Good Kids Music for Worthy Causes

As natural helpers, kids will be drawn to a pair of CD projects created in response to specific challenges: the earthquake in Haiti and America’s obesity epidemic. Both projects do good work while creating great music.


Uplifting Haiti Fundraiser

Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti results from the desire of Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. This uplifting multi-artist project reaches all generations with the first sweet notes of “We Belong,” its kids’ chorus observing that “life can be so strange,” but “share what you can.”

Dan Zanes’ easy going “Tonight, Tonight” is a hopeful post-storm celebration where “we gathered the rains and we put ’em in a song.” Heavy hitters on this CD include Pete Seeger, Recess Monkey and They Might Be Giants. Music from Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti lends authenticity to “Many Hands.”

Listen to history as Seeger’s explanation of how guitars came to America introduces his “Quite Early,” about darkness before dawn. “Not all girls are princesses, not all boys like trucks” observes “Noise” (as in “make your own”) by rapper Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo.

Proceeds from the sale of the CD benefit the Haiti People’s Support Project. The CD is available in Whole Food Markets, as well as online.

A Healthy Diet of Humor

On Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat, the song “We Love Raw Veggies and Greens” explains “we’re from New York State, we didn’t like what was on our plate” to introduce the New York Coalition for Healthy School Foods and its two-disc collection of songs and poetry about healthy eating.

Comparisons to the Marlo Thomas classic Free to Be You and Me are warranted by the collection’s humorous approach to its healthy eating agenda and its multi-generational ability to please.

“Junk Food Man” by Jay Mankita asks, “Who’s making money telling children lies about happy clowns eating burgers and fries?” Healthy food poems are performed by Delaware Valley broadcasters like Grover Silcox, whose hilarious attempt at “Peter Piper” will get kids howling.

The project provides a bountiful crop of resources for teachers and parents to plant ideas about good food in their kids’ minds. There is no middle ground in this project, where a happy meal means a healthy meal. Family music superstars such as Tom Chapin, Trout Fishing in America, Justin Roberts, Sara Hickman and Jessica Harper appear on the CD, along with Julian Lennon, Moby and Russell Simmons.

Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.

Categories: Music Reviews