You wouldn’t think the words “toddler” and “Beatles” belong in the same sentence, right? Well, in our house, they do. We’re pretty big on educating our little guy that there’s a wider world past his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (not that there’s anything wrong with that…in doses). He already enjoys a variety of classical music (he can actually name numerous composers by song), 1940s big band, and 1960s/’80s pop.
So, given that Dave and I are big Beatles fans, it was only a matter of time before our Pandora listening with the little guy started showing the Fab Four. But, better yet? While listening to some Beatles recently, I rediscovered that they’re not all psychedelic storytelling and upbeat love songs. There are actually some valuable life lessons that can found within those awesome, timeless tunes.
Hello, Goodbye – Ohhhh, disagreements. Obstinence. It’s all part of a toddler’s daily to-do list. (Sad but true.) I love the lyrics in this song for so many reasons, but particularly in the idea of opposites. You could use this song with children simply to point out the opposites (“you say yes, I say no…”). A fun spin on an argumentative tune!
We Can Work It Out – Another song about getting along with others. My favorite line? “Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.” Preach, brothers.
Blackbird – Perfect lullaby, and although it’s actually about racial tensions in the South in the 1960s, kids can take it in the more literal sense and still find beauty. Even after great pain, we can fly and thrive.
Yellow Submarine – What’s better than a little drinking shanty to sing with your kiddos? I actually sang (and loved) this song in kindergarten (even better than “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor”). It’s actually a fun song that seems to build friendships and solidarity between the singers. See also – Octopus’s Garden
Good Day Sunshine – What an upbeat, happy song! Why not spread the joy?
Here Comes the Sun – Similar to Good Day Sunshine, this is a sweet love song that perfectly describes the coming of spring. Great for teaching seasons!
Penny Lane – Just a fun story of an English street set to music, but great for the imagination.
All You Need is Love – This is my mantra for life and was the “closing song” at our wedding reception, so of course I’d love for H to be exposed to such an epic tune. Definitely helpful with creating peaceful minds.
If You Want to Push the Boundaries…
All Together Now – A super adorable, upbeat song about child playtime listing numbers and colors along the way. Let’s just hope the kids don’t ask to take their friends to bed.
With a Little Help from My Friends – Okay…if you’re a family who’s not shy about nudity (“I can’t show you but I know it’s mine”) and you can explain that getting “high” means lifting your spirits, you’re golden. Or not, up to you. 😉
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite – I can’t say that any of the lyrics are questionable here (it describes carnival-like festivities), but the minor key and general “strangeness” of the melody might scare some children. Our son, however, has a preference for minor keys and finds nothing scary about them.
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – Considering this “technically” came from the mind of John’s son and “allegedly” NOT about an acid trip, maybe your little one would appreciate the silly lyrics and imaginative happenings. Seriously, keep your kids away from Sgt. Pepper’s if you’re not into this one.
What do you think? Would you add any songs I haven’t included? What’s your favorite music to listen to with the kiddos?