Burly Urly Ives

Burly Urly Ives July 28, 2010

We have a newish van. It’s a rebuilt vehicle, which means that some of its parts–the boring ones, like the brakes and the engine–are new and shiny; but others are weirdly out of date.  The body, for instance, sports a car-length blue and silver geometric decal straight from 1989.  It is radical.  When I drive it, I feel radical.  There is some matching detail symmetrically adorning the back doors, which makes it look disconcertingly like our van has a little mustache.  Well, I can get over that.

Our old van had a CD player.  The new one, in keeping with its new/old split personality, has a top notch tape deck.  I was a little aggravated about this at first, but then I realized something:  now we can listen to Burl Ives again!  I only have Burl Ives on tape, and he is so great.  Here’s what accompanied us home from the library:


I would a thousand time rather have the little guys listen to folk music than “What a Girl Wants” by Kidz Bop or whatever–wait, what’s that homeschooling word?–twaddle passes for children’s music these days, even though an awful lot of folk music is about cutting throats and beating wives.

I like the Wiggles pretty well, but other than that, we just make the kids listen to whatever sounds good to us (did I mention that you can plug your iPod into the tape deck?).

Unfortunately, that means the little tykes sometimes go around humming ditties by Pavement or the Violent Femmes.  I still think it’s better than Raffi (although I just got my husband to admit that “Baby Beluga” is actually quite moving).

I used to work very hard at making sure my kids knew all the good old songs of childhood, but after a while I couldn’t take the moans and howls of agony that would greet my singing voice.  Heck with them.  Next time we’re going on a road trip and my husband dials up Oingo Boingo, I’m not lifting a finger.

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