Songs to Learn to Sing for Your Kids

bocellielmoThrough the Related Videos feature on YouTube, I got onto a chain reaction of finding these great Sesame Street real and parody videos!

These videos and songs are great! They’re clever, hilarious and educational all at the same time! I’m going to learn to sing these songs for some kids I know (cause I ain’t got one and don’t plan to be having one any time soon). You should consider learning these songs as well, if your singing to your kids has been getting a bit routine. You’ll be the hit of the neighbourhood kids!

First up is Andrea Bocelli singing a “lullaby” to Elmo. It’s a modified version of his great hit Con te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye, video), to Time to Say Good Night. Now, if you’re laughing at the thought of having an opera singer sing a child a lullaby and the trauma that might cause the child, they didn’t forget to deal with that in the video. But it is a lovely song, and a nice lullaby any Parent could sing for a child if he/she so chooses. It’s just a shame Andrea was not able to see this cute video, being blind.

Right, where would you get the lyrics to sing something like that or find time to sit down, listen to it several times over and write it out? Well, one beauty of the Internet is that you can sometimes really find everything on it! There is a Sesame Street lyrics archive! This is a cool webpage! The lyrics for Time to Say Goodnight is here.


Next is the alphabet song, sung gospel style by Patti LaBelle. Hey, now there‘s how you sing the alphabet song! Allelujah G-S! I really can’t wait for my next chance to sing the Alphabet song for a kid! That’ll be after some practice, of course, and a lot quieter! That kid is in for some surprise, let me tell you! 😉


But if you didn’t believe in GS, then try the rap version with Miles Robinson. That’s the Sesame Street character name on the show. It’s Olamide Faison in real life. So American melting pot, man, to get everybody an Anglicized name!


Or how’s about a medley led by Ray Charles? Patrick Stewart, Susan Sarandon, Ellen DeGeneres, Tony Bennett, David Robinson and others make guest appearances.


Ray’s got another great song here with Bert and Ernie, but I’ve only linked it instead of leaving it here as a full video because it’s a little off topic. Nora Jones‘ version of Don’t Know Why (great video of real song) on Sesame Street is right on, though. A clever adaptation to a situation where Nora doesn’t know why the letter Y hasn’t shown up to meet her, the piece is clever and beautiful, teaching not only about the letter, but also homonyms and many great words starting with the letter Y. Nora and the song also goes a long way towards influencing kids to have great taste and sense for music, too!


Ah, then there’s James Blunt singing about a triangle using his big hit You’re Beautiful (video of real song). Cute. I love how they get these singers to come on the show and do all these parodies.


But what’s a post about parody videos without a real parody in the truest sense of the word? Here’s Bert & Ernie doing gangsta rap! Enjoy! And no, I won’t be “singing” this to any kids! 🙂

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.3


I Need 2 Go 2 NY CT 2 C Avenue Q

avenueq1I owe this post to my friend Holly Bartlett, who told me about the 2003 Tony Award Musical of the Year called Avenue Q. The musical’s content that is talked about here, though, has serious potentially offensive content so this is your one and only warning. If you don’t have an edgy sense of humour, please don’t read on. There are plenty of other good things to read about on this blog.

I’ve liked Broadway and musicals for a long time now, but I was and still am quite “old skool” at it, loving the Rodgers & Hammerstein stuff. I have heard of, and love, some more modern stuff like Chicago, Wicked and Jekyll & Hyde. However, I need to pay closer attention to what Broadway is putting out each year if they’ve got stuff which doesn’t get a lot of attention as some of their other shows, but still is great, like Avenue Q.

Avenue Q is a modern Sesame Street parody of similar characters trying to find a purpose in life when things aren’t going so well in adulthood after college. I can’t write a better plot summary than Wikipedia so I won’t try, but I like the description by one of its actors of “Sesame Street done South Park“. The show features a neat visual of real characters and puppets with their masters visible, something I’d like to try and learn one day for fun, and some seriously edgy humour and content.

Below is a medley of some songs in it, played for the Queen of England at the Royal Variety Performance, no less! That’s the one contestants on Britain’s Got Talent were vying to be a part of. So despite Avenue Q‘s potentially offensive content, the Royals proved they could handle it. Good on them!

The actual full musical has swearing in it, all kinds of soft and hard innuendos, even nude puppet sex! Other than songs like It Sucks to Be Me [lyrics] shown as part of a medley above, you also have songs (links are to lyrics) like

With a list of songs with titles like that, and others, better lyrics and even better music, who could resist seeing a show like this?

Ah, but it gets better with the Web and user-generated content. The Sesame Street parody has generated a whole bunch of parody Sesame Street videos of this musical, like the one below which I found just hilarious! The music is the actual music from the musical. Someone just adapted video for it from Sesame Street clips.

There are also versions with everything from Sponge Bob to The Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles to Disney cartoons! A whole night’s worth of humour from clicking on video responses to each of these videos!

And then there’s If You Were Gay with Bert and Ernie, my favourite characters on Sesame Street who were parodied to be gay in 1997. Avenue Q ran with this to put it into its story with its equivalent characters to Ernie and Bert. So someone then had to have made the parody video with the original music and Sesame Street video clips of Bert and Ernie.

Other songs have parody videos, too!

But in all fairness to Avenue Q, it addresses many tough issues of today like homosexuality, pornography and racism.

If you can’t stomach edgy humour and content, then this show would not be for you. You would not be normal in this, though, because this show is the 21st longest running show in Broadway history at the time of this writing (Jun 11 2009).

As for me, I have never visited New York City, but this might be enough impetus to get me there for a visit and viewing! Before I go, though, I’ve saved the best number, in my humble opinion, for last. Mix Tape isn’t outrageous or anything, aside from a few words, but it is funny. The best part of it is how well it was sung on the recording, shown in the “video” below. There’s actually no “video”, just an image, so read on and listen for all the little things mentioned to listen for.

Julie Atherton, played Kate Monster and sang Mix Tape. She also plays a very different character of Lucy the Slut in the same show (see London performance 2nd from top). But for Mix Tape, Julie had my emotions like a yo-yo on a string with all the nuances she puts into singing the lyrics that also goes up and down emotionally like a roller coaster. Julie acts the song through her singing, basically. All the little gasps, squeaks, sighs, inflections and such not written into the score, and especially how giddily she said he likes me! at the end. Credits to the songwriter/s as well for such a great tune, but I’ve heard so many bad renditions on YouTube, and in singing songs otherwise, that the performer gets huge kudos here. It might possibly the best example of how to perform a song I have ever heard! I mean that for all those nuances, not some booming grand voice sort of best sung description, but that’s the tougher accolades to be getting, in my books. If you were to ask me how I liked that recording, I’d say I love it! pretty much the way Julie squeaks he likes me! at the end of the song! 🙂


It is almost a year later from when I first posted this, now May 31 2010, and how things have changed. Sadly, it’s not been for the good, but I want to make mention as a dedication. I did just get to see Avenue Q a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I watched it in memory of my friend Holly who had since passed away. I will always remember her for introducing me to this play, among many other reasons. Then, just a few days ago, Gary Coleman died on May 28. The show just wouldn’t be the same knowing he isn’t in the real world any more. I wonder how they’re handling the situation, but I’m glad I got to see Avenue Q without this circumstance surrounding it as it wouldn’t have felt the same for me.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.3