Today was the day that I realized my two-year-old was a musician.

Not because he’s ever touched an instrument, but by watching his face.

As we were driving home, just the two of us, he kept asking insistently for me to put on “Seven Bridges Road.” I finally did, and turned it up. Then happened to look in the rearview mirror.

It gave me chills.

When the song started with an a cappella four-part harmony, he closed his eyes and assumed a facial expression that can only be described as pure satisfaction. Although I should have been driving, I was drawn to keep watching him. His facial expressions rose and fell with the music, and it was so clear how intently he was listening.

I realized that I needed to buy the kid an Eagles album. He can really appreciate a good harmony.

I found myself wanting to offer up my son more music that might impress him, as if I was trying to find the perfect wine to impress a master sommelier. I decided to try my favorite harmony-heavy song – “Anybody Out There” by Burlap to Cashmere. He intently stared out the window. At first I thought he wasn’t listening, but then I realized he was studying every single note. As the song picked up passion, I started hitting my leg to the beat. He jerked his head around to see where it was coming from – he knew it didn’t belong in the song.

I wrote that last July, but never posted it.

And now, as I write this, I’m listening to now three-year-old Noah on the monitor.

Napping, he is supposed to be.

Singing, he is doing instead.

Over and over and with impressively decent pitch he sings the lyrics – or should I say the one lyric.

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

(Lyric courtesy of Bob the Builder. And Wendy who probably writes all his songs for him.)

It’s not that I didn’t keep my July promise to myself. I’ve exposed this kid to amazing music. We’re talking Ace of Base, The Cranberries, R.E.M., The Lone Bellow, Jump Little Children, Rihanna, and The Presidents of The United States of America!

Every time we get in the car he either requests Umbrella, Seven Bridges Road, Zombie, or Waterfalls. He’s discerning and knows what he likes.

But what gets stuck in his head?

Bob’s remix of Kanye’s “Gold Digger”, that’s what.

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”          

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”          

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

“I’m a little digger with a heart of gold!”

I can’t really blame him, though. Cartoon songs are laced with Kiddie Crack to imprint them permanently onto their brains (and as collateral damage, our brains), searing the lobe responsible for musical taste, and permanently holding down the repeat button in their (and our) head.

Just try watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood without humming “In some ways we are different. But in so many ways, we are the same!” for the rest of the decade.

So what is the answer to this conundrum?

We must soldier on in our musical brainwashing. Do not falter and sing Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer! when you’re rocking them to sleep.

(It’s called ROCKING them to sleep for a reason.)

And perhaps, just perhaps, if they learn to stand strong and fight against the onslaught of terrible cartoon lyrics now, then one day they’ll be able enough to fight the tide of terrible pop lyrics. Like these.

“Just a shy guy
Looking for a two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my love.”

– Train,Drive By”

And this is why Glad Trash Bags are so Glad. Because they didn’t get selected for Train lyrics.

“If the light is off then it isn’t on.”

– Hilary Duff, “So Yesterday”

…Unless you can get the switch to that barely-balanced middle spot where it’s hovering between off and on…What about that, Hilary?!?!?! Is it on or off??

“You at the bottom of the barrel scraping
I’m out in LA, at the Ice Age taping.”

– Nicki Minaj, “Roman Reloaded”

Maybe he has more self-respect than you and knows that the bottom of the barrel is better than Ice Age.

“And I’m like… I just… I mean, this is exhausting, you know.
Like, we are never getting back together. Like, ever.’”

–Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

They always say to write like you talk…I’m pretty sure Taylor nailed that one.

“You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey,
What rhymes with ‘hug me’?”

— Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines”

Certainly not what you’re implying, Robin. And actually, nothing.

What Rhymes With Hug Me

“Mercury, Venus, ha ha!
Don’t you know my a** is famous?”

— Lady Gaga, “Venus”

A true lady never uses Uranus as the punch line of a joke.

“Long distance callers make long distance calls”

– The Clash, “Lost in the Supermarket”

I bet Vonage blew The Clash’s mind.

“Every time I see your bubbly face
I get a tickle in a silly place”

– Colbie Caillat, “Bubbly”

Somebody send Colbie some Monistat.

“Mr. Know It All
You think you know it all.”

– Kelly Clarkson, “Mr. Know It All”

I bet he knows how to write better lyrics.

“I think about it every time I think about it”

– Counting Crows, “Accidentally in Love”

In conclusion, I’m a little digger with a heart of gold isn’t so bad after all.

