They’ve been around since the mid-’80s and chances are, you’ve never heard of them. Well, you should. Though the duo broke up last year, they released 10 genre-breaking albums, several live concerts (on CD and DVD) and a host of other oddities. Like They Might Be Giants (they would loathe the comparison, to be sure), Ween’s music straddled the lines of comedy and children’s music. But their themes were often squarely adult, thus there are only a handful of songs that would be appropriate for children.
But there are still handful.
Here are six that you can play with little fear of mutating your children’s brains while turning them (and yourself) on to something super-awesome.
1. I’m Dancing in the Show Tonight
Tailor made for children, indeed. This smiley tune is all about a child getting ready to perform in the show tonight. Anxiety and pre-performance jitters — “have a I got a cute expression on my face?” and “wish I could see in the mirror, if I’m all prepared” — are front and center. The fact that this song opens one of their more bizarre albums (bizarre as far as Ween goes, that is), is a little creepy. But taken by itself, this song could appear on any children’s CD.
2. Push th’ Little Daisies
If Ween had a hit, this is it. My daughter loves this tune. In fact she loves the entire Pure Guava album, from which this song is taken. But she’s a weirdo, so … Anyway, the video of this fun little love song censors the word “shit” at 1:38, so it’s safe for kids. We listen to the uncensored version, but again … things are a little weird around here. It usually slips right by young ears, but parents, beware if you actually buy the CD or download the tune..
A sad song about man’s best friend, this one — off the 12 Golden Country Greats — is a terrific lullaby for the little ones.
4. Don’t Laugh, I Love You
Cutesy as hell, this teeny love song is as goofy as it is sincere. Kids will get a kick out of the voice manipulations (which Ween uses liberally). And who wouldn’t dance to this? A dead person, that’s who. If your kids are alive, they will dance and sing along. Oh yeah, the ending is classic, too, sounding a little like a wrestling match in hell. Another feature that’ll have the kids rolling on the floor laughing.
5. Spinal Meningitis
Quirky and fun, this little ditty about a small child coming down with spinal meningitis and asking his mother if he is going to die is depressingly entertaining. And like all worthwhile things in life, it might spark a conversation about health, disease and mortality.
6. Transdermal Celebration.
A psychedelic rocker if there ever was one, Transdermal Celebration comes with a fantastic official animated video the kids will enjoy. Mostly a song about a drug trip (Ween has a lot of those), TD is as innocuous as H.R. Pufnstuf, which was as trippy as it can get. So just press “play” and enjoy.