh-bang, as the case may be.

Last weekend, on our way to “the chicken wing party” aka Wing Fest, my kids fell asleep in the car. To wake them up, I turned on the sleepy baby playlist, to gently nudge them awake. When we arrived at our destination, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show was about half way through. When I turned off the vehicle, TotBoy said, “Can we please listen to the rest of that song?” Yes. Yes we can.

Sleepy Baby #1: Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show

Sleepy Baby songs aren’t generally Molly Gene‘s main thing. But every artist needs a great torch song and this is hers. This traditional folk song has been covered by many, but this One Whoaman Band nails it.

Sleepy Baby #2: Dink’s Song by Molly Gene One Whoaman Band (Traditional) 

Many sleepy baby songs are about lost love, heartbreak, disappointment. This one is about adultery. Yep, that’s totally okay in the Tot Rock handbook.  The first and last 30 seconds of this video are fantastic.

Sleepy Baby #3: Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul

It’s generally frowned on to give your children whiskey to settle them down, so Sleepy Baby music will have to do.

Please, please me!

Does anyone else’s kids have a terrible time with “please”? It’s astonishing to me how often my two well-spoken tots eliminate please from their conversation. TotRock Dad has taken to ignoring the offending kid until they remember to add please. However, that kid usually ends up at the Tantrum City Limits before they remember to add the palabra magica. The whole “what do you say?” prompt really bugs me, and I end up saying it too many times a day. I’m hoping this Tot Rocker will be the answers to my prayers.

Tot Rocker: Please Please Please by James Brown. 

A person can really appreciate this live performance because it’s full of strut and shows The Legend of Soul at his finest. However, this studio version is a better example of the power of the song itself. The studio version also does a better job of addressing the “please” agenda.

Kind: sleepy baby. There aren’t many sleepy baby songs in the James Brown catalog, but that’s not because he can’t stick it.

Other Tot Rockers by James Brown: Get on the Good Foot (awake baby), Get up offa that thing (awake baby)

Similar Tot Rockers: Trouble in Mind (sleepy baby) by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Please Please Me (awake baby) by The Beatles

Perhaps we’ll listen to Please Please Please this weekend on repeat and to see if it sinks in.


Even without a “please” it takes a lot of will power to say “no” to this mug. 

To be honest, I started writing this post several weeks ago and then I didn’t publish it. With all the recent spotlight on celebrities and domestic violence and James Brown’s notorious history as a perpetrator, I felt conflicted. Fortuna smiled on me, and I happened to listen to a recent Sound Opinions on the same subject. Jim and Greg do a much better job explaining the controversy in the context of James Brown and other music celebrities, much better than I could do. Please check out the Sound Opinions podcast and this article by Jim DeRogatis about R.Kelly.

What’s your favorite Tot Rocker about being polite? Please, will you tell me? 

Okee Dokee- it’s good!

Maybe on their next album the Okee Dokee Brothers will explore the beauty of rock skipping.

The Okee Dokee Brothers can throw down. Alright, perhaps “throw down” isn’t quite the phrase for which this folk duo aspires. While they are indeed Children’s music performers (as evidenced by this song and this song) they also appeal to the NotTot fans of folk with their album Can You Canoe. It was considered so good it snagged a Grammy in 2012 (Best Children’s Music Album).



Can you Canoe? by the Okee Dokee Brothers:

Los OD Bros say their intention is to “record and perform family music with a goal to inspire children and their parents to get outside and experience nature“- no terrible thing. Their website also sez something about recognizing that kids “deserve quality music” and I couldn’t agree more.

Through the woods

Gaining a respect for the natural world, we’re like a walking billboard for the Okee Dokee Brothers.

While my kids haven’t had the chance to enjoy the excitement of canoeing (two toddlers in one canoe- no thanks, I like staying dry), one of our favorite outings is going on a walk in the woods. You wouldn’t believe how excited Tot 1 and Tot 2 get about it. Or maybe you would. The Okee Dokee Brothers love the woods too, and they devoted their most recent album to the wonders of hiking. I haven’t listened to it much, but when I do I’ll let you know.

In the mean time, I’d encourage you to give Can you Canoe? a try, with Tots or Not.

Get to know The Okee Dokee Brothers