22 thoughts on “The Lyrics That Will Kill Us All.

  1. All things considered, I think he might have picked the BEST lyrics. Heart of gold? Why not!
    PS- Always in my head: Daniel Tiger’s “You gotta try new food ’cause it might taste gooooood!” Why does that little Tiger sing such infectious songs?! Probably because they are so dang useful. We sing them all the time here! If I say it, my kid refuses, but if DANIEL TIGER says it? Gold.

  2. My 3 year old has been potty trained since she was 17 months ( she screamed from age 2 weeks to 2 years, she needed to make something easy on me). In any case at age 2 she discovered Daniel Tiger’s potty song ” stop and go right away” and sang it every dang time. In fact if I had to go, I got the song in the background. She sings it now about every other time. It was never ever a need, but had to sing that. I will have to say though, that little guy is a preschool special ed teacher’s dream. I use him ALL the time, oh Johnny is hitting, gotta song for that, oh Susie freaks out when you have different foods at song, gotta song for that… A lot of the preschool teachers I support are older and have no idea who Daniel Tiger is, they think my songs are awesome though. I know one day I will be outed by him. My oldest memorizes songs after hearing them once or twice, she has some interesting songs to share.

    1. My daughter also potty trained herself a couple of years ago before she was 2 and everyone in the house sang that potty song for ages! I’m sure it’s permanently imbedded in my brain and if someday I loose my own facilities, I will still be humming it to myself. Damn that Daniel Tiger! (And yes, my daughter has always been my more difficult child, so it only seems fair that at least potty training wasn’t difficult.)

  3. “Flush and wash and be on your way!”

    I finally had to start whistling it, because I sing that line, without thinking, in public. All the time.

  4. Monistat–HA! That was a great line.

    It really bugs me when songwriters take the lazy way out. I actually kind of appreciate that Robin Thicke (or whoever wrote “Blurred Lines”) just came out and admitted that they didn’t know what to write, instead of using something goofy. See also, “pompatus.”

  5. “That was fun but now it’s done”. Daniel Tiger – I’ve only watched it a handful of times because we usually have PBS on earlier in the morning, but that handful has been more than enough to engrain several songs in my head.

  6. Oh, and I have Daniel Tiger to thank for this one…. my son was pretending to smoke a lolipop stick. I’m not even sure where he picked that up since we don’t smoke and don’t know anyone who does. So I told him to stop and start talking about how smoking is icky and it’s so icky we don’t even pretend to do it, and he looks at me and says “But Mommy, (singing) “When you pretend you can be anything”. Thank you Daniel Tiger. :-b

  7. Love it! I think my girls new the words to Ice Ice Baby, Stacy’s Mom & Jessie Girl before they were 4. Now my 5 year old walks around singing Red Solo Cup and Shake it for Me (not saying these are the greatest songs, just what they hear on the radio) :)

  8. Lol! I’m pretty narrowly focused when it comes to music so I’ve never heard any of those songs except the Taylor Swift one…wow there are some interesting lyrics out there! The Daniel Tiger thing made me laugh though because I walk around singing the little tune ALL day after they watch it. “see what it is, you might feel better!” “when you wait, you can play, sing or imagine anything!” and many many others.

  9. I think Jake really loves music too, he for sure loves the musical instruments he has to play with, and he enjoys us singing to him, and sometimes I will put the tv to just the music channels and funny enough, he loves electronica. hahaha. I have a bunch of The Eagles music though as they are one of my all-time favorite bands, so I will play that for him to see what he does. I love their harmony as well! Noah has great taste :)

  10. I don’t know if I will ever be able to respect you again after you put the cranberries under the category of amazing music…

    And “bug me” rhymes with hug me, but I cannot fathom that coming out well in a song.

  11. Ha! Anderson knows 2 songs: Happy Birthday and “Choo Choo Soul” from Disney Jr. Anytime I try to sing another song he LOSES HIS MIND & loudly begins singing Choo Choo Soul…I don’t even know what to do. Help!

    1. Ha!

      (Sorry for the slow response – January was an insane month.)

      Ummm…I think the only advice I can give in this case is…. it’s just a phase. Everything is a phase. It’s all just a phase.

      Did that help? No?

  12. Well, you know, he’s got the heart of gold thing down so if you could just drop the first half, and substitute some Neil Young he’d be on FIRE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *