I have two kids, aged 33 and 13 months, so children’s television features prominently in our lives. Happily, my kids are fairly discerning when it comes to what they actually want to watch (Toopy and Binoo) versus tolerate as an auditory backdrop (everything else).
As an adult, though, I don’t possess the same filtering skills and am subjected to what I consider to be an awful lot of awful music through these shows. Theme songs are the worst, and these three are the worst of the worst:
- Pirates: Adventures in Art
I mostly dislike this one because it’s for a show about pirates, and I don’t care if they wield pencil crayons instead of automatic weapons, I’m not cool with pirates. And that’s a shame, because this theme is performed by Great Big Sea (video here), which is a pretty decent Canadian group. Their CBC Kids version of Lukey’s Boat (video here) is so infectious I pour an extra shot of penicillin in my latte every time it’s on. And I’ve seen their bass player in his skivvies — on stage, people! — and it was not entirely unpleasant. Unlike, say, being attacked by pirates.
- Little People
I just can’t wrap my head around Aaron Neville singing the theme to a show for kids (video here). Also, I hate the new Fisher-Price Little People, because THEY ARE NOT LITTLE (before you say it, yes, I know why the toys were redesigned). And the show is pretty terrible — my mostly non-verbal 13-month-old will hand me the remote control with an exasperated look if the show comes on unexpectedly. But my objection to this one is still mostly Aaron Neville-based. I have yet to forgive Daniel Lanois for letting Neville yodel up an otherwise spectacular album.
- Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs
I don’t mind the melody, the voices selected to do the theme are appropriate, and the lyrics are actually pretty great — (video including subtitles here). The problem? I hear it as “Harriet is f*cking full of dinosaurs.” EVERY BLOODY TIME.
Honourable Mention: Franklin
“Here comes Franklin …” Well, the most that I can say about this is that I appreciate the warning. Terrible, terrible stuff. Bruce Cockburn sings the theme. In other news, Bruce Cockburn’s fans are hearing impaired.