Laurie Berkner's Favorite Classic Kids' Songs Delivers 57 Songs and 1000 Smiles

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Laurie Berkner Classic Kids Songs Dennis Russo Critical Blast

When I heard that Laurie Berkner was going to release a 2CD set of classic kids’ songs, I said to myself “This I have got to hear!”

It is no secret that I and my family are bonafide Laurie Berkner fans. Her original children’s songs have made us smile and given us countless memories since we first saw her perform on Nick Jr’s Jack's Big Music Show. Now here we were going to be able to listen to Laurie and her band sing and put her touch on classic children’s songs. This 2 CD set has 57 total songs, which also include 6 of her own (which, in my opinion, are classics as well and certainly belong here).

Before I got the CDs, I was expecting the songs that would be included to be mostly what I’ll call “modern” kids classics…modern meaning those mostly in the last 20-25 years (yeah I know, I’m old). I did not expect so many of the “old” classic kids songs! (There are too many to list here, so see the list of all songs at the end.) Songs from when I was a kid, and even before me! Songs I had even forgotten I used to sing, so I never sang them to my kid! Songs that I never knew even had a name to them!

This was more than a stroll down memory lane. As Laurie and her band of talented musicians played each song, it was as if an old closet in my memory to which I had long lost the key had all of a sudden been sprung open and a long forgotten happy memory came flooding back! “Where is Thumbkin?”, “Loch Lomond”, “Frere Jacques”…oh, my gosh, it was wonderful! And Laurie sings them so wonderfully, too. Not only because she has a beautiful voice, but because I can hear the happiness in her voice as she and her band play and sing. You can’t be sad or angry or disgruntled to play these songs, but when you hear Laurie sing, you can almost feel her happiness. And you can’t listen to these songs and be in an unhappy mood; if you are when you start, I guarantee you won’t be a couple of songs in. I know what I speak. When this set came, I had a particularly tough day at work and was not in the best mood when I got home (I know, not normally the best way to be to begin to do a review of any kind) but I decided to put it in and just let it play. By the time the first CD got to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” (song 6) my mood had changed from tired and disgruntled to still tired but decidedly much happier. By the time I put the 2nd CD in I was just downright feeling good!

Yes, these are kids’ songs, but I can’t tell you how many times we have just had these on playing thru them. They make us smile. They make us feel good. The CD is listed as for 0-7 years, but I think it should be 70 not just 7. Why not? Why do they have to be just for kids? Why do adult songs have to be complex, thought invoking dirges? We have to grow old, but we don’t have to be grown up all the time.

 

 

None of the songs are that long, and while some of the songs are kept in the folksy, frolicking original style that we all heard them sung in, Laurie and her band take some license to liven up some as only she and her band can in a way that even a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist will enjoy. I know I did. The fun that she and bass player Brady Rymer have on “There’s A Hole in the Bucket” was so apparent it was as if they were in the room with us at a dinner party. There are some with a jazzy beat like “Take Me out to the Ball Game,” some with a reggae flavor, and some even a little hip-hop and some that are just downright beautiful. “Amazing Grace” brought a tear to my eye.

Laurie’s band, including herself on vocals and guitar, consists of Brady Rymer on bass, Susie Lampert on keyboards, and Bobby Golden on drums. The CD is recorded rather well--it is really fun to listen to these CD’s on a real stereo as Laurie and her band seem to be right there in the room with us. While there are some of the newer classics included here as well as the timeless classics, I'll bet you haven’t heard them all--and for those who have always wanted to hear how Laurie would have sung classic kids’ songs, here is your chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Perhaps my wife summed it up best when she said, “Laurie could sing the instructions to a board game and it would be wonderful.” I agree, and I think you will too.

Everyone who has kids owes it to them (and themselves) to get this and play it for their kiddos. If everyone does this, the parents will be happier and their kiddos will be happier--and when kids have a happy childhood, they grow up to be happy adults. Happy adults are not hateful or angry adults, and if adults are happy and not angry, they don’t fight. When happy adults don’t fight, we have peace. So there you have it! Buy this CD set for your kids and in twenty years we’ll have world peace, thanks to Laurie Berkner!

Songs:

            CD1

  1. Over in The Meadow

  2. There Were Five in The Bed

  3. The Animal Fair

  4. I’ve Been Working On The Railroad

  5. Alouette

  6. Take Me Out To The Ballgame

  7. Rum Sum Sum

  8. Children Go Where I Send Thee

  9. New River Train

  10. Where Is Thumbkin?

  11. O Susannah

  12. Shortnin’ Bread

  13. Daisy Daisy (Bicycle Built For Two)

  14. The Wheels on The Bus

  15. There’s A Hole in The Bucket

  16. Froggie Went A-Courtin’

  17. The Itsy Bitsy Spider

  18. I Gave My Love A Cherry (The Riddle Song)

  19. The Erie Canal

  20. Jack In The Box

  21. Loch Lomond

  22. One Two Buckle My Shoe

  23. There’s A Little Wheel A-Turnin’ In My Heart

  24. All The Pretty Little Horses

  25. When The Saints Go Marching in

  26. Victor Vito

  27. Moon Moon Moon

  28. Under A Shady Tree

CD2

  1. Shoo-Fly

  2. The Cat Came Back

  3. Little Boy Blue

  4. Sing A Song Of Sixpence

  5. ABCD Medley (Twinkle Twinkle/Row Row Row Your Boat/Frere Jacques)

  6. This Old Man

  7. I Love My Rooster

  8. White Coral Bells

  9. A-Tisket A-Tasket

  10. The Ants Go Marching

  11. Little Red Caboose

  12. All Through The Night

  13. Open Shut Them

  14. The More We Get together

  15. Hush Little Baby

  16. Old King Cole

  17. Oleanna

  18. The Great Big Dog

  19. If You’re Happy And You Know It

  20. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean

  21. Down Down Baby

  22. Billy Boy

  23. This Little Light Of Mine

  24. Zodiac

  25. She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain

  26. Amazing Grace

  27. Rocketship Run

  28. Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)

  29. We Are The Dinosaurs

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0