Elijah and Ben wouldn’t know Elvis Costello from Elvis Presley, and when I tried to get Elijah interested in my favorite country crooner he began calling him “Dwight Yogo.” My struggles sound like the makings of a pretty lousy honkytonk song.
Yet I still remember hearing my best friend describe the music he listens to in his car now that he’s a parent.
“Kid’s music … The Wiggles … that sort of thing. You know, it’s not that bad,” my friend assured me.
Not that bad? It sounds awful. Parents give up plenty when they start a family. Spare time. R-rated movies before 9 p.m. Spontaneous couplings. Did I have to give up music in my car, too?
So far the Wiggles have yet to make their Kia Rondo debut. Maybe it’s because our boys are too busy chatting among themselves to complain about our selections. Or, perhaps on a certain level they’re enjoying the eclectic blend of Lyle Lovett, Graham Parker and retro goodness from my favorite new singer, Seth Swirsky.
I still have to make sure my musical selections don’t reflect rock’s seedier side. I doubt my boys can process the intricacies of the Kinks’ gender-bending “Lola,” but the occasional “F-bomb” in a song makes me lunge for the volume button.
I take solace from a brief, combustible relationship I had years ago with a single mother. Her children didn’t go for the current pop singers. They were both under 12, but they preferred Bob Dylan to Top 40 fare.
It can be done.
I’m sure some children’s musicians are just as talented as their poppy peers, and The Wiggles may have as many adult fans as wee ones. Part of me doesn’t want to find out.