Chris from the Presidents of the USA doing simple sing along music for babies and kids and parents to sway and enjoy in this cluttered world.
There is a big reason why I enjoy reading biographies more than any other literature in the world and it’s because I like to know ‘the story behind the story’ of a person. It’s the same reason why I have always fixated on lyrics and the ones that grab onto me like Teflon to a pan stay with me forever. I was so ecstatic to know that Chris Ballew (AKA Caspar Babypants) had two new albums coming out in 2016 (his 11th and 12th children’s album) that I almost forgot to read any press releases before diving into listening to the albums with both my girls. They have grown up listening to his music and some of his albums like ‘Rise and Shine!’ and ‘Beatles Baby!’ have played non-stop for months at a time. Chris is always happy to share his story within each of his songs, whether it’s reading all his lyrics on his website or in print, he is an open book to his music. It’s that wonderful transparent quality that I think makes me love his music so much and why it resonates with so many people, he is just so real.
Before I get into the tracks on Chris’s new album ‘Away We Go!’, I thought I’d share a bit about myself and why his song “Banana Bread” was the most touching track for me. My mom always played her acoustic guitar to my brother and I and she went from playing music by The Kinks, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, to playing us children’s songs. She played a lot of traditional American folk songs meant for kids and she had a very creative flair for songwriting and playing. I still remember her huge folders of lyrics with chords handwritten by her scribbles and she is the big reason why I know almost all of the songs my kids learn in school; she had sung and taught them to me. When I had my own children, I sought out music to play and sing with them and Caspar Babypants ‘Hot Dog’ album in 2012 was one of the first children’s albums I was truly excited to hear. The album made me bust out my Dixon Odessa acoustic and write and play songs to Brooke.
Music is something that means ‘family’ to me and it’s so nice to know that Chris’s family has a huge impact on his music and even though his father has passed, he was able to collaborate posthumous on the song “Banana Bread” from his dad’s journals. I had already listened to the song, but I had to go back and re-listen just to capture how that must have felt; his funny lyrics and personality shining through the music and vocals of his son and how honored and happy that made me. The music that my mom and I played and learned and performed will always be etched into my brain as long as I have the capacity to think and it’s so pleasant to know that our memories live on in song.
Caspar Babypants music is always fun, lively, silly, and lovable! The songs get stuck in my head as soon as I hear one. I think my girls will always remember the music we now play and enjoy because I certainly have not forgotten those very things from my childhood. So, yes, I am now four paragraphs into my review of “Away We Go!” and yet haven’t actually reviewed the album. There IS a reason for that, and my main point is that music is something I like to FEEL that I can’t always translate into WORDS, but it’s something that strikes close to my heart and home. “Away We Go!” is a huge example of taking old music we love (like ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ or ‘Rattlesnake’) and making it into something new and fresh and even more enjoyable and many of the original songs somehow feel like songs I have loved and have heard before. I am right there with my girls jumping and dancing to the music and trying to sing the lyrics I have yet to totally learn. I can’t explain why I am so drawn into Caspar Babypants and all of his albums, but my entire family would say the same thing as me, ‘we love it’. Now you can, too, and you can also read more about the stories behind each song from Chris’s website below. Yes, Caspar, I loved listening to this record as much as you loved making it.
- Because I Love You
- Ice Cream Man (Delaney Murphy – CB)
- Go! Go! Go!
- Banana Bread (William Ballew – CB)
- Pop Goes the Weasel (Trad – CB)
- Tiny Horse
- Annabelle Pancake
- Wide Bright Eyes
- Moody Susan
- Rattlesnake (Trad – CB)
- Jellyfish Jones
- Sleepy Snail and Speedy Spider
- Chicken in the Cornbread
- Small Bird
- Mister Cloud
- Diggin’ with the Clams
- Turtle Train
- If You’re Sleepy (Trad – Jen Wood – CB)
Yeah for lyrics! All lyrics can be found on this page.
Caspar Babypants Youtube Channel: Here you go!
List Price: $ 12.00