Our top five Beatles songs for kids
I love music, and I love that my girls love it, too. Often of a night we’ll flick on some music with a good beat (Scissor Sisters’ cover of “Comfortably Numb”, New Order’s “Blue Monday” and Sergio Mendes and Black Eyes Peas’ “Mas Que Nada” are favourites) in a bid to get them dancing and, hopefully, wear them out before bedtime.
I actively encourage them to seek other tracks by artists that have, via YouTube, the school ground or other means, entered their subconscious. But though the talent-show infiltration has already begun (if I hear “I Don’t Know my Name” by 12-year-old America’s Got Talent winner Grace Vanderwaal ever again it’ll be too soon), and the likes of Katy Perry effortlessly infiltrate my girls’ minds, I have managed a slow-build of exposure to history’s most important bands — including, naturally, The Beatles.
It’s the Fab Four’s simple harmonies and ear-candy refrains (even on their ‘weirder’ later albums) that endeared them to so many. There’s often messages of love in their music, and even if there is deeper commentary at play, it’s often presented in a way that grabs a child’s ear and doesn’t let go.
It was tough to narrow down a list of Beatles tracks for kids to five, but here goes:
They might get bored in the verses but the famous sing-along that stretches this classic to more than seven minutes will delight them like it has you all these years. You can also fill them in on the sweet background story: Paul originally wrote the song for John’s young son, Julian, in the wake of the boy’s parents’ divorce.
There’s a long list of Beatles tunes that are equally at home at a stoner convention and in a crèche, but this bizarre, stick-in-your-head number, sung by Ringo, takes the cake.
Like the novella Animal Farm, this Harrison-penned baroque-pop number’s deeper message lurks below the surface. The harpsichord-laden melody – and kid-friendly piggie cartoons on YouTube – has long been a household hit. Greed and consumerism never sounded so cute.
What a mantra to have them singing along to! As parents, it’s our duty to ensure our kids feel loved, and, when it comes to the crunch, love is all they need. Train them to sing the backing chant of “love, love, love” while you do your best John Lennon lead vocal.
“Octopus’s Garden” and “Drive My Car” were close, but I’ve rounded this out with “Here Comes the Sun” because, quite simply, it’s a better song. It oozes sunshine, which is what our kids bring our lives in a metaphoric sense.