Boomers: what songs do you sing to your grandkids or other kids?

Don’t have grandchildren yet, but am friends with a couple who have two little boys, ages 4 and 8. I’ve known them since they were 1 and 4. Their mother is a professional singer who sings to them a lot, but their favorite is when I sing “Yellow Submarine.” The little one knew it by heart at age 3.

What do you sing to children?

I’m 52 and starting the family thing over (we have 4 teenagers, but have adopted 2 little Chinese girls, 2 1/2 & 1 1/2). I sing darn near everything, since I was once a professional rock & roll guy. Chinese folk songs, Richard Thompson, Lyle Lovett, Dire Straits, Beatles, Peter Gabriel, you-name-it.

My kids no longer ask me to sing for them – they’re teenagers and way too cool to listen to dad anymore. However, when I sang to them, they got a lot of Peter, Paul and Mary, American and world folk songs, a smattering of Dylan (suitable for kids), songs I made up just for them, Beatles, 50’s rockabilly, Godspell, and their favorite: Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice - Joseph (from the original Scepter records release) and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

My two older kids are 12 and 16. They loved to be sung to when they were babies. I grew up listening to John Denver, Janis Joplin, Neil Diamond, Monkees and The Beatles. I sang them all this stuff. Plus other stuff I loved as a teenager. I always knew that if they didn’t fall asleep in “Three songs or less” that they weren’t going to fall asleep at all right then!

Now, any baby expert will tell you “sing to your baby. Every baby loves being sung to”. Well, my youngest broke the mold. She hated being sung to! She still doesn’t like to sing (she’s 3 and 1/2) unless it’s “Wheels on The Bus” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. I miss having babies to sing to. It will be one of the glories of being a grandmom one of these days!

“My Old Kentucky Home” --Randy Newman

“Silly Song” --traditional

“A Mother’s Lament” --traditional

“Dear Doctor” --Jagger-Richard

“Always Lift Him Up” --traditional

“Honey Pie” --Lennon-McCartney

“I Ride An Old Paint” --traditional