When my first daughter was born, I had a flood of comments from Gunn Runners asking me when I would release a kids CD. It was bound to happen. I theme most of my albums from Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers to Scottish Songs of Drinking & Rebellion, Don't Go Drinking With Hobbits to Sci Fi Drinking Songs. Nearly all of my albums have some unifying theme.
I prefer recording themed CDs. It makes it easier for me when someone asks, “What's your best CD?” I can respond by asking them what theme they love best.
So of course, I made a children's CD called St. Patrick's Day Songs for Kids. I released it in 2015 with some good reviews on iTunes and Amazon. I even podcasted the entire kids album on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. It continues to be a tremendous success.
St Patrick's Day Music for Kids
Now, St. Patrick's Day approaches and I thought I'd share some of my favorite Celtic kids' songs. Many of them are on my album. But not all. You can find all the lyrics to my kids CD here, Irish song lyrics here and the original song lyrics here.
This is probably the most classic example of an Irish kids' song. It's what's known as a “list song” and it lists a bunch of items and get sung faster and faster in most circles. I love my version, but I confess I think Andrew of the Brobdingnagian Bards sings it much faster than mine on the album Songs of Ireland.
I'll Tell My Ma
This is a street song that's can be found throughout the British Isles. I'm pretty partial to the most famous one which lists Belfast City instead of Glasgow or wherever.
This is an original song I wrote for my daughter Kenzie. It incorporates an awesome vocal musical style called lilting where you sing the melody of a song with gibberish lyrics. But it also was designed to be sung while driving in a car. It is complete with hand, arm and leg motions that make it fun to act along as well.
Happily Ever After
I wrote this song near the beginning of my Celtic musical career. It too incorporates some gibberish lyrics in the chorus, but the story is based on the children's book The Paperbag Princess. I've seen a lot of kids of all ages enjoy this song.
This song is kinda fun to sing in a round as you'll note in my performance at the end. It's upbeat, happy and fun. A great Celtic kids songs though it's from Scotland.
This song has ancient roots, yet it's a modern adaptation. I used to sing it at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival and the kids absolutely loved it. It's all about a gypsy who kidnaps a lord's daughter only to find out that they are indeed in love and that he's no gypsy, but a neighboring lord.
The Sick Note
The lyrics of this song by Pat Cooksey always struck me as cartoon-like. It's a funny story about a guy who sends his boss a sick note after a horrible accident at work.
Listening to the lyrics, “you take the high road / I'll take the low road / and I'll be in Scotland before you”, you might never realize that this song is about two brothers who go off to war. Only one survives to take the “high road” home. The lyrics are rather depressing when you think about it. But I loved the song as a child. My oldest daughter does too. There's nothing like a great melody, huh?
“The Leprechaun” is another original song. It has a deeper meaning than it sounds, but mostly it's just fun to sing and clap along to with some nice lilting thrown in the chorus and lots of allusions to the Irish American leprechaun made famous by Lucky Charms cereal.
The Mermaid Song
Child Ballad #289, this song dates back to the mid-18th century. It's a favorite at most of the Renaissance festivals I've attended, and it's easy to change the lyrics and a modern twist.
Lord of the Pounce
I mentioned my Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers CD series. Well, this is the most-popular song from the series. It's a parody of the song “Lord of the Dance”, and it's all about cats!
What Shall We Do With a Catnipped Kitty
Here's another one from the cat series. It's based on the sea shanty, “Drunken Sailor”, but again, it's all about cats.
Wherever I May Roam
Okay, this is not really a Celtic song. But it was inspired by my life, my wife, and my first daughter and the adventures we have had in Ireland and elsewhere around the world. My daughter LOVES to sing along to the song. I'm not sure if that's just because it was written about her or not though. You be the judge.
Do you have any favorite Celtic kids songs? Please post them below.
PS. The St Patrick's Day Internet Music Festival approaches. I will have at least two shows where you can watch me perform online for free. The first is Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 11am.