Top 50 Baby Music Albums
Humans are hardwired to love music. It holds a place in us that almost nothing else can reach. As anyone who has seen a grin of delight spread across a listening baby's face knows, there's just something simple and profound about our relationship with sound. And while it's true that the littlest babies don't much care what's playing, as time goes on, they start to listen, move, and sing along (suddenly making half our old music collection off limits for the next 16 years). Luckily we live in a fertile time for kids' music, with rereleases of classic recordings, scores of talented newcomers making charming records, and seemingly every third rocker from the '90s inspired to settle down and create great children's music of their own. Read More ↓
For Babble's first Top 50 Baby Music Albums, we chose recordings that could grow up with babies rather than becoming obsolete as soon as the babies are old enough to crawl away from the stereo. This also meant we stretched the definition of "baby" into the toddler years. Since you may be hearing some of these songs fifty, a hundred, a thousand times, we chose with parental sanity in mind and included a category for the best albums for adults that also work for babies. With music so intimately wrapped up with our emotional lives, we're sure to have made choices you'll disagree with, so feel free to nominate any gems we missed. -Colin Murphy
19 / 50
Folk Songs for Young People | Pete Seeger
Folk Songs for Young People’s Rankings
As a singer and relentless chronicler and advocate of homegrown and traditional music, Pete Seeger is one of the towering figures of American folk. This 1959 recording captures Seeger performing 17 traditional songs for a live audience, who join in on several.
Though many of the tunes here are familiar sing-alongs like “On Top of Old Smokey,” this is not the typical context-free collection of upbeat ditties. Seeger gently explains the origins or social significance of many of the tunes, tracing songs through their incarnations in the different cultures they pass through, like a Pepsi jingle that he takes back to an English shanty. Others have a more grisly history, and a couple of African-American spirituals are put in context with frank discussions of the conditions of slavery. Coupled with Seeger’s rather piping voice, this recording might not be for everyone, but for the inquisitive child (or parent) it could be a real source of interest and discussion.
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