Monday, December 4th, 2006
Christmas Music and 2-Year-Olds
The two-year mark was the magical time when my daughter began spontaneously singing songs. She sort of recites songs really, because she has no tonal inflection.
In November, our thoughts turned to the prospect of her learning and singing Christmas songs. Well before Thanksgiving, Mom began playing Christmas music around our home to familiarize our Little Miss with some tunes.
Miss is naturally attracted to Frosty the Snowman as sung by Harry Connick, Jr. on his Harry for the Holidays CD. Every time I play any sort of music, I get a lecture about how I’d better be playing “the Frosty song.”
Check out the original 1950s Frosty song cartoon:
I’ve been teaching her some improvisation, by singing variations of The Frosty Song. For example:
Bossy the snow cow
Was a jolly happy girl
With a corncob udder and a mutton nose
And two eyes made out of trolls
(I didn’t say it was good improvisation, but it does elicit toddler laughter.)
Each time I sing the song, I use new nouns. At first, she told me in the sternest of tones that I was singing the song wrong and explained how the song is supposed to be sung. She eventually realized I was having fun and she began changing the lyrics herself. She usually makes the songs about Mama and Papa.
Her second favorite song has to be Zat You, Santa Claus?, the Louis Armstrong hit as fabulously covered by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The song is about someone mysteriously knocking on the door and the singer wondering, “Zat you, Santa Claus?”
Check out this video clip of an 18-month-old’s visit to see a mall Santa. Louis Armstrong sings Zat You, Santa Claus? in the background.
I told Little Miss the song is about Santa playing hide-and-seek, and she instantly loved it. If I want to solicit a smile or laughter from her at any given moment, I need only ask in a boisterous voice, “Zat you, Santa Claus?”
BBVD’s Everything You Want for Christmas CD is pretty cool if you like swing-big band-jazz. They do a sweet cover of Mr. Heatmiser, a song from The Year without a Santa Claus, a stop-animation TV special first broadcast in 1974.
A live action corporate remake will air on NBC on December 11th. You can’t replace animation with real people, let alone singing people, and expect success. The NBC version will stink. I have to wonder why a children’s special is scheduled to air at 9 p.m.
Check out this fan’s music video, syncing Voodoo’s Heat Miser with the original 1974 stop-animation clip.
Voodoo Daddy is an old school band that actually has talent, sounding as good live as in the recording studio. We were fortunate to see BBVD perform last week a mix of old and new songs and Christmas tunes.