Music Review: Gunnar Madsen

Photo of the cover of the Growing CD.

Gunnar Madsen’s I’m Growing is deliciously good music. I’m just not sure how to confine it with words. Pip poppin’ peppy comes to mind.

I’ll confess up front that my wife hates the CD. Come with me on a little debate. Take a listen to the second track, Pumpkin Hair.

While most of the CD is solidly kid-oriented, this song is about a man smitten with a lady who has pumpkin hair. It’s a source of contention for my wife who says the topic isn’t for young children, with lyrics like, "If she will marry me I swear I’ll never love another" and "If she will let me be her guy, I’ll never go free-rangin."

I counter with, "But he’s talking about marrying a woman and committing himself to her. Isn’t that what Mom and Dad have done?" And let’s not forget, the focus is on pumpkin hair that "smells like butter." She counters that butter has high cholesterol.

With the hindsight of writing this review, the next time she speaks up, I’m going to start yelling "The cheese stands alone! The cheese stands alone!" Isn’t it funny how we have a board book of the pop nursery rhyme The Farmer in the Dell that starts with "The farmer takes a wife," and quickly devolves into all manner of bestiality ("the nurse takes a cow; the cow takes a dog" and so forth). How’s a kid supposed to interpret that? I rest my case.

When Pumpkin Hair comes on, my daughter and I are jumpin’ around preparing to yell the infectious and impossible to repeat refrain that begins, "Breep bop bip bop boppity bo, Beepity bop bop bippity bo." We’re good for the first few words, but quickly resort to our own recipe of nonsense sounds — fun.

So, maybe it was bad timing when I asked my wife, "How can you not like this music?!!" just as the song There’s a Bowl of Milk in the Moonlight" came on. It’s the one slow song on the CD, and by its end there is a chorus of people singing "Meow." Maybe it’s hokey for an adult, but perfect fun for young children. If you’re not singing along, maybe it’s impossible to understand.

Gunnar Madsen’s official website

Thanks to Sugar Mountain for the CD for review, and for agreeing to offer it as a prize in our Thinga-Appreciation Contest later this month.


5 Responses to “Music Review: Gunnar Madsen”

  1. Felis says:

    I like Pumpkin hair! :-) Have you found “No!” by They might be giants yet? Me and hubby have gotten all our friends (albeit weird ones) hooked on it and we sing along to it sans kids… once we pop out our first maybe we won’t get such funny looks… but I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone. :-)

    March 13th, 2008 at 11:40 am

  2. PsychMamma says:

    I’m with you – - I LOVED Pumpkin Hair! How very fun. I also agree that The Farmer in the Dell is quite disturbing – - I’ve thought that for a long time now. While we’re discussing disturbing, how about Three Blind Mice? Pop Goes the Weasel? Rock a Bye Baby? Cutting off tails? Weasels popping? Babies falling out of trees? Pumpkin Hair seems much more wholesome and tame to me. :-)

    March 13th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

  3. PsychMamma says:

    In response to Felis re: They Might Be Giants, “No!” is good, but I love “Istanbul (not Constantinople)”, “Where Do They Make Balloons?” and “Ooh La, Ooh La!” :-)

    March 13th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

  4. Beth says:

    While we’re on the topic, what about the inter-species folly of “Froggie Went a Courtin’” — one of my fav folk/kid tunes of all time?

    March 13th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

  5. bombaygirl says:

    The Farmer in the Dell is a song kids sing while playing a game, which goes like this: the kids sit in a circle, and then they all sing the first verse. One kid who is pre-selected as the Farmer, dances around the outside of the circle and then chooses his “wife” when that verse is sung. Thus “takes a wife”. And so on. The “taking” is another way of saying choosing, selecting, picking out. The children keep making up animals along the way so that they are left with the one child, the “cheese” in the end, who stands alone. Nothing bestial about it at all. But I am sure you already knew all this, and you were just writing tongue-in-cheek, right?

    March 14th, 2008 at 7:48 pm

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