A classmate named Sarah recently told my four year-old son…
I recognize that Mr. Bruno Mars is a talented individual. I’m not a super fan, but I like the guy. He may, very well, be the most talented artist around these days. He sings, dances, and puts on quite a show. But, his appeal is starting to wear thin, through no fault of his own.
My three year-old son, Eddie, has been singing “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars, for several months now. He plays it on iTunes, watches different versions of the video on YouTube, and sings it live at least a dozen times a day. For emphasis, let me repeat that. He plays and/or sings this song more than a dozen times every day.
He sings it in the grocery store, in restaurants, in the bathtub; he sings it everywhere. And while he does not sing the lyrics with 100% accuracy, he does have an impeccable sense of rhythm and timing. People usually pause for a second and ask themselves, “is that toddler really singing ‘Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars?” Then they smile.
Eddie’s been attending music class at the local university since he was five months-old. At first we wondered if the class could have any effect on an infant. The music experts in this early childhood education program assured us it could. So, we trusted them.
My husband took him to class every Saturday morning and the parents and kids clanged on things and banged sticks together and generally had a great musical time. These days the lessons are more advanced and he will continue to attend for as long as they’ll have him. His love of music continues to grow.
From the back of the car, he’s begun calling out his preferred radio station numbers. Inevitably, if I am listening to 103.7 he will want me to change it to 102.9. His love of numbers is the only thing that eclipses his love of music, so I never know if he just wants to see the numbers on the dashboard display or he has a valid interest in the song playing.
If Adele’s “Hello” comes on the radio, he always says “again?!” as if he can’t be bothered. If ‘Stressed Out’ by twenty one pilots comes on he says that’s “Papa’s song.” I think he likes to hear me sing the lyric “wake up you need to make money!” And if “Exes and Ohs” by Elle King comes on I am ordered to leave that station on.
This brings up the question of appropriate lyrics. It may be time to load up the CD-changer in the car with kid-appropriate versions of some of these songs.
“Uptown Funk” has no objectionable lyrics in it…so far as I can tell. However, since Eddie has taken to singing it constantly, I have been worried about him slipping up on the lyric ‘uptown funk you up’ and saying something else. I’ve warned his nursery school teacher but, to date, it hasn’t happened.
If my son has to be addicted to a song it may as well be “Uptown Funk.” There’s a lot going on there and I might be able to tolerate it until Eddie’s next favorite song comes along. I am making the assumption that there will be a next favorite song. For now, “Uptown Funk” is my boy’s jam. Cue the music!