Like father?

I was going to take a mulligan on today's nablopomo posting, mainly because I've been so exhausted at the end of the days, and I may have something very interesting on the horizon for which I have to prepare to 'test' for (Not pregnant, I swear. How careless do you think I am?), and then I thought: Oh, I know. I'll post a YouTube video of something and that will take care of my nablopomo requirements. But one thing led to another, and here I am doing a little more than that, and actually a little less than that, too.

A little more, because I want to introduce those of you with kids (or those who are kids at heart still) to Tom Chapin. Tom Chapin is, of course, the brother of the late Harry Chapin, a major musical influence (can I say that if he didn't influence my music?) on my life. Harry's music was played so often growing up in my house that I was surprised when other people didn't know about him (other than Cats in the Cradle, which everyone seems to attribute to Cat Stevens. Hello?). Anyway, it should go without saying that music that reminds me of sunny Saturdays with my father is still part of my own weekend routine, and perhaps my own boys will grow up with the memory of Harry's music while cleaning house on the weekends.

Not too long ago, I was browsing for some new kids' music (Raffi wasn't catching on, and I was somewhat tired of the Fisher Price Little People CDs) at the nearest public library, and came across Tom Chapin. I instantly made the connection, and remembered that Tom was also a musician. Turns out he's been prolific in the children's genre, so I took a chance and borrowed Billy the Squid. I am not going to lie to you: of the three CDs I borrowed that day, this was the last one I thought Older Son would be into. Boy was I wrong. The child clearly needed some high-quality storytelling in his life, and Tom Chapin was just the thing to satisfy that need. Tom Chapin clearly has the same talent to spin a yarn as his brother had, and that is a tall order. If it were possible to wear a CD out without taking it out of the player, we would have done it.

Since borrowing that one, we've taken out two others: Some Assembly Required and Family Tree. Tom's got a knack for writing songs that make kids want to listen, and make adults listen without grinding their teeth and wishing for the car trip to end. Tom's music also tackles issues of environmentalism ("Walk the World Now Children" about resource conservation and "Brown Gold", a song about composting), which also appeals to me.

In the end, perhaps it's just me hearkening back to my childhood days, but I can honestly say I enjoy just about every song I've heard from this man. And hey, as long as we're keeping the Chapin tradition in my family, I'm happy. And if you want to be happy, just listen to this tune about what can happen when your band leader doesn't show up for the parade.

Posted bythemikestand at 8:03 PM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

Brianna said... 11:38 PM, November 21, 2007  

ummmmm brown god? do you expect me to just let that slide? i grew up with hippy parent and even i know that a song about composting that's has a name reminiscent of poo is not going to fly. no. just no.

themikestand said... 6:31 AM, November 22, 2007  

No, no... Brown GOLD. Not worshipping at all. But I grant you that just about everything in childhood that is brown is either poo, or chocolate, and I think I just threw up a little in my mouth typing that.

Anonymous said... 10:13 AM, November 22, 2007  

Thanks for reminding that Tom Chapin records children's music. Much like you, I listed to Harry throughout my childhood and still listen to his music. Harry Chapin's life philosphies are a part of my daily life. Particularly this one: "Committment, in and of itself, irregardless of whether you win or not. That's what makes life worth living." (An interview on The Gold Collection, from memory so I may have word or two wrong.)

Also, Harry's youngest daugther Jen Chapin is a gifted jazz musician and, last I checked, was the President of the foundation that still carries out Harry's work to end world hunger.

Thanks, again.

J in the southwest

Karen said... 8:00 PM, November 22, 2007  

Tom Chapin hails from these parts and used to appear at our town's annual Pumpkin festival.

Harry had a song kids like, too, at least I did: "30,000 pounds of Bananas." Who knew this California girl would ever live anywhere even remotely close to Scranton Pennsylvania?

Btw, to kids there aren't as many differences between poo and chocolate as one might hope. Aparently.

cronznet said... 11:07 PM, November 22, 2007  

30,000 lbs. of Bananas! Oh, such high school memories...yes, I'm that old.
Saw Harry in concert once, with his then-6-year-old son. Harry's voice was never adequately captured on tape. His baritone remains one of the best I've ever heard.
Thanks, Mike.

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