Rockabye Baby puts the rock in lullabies

March 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of the Beach Boys; produced and performed by Michael Armstrong; Baby Rock Records, Los Angeles; 2006.

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Green Day; arranged, performed and produced by Mike Baiardi; Baby Rock Records, Los Angeles; 2007.

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Led Zeppelin; produced and performed by Michael Armstrong; Baby Rock Records, Los Angeles; 2006.

While gathering CDs for creating mock storytimes for a couple of job interviews, I stumbled upon these three titles.  Intrigued mostly by the lullaby renditions of Led Zeppelin, followed closely by Green Day, I brought them home.  I joked about them on Facebook with my niece, who happened to be bragging about playing Green Day tunes on the ukulele at the time.  Then I popped the Led Zeppelin into my laptop.

Oh. My. Goodness.  Why didn’t I think of doing this?

“Stairway to Heaven” was intended to be played this way, I swear!  All tunes on the Rockabye Baby! sets are played on vibes, bells, glockenspiel, and other instruments that are non-jarring but melodic.  The renditions of all the songs, across all three CDs, are hypnotic and reverential; the intent of the artists is respected as the tunes are toned down for little ears.  I have listened to all three CDs over and over and over as I’m working; they provide perfect background music without distracting.

I remember walking my kids in the double stroller one early spring morning so many years ago.  I remember this moment too vividly.  I stopped pushing and started laughing and crying at the same time (blame it on cabin fever) because I realized that while I walked, “Barney” songs and insipid bedtime songs were looping through my head where Clapton and U2 used to live.  It was a turning point as I started playing “oldies” in the car and at home rather than nonstop banal baby music.  What I would’ve given to have these CDs to play at naptime and bedtime!

For a complete list of artists that Baby Rock Records has covered, please visit their website: http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com/.  You can listen to streaming excerpts from their collection as well.

Let me tell you about the liner notes.  The CD insert includes bright shapes to cut out and hang on a mobile.  All of the liners included a template to add a picture of baby to the mobile.  The colors and graphics corresponded to the cover art for each CD and did a great job of complementing the band and music genre.  In addition to the traditional list of songs and copyright information, the liners all included space to answer such pressing future-rocker questions as “first influential rock song,” “first time to play air guitar/air drums,” and “favorite foods that will be demanded in future dressing rooms.”  What a great way to record some of baby’s firsts in a way that is less mushy and more appealing to some of today’s parents (and even grandparents).  Let’s face it, we’re talking about legions of Guitar Hero players having babies (OK, and grandbabies) and this packaging totally caters to them.  After buying (or receiving) one CD, I would stake the house that more CDs will follow, especially given the rather extensive list of artists that have been “rockabyed.”

Aside from adding these to lists of lullaby or bedtime materials, I think it would be interesting to use as background music for craft activities, or even just as calming music in the play area of the children’s room.

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a librarian's library of plans & resources for storytimes, programs & readers' advisory
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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