KidTunes: Billy Kelly Spreads Joy in The Family Garden
“The dog ate my homework” is so old school. Think about it…even if someone accepts that excuse, it only gets you out of homework for one night, and for that you’ve got to listen to a lecture about responsibility and pet care. “The dog ate my glasses"--now there’s an excuse with legs. Not only are you off the hook for last night’s assignments, but tonight’s, and tomorrow’s, and however many that are due between the time the dog ate your glasses and your replacement pair is ready.
On a morning when my puppy did eat my glasses, my watch stopped, a spring popped out of my boom box rendering it useless, and my pc informed me that I need the proper authority to operate my DVD/CD drive, Billy Kelly and the Blahblahblahs came to my rescue with a simple song, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Sometimes we need a little reminder.
Actually, it was the entire CD, The Family Garden that lifted me from my funk. It’s neat hearing a song extolling the virtues and benefits of a family garden. Whether it’s a windowbox, a few square feet in the yard, or acres and acres and acres, a garden and a child are a perfect match.
Gardens teach us about the past, the present, and the future. They can fill us with wonder and anticipation. Kids seem to respond especially well to their own square feet of dirt and seeds. Gardens give us reasons to get up in the morning, and wear us out so we want to go to bed at night. Like a garden, The Family Garden offers an opportunity for family sharing, and a bit of wonder, anticipation, and happiness.
Billy Kelly’s new CD is a lot like a garden—along with the expected, blooms the surprises. In addition to the anticipated kidtunes, Kelly delights us with a few unexpected cuts, like “Coney Island Washboard” and (I laughed out loud when I heard it) “Rock Lobster.” Kelly combines jugband, rock, ragtime, country, and a well-developed sense of humor to produce songs that are a little bit off center, and a whole lot of fun.Continued on the next page