I'm on a seven day 'start a blog' challenge. Today's prompt is 'what makes you angry?'.
Surely, there's nothing that makes me, or you, or anyone else angry about music made for children. Anger is such a strong emotion and children's music is nice and smiley and colourful, right? First up, for me, the best children's culture depicts anger (and other emotions) and allows children to recognise it, and deal with it. Think of Animal from The Muppets, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, the characters of Pixar's Inside Out, Angry Birds, or the perils of UniKitty not acknowledging anger in The Lego Movie.
Anger seems like a normal/natural/healthy thing to feel and express. Some adults may not feel comfortable expressing their own anger in front of their children. Like UniKitty, they prefer to 'push it down', perhaps fearing that the emotion renders them childish.
Adults write the music that children listen to. So how does children's music deal with it? Well, Elmo copes by 'belly breathing', GrowingSound have found a way to 'let the steam free', Howard Wiggle Bottom raps about the need to listen to your tummy, whilst JellyJamm say just avoid it.
Bernard Cribbins must have been very angry to bury that bloke in the bowler hat in his hole in the ground.
But are there any children's records that make you angry? Any songs for kids that make your blood boil? Any tunes that tickle your temper trigger? I'd love to know.
I know that children can often derive pleasure from music that drives adults up the wall, but the biggest lighter of my ire fire is when commercial intentions come way before any fun, artistic, aesthetic, distraction-inducing, and educational (in its broadest sense) content. There are huge corporations and franchises that play on the best intentions of parents' and carers' natural instincts to educate, inform, entertain and distract their children.
One last example of my personal record rage is where the intentions of the producers seem to be the polar opposite of the actual product. I'm thinking of the many ranges of CDs in which punk, metal and rock tunes have been arranged as lullabies. The creators claim that the tunes will send kids to sleep and foster a new generation of punks, metalheads, and rockers.
On reflection, it's not anger I feel, it's sadness, so I did the healthy thing and wrote a children's song about it.