It’s no wonder baby tablets exist
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
It’s surprising how many children’s shows make absolute bops. Of course, there’s a necessity to keep kids’ attention while teaching them, but the music these shows feature are way past the point of simply being for toddlers who likely don’t even understand what’s going on. In fact, I personally have many little toddler jingles stuck in my head sometimes for years. No—not because I went out and looked for them, but having an eight-year-old little brother means having to endure many years of PJ Masks, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and weirdly empty shows with white backgrounds and a single car driving around on a floating street.
Back to the point, there are many children’s TV shows that go above and beyond in creating music that’s entertaining to kids while also making the show bearable to watch for adults. Here’s a few of them:
Shimmer and Shine’s first episode came out on August 24, 2015. Short and sweet, this 31 second song is filled with near atonal harmonies and spicy instrumentation. Likely imitating Egyptian and Arabic music, the instrumentation itself is reminiscent of classical Indian music, as well.
The song also has an important message for children, because let’s face it—if kids didn’t try again once they failed, humans would cease to exist. The lyrics go, “When we make a big mistake, don’t fret, let’s celebrate. ‘Cause we’ll get another try, we’ll do better next time!”
Bubble Guppies is a somewhat new kids show (well, it’s from 2011, so maybe not). It’s fun and colourful all around, and it has musical scenes in almost every episode. On top of that, every song I’ve heard is great in one way or another. However, the one song that’s been stuck in my head since I’ve heard it (many years ago) is the “Color Song.”
With lyrics singing, “Red, orange, yellow, green, purple, blue, white, I like them all but one’s just right,” you could assume it’s like every other nursery rhyme, but you’d be greatly mistaken. The melody is extremely catchy, and it brings the element of fun by being a tad difficult to sing along to.
I could argue that almost every Steven Universe song deserves to be on this list, but while every song is incredibly strong musically, “Stronger Than You” is on another level in terms of message. Steven Universe could be considered a show for older children in comparison to Shimmer and Shine and Bubble Guppies, but there are still enough lessons suitable for younger children that it earns a rightful spot on this list.
The backstory (in a very shortened sense) is that Garnet (the lead of this song) is a gem who is a fusion of two other gems. (Although “gems” don’t necessarily have a sex or gender, Ruby and Sapphire appear to be female which strengthens the message).
The song revolves around Garnet’s identity, and of being a fusion of two gems who love each other. Fusions are looked down upon in this world, so Garnet is fighting the system. It feels very “gay rights!” and I’m here for it.
One of the verses goes, “Go ahead and try to hit me if you’re able / Can’t you see that my relationship is stable? / I can see you hate the way we intermingle / But I think you’re just mad ‘cause you’re single.”
While these shows are relatively newer and much different than the ones I grew up with, it’s great to see that children’s shows are still making bangers with far more progressive messages as time goes on.