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Family Jukebox: a family-friendly musical jaunt


Calexico, Cumbia De Donde
From the album Edge Of The Sun (2015), Anti Records

Calexico are one of my favourite ever bands, particularly to see live, and this is one of my favourite albums of recent years. I challenge anyone to listen to this song in particular and not move their backside. There’s loads in it for kids & parents alike to enjoy – lots of air-horns and air-percussion to get stuck into, some dramatic latin / flamenco type shapes to throw, hundreds of ‘Hey!’ to shout out, plus countless opportunities for kids and stupid non-Spanish speakers like me to hideously misinterpret the lyrics…. ‘I’m on my way…. I’M ON THE BUS!’ has always replaced ‘A dónde vas’ in our house…


Kraftwerk, The Robots (Die Roboter)
From the album The Man-Machine (1978), Kling Klang / EMI Electrola / Capitol

If there are two things kids like, it’s repetition and robots. Luckily, Kraftwerk delivers on both counts in this synthesized classic from the 70s.


Musical Youth, Pass The Dutchie
From the album The Youth Of Today (1982), MCA

This is Joe’s favourite song of all time and was his song request for our wedding playlist a couple of years ago. Until the age of about 9 it’s fairly easy to get your kids to like the music that you like. Then one day they discover ‘Pop Party 3756’ and decide that actually the Rolling Stones can do one and Rita Ora or some similar crap is the best thing in the world. So when a miracle happens and your tween decides he/she likes something actually half decent, you play that shit on repeat like there’s no other song in the world. Joe immediately loved ‘Pass the Dutchie’ (who doesn’t?) and fell in love even more when he realised one of the singers was practically the same age as him. Plus it’s got the lyric ‘Bum-biddly-biddly-biddly-biddly-biddly-biddly-bum’, which let’s face it, is mega-fun to say no matter what age you are. This song led me to introduce him to lots more ska and reggae, which thankfully he loves and will now often happily listen to instead of the godawful ‘urban’ tripe that he was getting into before. Everyone’s a winner!

If you liked this, you can check out all the other Family Jukebox features here!

We also have a Family Jukebox Spotify playlist that we’ll update with each instalment.