I was nearly famous last week. Actually, that could be a bit of an exaggeration. I went to watch “Men who stare at goats” and swore (quite loudly, in fact) that in one scene, they'd stolen my idea. The one idea that could have made me famous. At least I thought they stolen my idea... till I Googled it and read that not only isn't it solely my idea, but its already famous and a true and horrific fact.
I’m getting diverted – sigh, George Clooney has a way of doing that to me. I won’t reveal the whole plot, but I will go so far as to say it’s set in some godforsaken deserty place with lots of US soldiers running around. Could be Iraq or Afghanistan (locations make a big impression on me, you can tell). Anyhow, there’s this Guantanamo Bay type scene where you see an inmate in the “hole” (why is it called a “hole” and is there such a thing as outmates? And while we’re at it, they’re really not treated like mates at all). He’s kitted in the usual outrageous range overalls, there’s a strobe light strobing and a music playing. LOUDLY. And which music would that be? No, not The Prodigy. No, not Metallica, Korn or ACDC either. But … the Barney theme song. So then I knew. Like for sure, sure, sure. It’s not just me. The whole hot damn world finally recognises the damage created by torturous nursery rhymes and tunes composed for kids television. Most grown ups will do anything for break from the monotonous caterwauling. They may even go so far as to sit in on a neighbour doing DIY with a angle grinder.
Do jingle writers deliberately do this? Don’t they know that - musically speaking - what parents need is something like chilled out jazz or Reggae (joint optional) or some perky pop (Simply Slim optional)? You know who your true friends are by the music they give you. If they give you nursery rhymes etc. they may secretly be keen on watching you launch yourself over a cliff. You see the truth is this. Adults assume that kids want to listen to music that sounds like kids i.e. a bit deranged, manic with too much soprano and falsetto. They don’t. They’re more than happy to hear good old rock with maybe a bit of punk thrown in there. Sound evidence that kiddies’ sing-along music is plain frightening can be found in scary movies. Have you noticed that if they really want to scare the living shit out of you they always use tinkly kids voices singing in the background? It’s normally a song like Twinkle Twinkle or Ring-a-ring-a-roses. (BTW. Death by firing squad to the bastards who wrote 10 Green Bottles and Alice the Camel. Simply heinous. Horribly hateful.)
If it will set your mind at ease (as you plan your Nursery Rhyme CD torching strategy ... New Years bon fires work very well) they’ve actually done research on how it’s not a certain type of music that stimulates your child’s brain, but more that they listen to a wide range of music. Apparently kids can hear the melody behind the electric guitar even if their parents can’t. Maybe because they’ve no preconceived ideas about what the “right” music to listen to is. True story. Google it, it’s out there somewhere. Just maybe lay off ACDC, Korn and Metallica. I mean really, no one understands their music.