Kids' strangest favorite songs

I was listening to a song yesterday morning that my mom says she has fond memories of me dancing to every time she played it when I was a toddler: “Dark Lady” by Cher.

Obviously my two-to-three year old self didn’t understand the song, but I do now. It’s kind of a strange song for a kid to like, huh? How about you? Did you or your kids have strange, perhaps even “inappropriate,” favorite songs when very small?

I loved Dark Lady when I was a kid (oh I still do), and I remember having a vague idea that it was about witches. It was also somehow linked in my head with that song that goes, “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end…”

I also liked Stairway to Heaven, but I didn’t think anyone else did, so it was one of those guilty pleasure type things. I was in ninth grade before I realized that it was Led Zeppelin and it was cool to like it.

Apparently my favourite song was Rasputin by Boney M, but I called it Rasputree. I was 2 when it was released.

Ra-Ra-Rasputree, lover of the Russian Queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra-Ra-Rasputree, Russia’s greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

That’s “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkins. And, incidentally, that would be my entry in this thread. I loved that song as a kid…I didn’t understand the lyrics until later, but the music was just lovely to me.

What I did not know until I just looked the song up on Wikipedia was that Mary Hopkins only had the opportunity to record the song because she had been on a VERY early (so early that it started on radio) “Pop Idol” type show called Opportunity Knocks.

When she was about 3, my oldest daughter loved listening to “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure and “London You’re a Lady” by the Pogues. Apart from listening to the recordings, she’d ask me to sing them during her bathtime.

And she requested that we sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” every night before bed.

My three year old loves to sing the Death Cab song that goes “Gotta spend some time, love. Gotta spend some time with me. And I know you’ll find, love: I will posess your heart.”

His other favorite singalong song? “Can I invade your country, oh baby baby can I invade your country…” lyrics by Sparks.


When my daughter was little, she loved “Yellow Submarine.” You’d sing it and she’d bounce around to it.

I hooked my toddler niece on Simon and Garfunkel. Her favorite was “Cecelia,” of course, the only one with the even slightly problematic lyrics.

Ooh, almost forgot. I loved “Afternoon Delight”, too. Only within the last 15 years or so did I realize what it was about. (Judging from its occasional use in sitcoms as a REALLY awkward karaoke piece between two friends or two relatives, a lot of people who grew up in my era trailed that lyrical ignorance into adulthood…)

Thanks to the magic of Rock Band 1 & 2 my 4yo daughter loves signing “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones. Fortunately she doesn’t understand the lyrics, she only cares about the ‘heigh ho, let’s go’ lines. I also figured I would be getting calls from her preschool shen she started signing along with the courus to ‘Down at the Whiskey’ from Motley Crue.

Why, yes. I am a bad influence. Why do you ask?

I tried to get my little sister into the music I liked when she was growing up, but the fast-paced and/or dancy type stuff just wasn’t doing it for her. Well, except the first song off of BT’s movements in still life which just repeats “Dance to the beat, shuffle my feet” which I happen to HATE, but that one makes sense for a child to like so that’s a hijack for this thread.

I was surprised that she didn’t like the two popular, fast/medium hits by the Psychedelic Furs (Love My Way and Pretty in Pink,) but preferred their medium/slow-paced Imitation of Christ, which of course due to questionable lyrics I couldn’t copy for her.

(Hijack: on a mix tape I made for her I included “Red Dragon Tattoo” by Fountains of Wayne, and she liked it except that she thought the song went “Red Dragons, them, too”, and when I listened to it, darnit if it doesn’t sound exactly like that!)

When my son was two, he loved David Bowie’s “John, I’m Only Dancing” and would walk around singing it…

“John, I’m only dancing… Don’t get me wrong, she turns me on, but I’m only dancing.”

My four year old son currently has two favorite songs…

One, from Rock Band, is Highway Star - kinda cute, when he sings “Nobody gonna take my car…”

Two, from a 25 cent CD I got at the library sale, is I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd. Thankfully, he only sings “To the heart tick tock you don’t stop” no the rest of the lyrics…

When my daughter was two, she spent an entire summer walking around singing “Babylon Sisters…Shake it!” I was kinda proud to have a kid that sang Steely Dan.

Color Me Badd…not so much…

When I was a kid my favorite song was Neil Diamond’s “Heartlight”. My parents are old and boring and very easy listening.

We sometimes refer to Talking in Your Sleep by the Romantics as “the diaper song” because when my son was a baby too young to walk, he’d hold on to the couch and shake his little diaper booty for that song.

When my daughter was a toddler, she would ask me to play “the scary song, Daddy”. She wanted to hear Bowie’s Future Legend. Then this cute little blonde angel would yell, “This isn’t rock and roll! This is … GENOCIDE!!!” Her mother was not pleased.

She also liked In The Court Of The Crimson King. I always thought it was the calliope.

These days her son lifts his fist in the air and yell “Anarchy! Anarchy!”. His mother is not pleased, either.

When my son has trouble sleeping, he asks me to sing to him. It’s been pretty much the same songs since he was a baby: “Tangled up in Blue”, “Simple Twist of Fate”, “If You See Her, Say Hello” and “That’s How I Got to Memphis”.

I dunno, maybe years of hearing those songs about crazy men obsessed with long gone women will twist him, but it’s what gets him relaxed.

My 2 & 1/2-year-old kid rocks out to Indian music everytime he hears it. There’s nothing funnier than watching him bopping around in his chair, attempting to sing along.

As to specific songs (that I actually know the names for), he loves “Zoot Suit Riot” by the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and “Oh, Holy Night,” only he likes it better if I change the words to involve something about poop. His favorite version right now goes something like:

*Oh, poopy night!
You went right on the potty,
At least it wasn’t in your room.
The closet is safe,
And so is the laundry.
Too bad you didn’t miss your shoe. *

And so on.

Sadly I find myself singing this on the way to work.

The ‘whores on 7th Avenue’ ref in ‘The Boxer’ could’ve been problematic, too.

The Littlest Briston will happy walk around for hours singing “Keep bweeding…keep, keep bweeding love…keep bweeding…keep, keep bweeding love…”