Thoughtful Thursday: Oh Raffi…

ImageOk, so…I am 32 years old, and THIS is my favourite Christmas album of all time (followed closely by Boney M).  I got it as a stocking stuffer before I even had KIDS.  I received one of my other Raffi albums, Singable Songs for the Very Young, when I wasn’t even MARRIED.  I follow Raffi on Twitter, and tried fruitlessly for a few weeks to get him to follow me back.  I know that he is performing a few shows this fall in places WAY too far away for me to get to, and I also know that I would pay a ridiculous amount of money to see him live, no matter HOW many little kids I had to push past.  I am on high alert and many of my friends are on strict notice to fill me in the SECOND they hear he may be coming further west.  Ridiculous, yes??  I don’t think so.

Here’s the thing about Raffi: he is awesome.  I saw him when I was five years old, so I know first hand. I listened to him then.  I listened to him when I was a Kindergarten teacher.  I listened to him when I became a mommy.  I listened to him all the time in between.  I STILL listen to him.  My kids really like today’s popular music and a lot of stuff that we listened to 10 years ago as young party-goer’s: Coldplay, Blue Rodeo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, John Denver, BTO, Ace of Base.  My four year old can sing all the words to “Paradise” and knows exactly which verse comes next in “Head Over Heels”.  So you wonder…what does this have to do with Raffi?  Well, as much as we listen to our “adult” music, the SECOND I put Raffi on in the van, they are both dancing, singing along and asking for it “again” when it’s over.  SO…I dare you to argue with kids about good music.

Believe it or not, there are actually people who have never heard of Raffi, and whenever I come across one (SHOCKINGLY), I feel it is my obligation to enlighten them to this timeless children’s (and apparently, adult,) entertainer.  In fact, I don’t feel right even calling him an “entertainer”, as he does so much for young children and women all around the world.  He is a self-proclaimed “children’s troubadour” and is tirelessly on the lookout for children’s rights and protecting their inherent innocence.  He believes in them whole-heartedly and begs people to see them for who they are – the future of our world, all the potential good they will bring.  “Entertainer”…yes I suppose, because you can’t really argue the simple quality to his music.  But oh so much more.

Many of my favourites come from the Christmas album, but of course, there are SO MANY that will stick with me forever from my childhood: Must be Santa, Octopus’ Garden, Baby Beluga, Tingalayo, Robin in the Rain, Little Red Wagon.  There are so many I have used repeatedly in the classroom: Shake my Sillies Out, Down by the Bay, Sharing Song, Apples and Bananas.  And the ones that have become my own children’s favourites: Brush Your Teeth, Mr. Sun, Five Little Frogs.

I know I am not alone in this…did you know there is a whole group of people out there that refer to themselves as “Beluga Grads”?  All loyal Raffi followers, to this day, that were captured all those years ago like I was, by this man’s gentle voice, short appealing songs, singable melodies and soft face.  Thank you, Raffi, for all those memories…for us and for all these little children of the die-hards.  You are the “Beatles” of young children…and I believe your music will never die!

Happy Thursday!


PS – Please share your favourite Raffi song/memory here!  I would love to hear them!!  And enjoy Baby Beluga:


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Miss Night (@happycampergirl)
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 21:39:59

    Oh, my friend, you are SO not alone on this one. There are Raffi songs forever stiched into my memories of so many children, including myself, my brother and cousins as we grew up. I walked MILES around summer camp with my friend’s daughters, singing Six Little Ducks and Five Green and Speckled Frogs – to the point that they would have to call me, long distance, in the winter, to get all the words right. I even put 2 Raffi songs on the playlist for my brother’s recent wedding: The Sharing Song and All I Really Need. My last year at my old school (you know the place), we sang Every Little Wish at the end of the Christmas concert. That song still gives me chills and makes me teary. Love to you – to me, this is more proof that we have always been meant to be friends. xoxo


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Amber Robinson (403) 852-5837
Margaret A. Powers

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