Passionate About Iowa City
and the Moms Who Live Here.

Songs Your Whole Family Will Love

We’re big fans of Pandora in my family. The kids love their Disney and Veggie Tales stations, my husband bounces between classical and “Hipster Cocktail Party”, and I have my Mumford and Sons radio station curated into a perfect mix of folky boot-stompin banjo. But unfortunately, we can never agree on who gets to pick the station, and we end up either begrudgingly taking turns or all-out arguing over it. What’s worse, as much as we try to avoid it, songs pop up that we don’t want our kids to listen to: songs about drinking, drugs, sex, or objectification of women, etc.

This isn’t a problem a good old-fashioned mixed-tape can’t solve! These days, you don’t have to listen to the radio all day long hoping to hear a certain song, and then hurry to push record on your stereo at just the right time. Now, you can just hit up iTunes, download your songs, and have the perfect playlist ready and waiting for whenever you need some musical pick-me-up.

For your listening enjoyment, I’ve compiled twelve of my favorite songs for the whole family. To make it on this playlist, all songs had to meet the following criterra: Clean, Ageless, Positive, Upbeat, Singable.

Clean: No swear words, no booty or booze lyrics, and nothing you would be embarrassed to hear your child sing to his teacher.

Ageless: No Raffi, no songs sung primarily by children, and no songs about farm animals or the ABCs. Also, nothing esoteric or way over the heads of small people.

Positive: Nothing mopey, boring, or complaining…this music is for lifting your spirits!

Upbeat: Kick up yo’ heels and boogie!

Singable: What’s a song if you can’t sing along?

So, pop this pretty little playlist on, and your whole fam can get up and dance, sing along, and have a good time! You might even find yourself quoting these lyrics to help you get through common parenting situations…Enjoy!

Songs picmonkey

Original Image Credit: Sarah Nebel Photography

***Note: All songs are linked to their YouTube video. While all songs are appropriate for children to listen to, the accompanying video may or may not be. Viewer discretion advised.

Family-friendly Mixed-Tape:

1. Count on Me – Bruno Mars

This sweet little tune is a favorite of my preschoolers. They can sing every word, and every word makes you want to put your arm around somebody and tell them how much you love them.

Relevant parenting lyric:

“If you’re tossin’ and you’re turnin’ And you just can’t fall asleep
I’ll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me
Every day I will remind you”

2. Love Runs Out—OneRepublic

Stompy, sassy little beat! When you’re in a hurry trying to get your family out the door, and everyone is either dragging their feet or actively tantrumming, sing this little ditty and nothing will get ya down!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“I got my mind made up and I can’t let go.
I’m killing every second ’til it sees my soul.
I’ll be running, I’ll be running,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.”

3. Move Your Feet – Junior Senior

I dare you to feel grumpy when this song is on. It’s a particularly effective song for cleaning the house!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“Everybody, move your feet and feel united!”

4. Best Day of My Life – American Authors

This song represents all of my failed attempts at bedsharing with my kids.

Relevant parenting lyric:

“I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds
I stretched my hands out to the sky
We danced with monsters through the night”

5. Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer

A great little song to remind you to stay positive through the hard times and look on the bright side!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“Only rainbows after rain
The sun will always come again
Its a circle, circling,
Around again, it comes around again”

6. The Sound of Sunshine– Michael Franti and Spearhead

Summery, easy, breezy, and warm. And who doesn’t love a good clap track? Everyone will be clapping along!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“You’re the one I want to be with, when the sun goes down”

7. Good Feeling – Flo Rida

I have no idea what the verses are about, but it sounds cool, and the chorus makes up for it in repetitiveness and singability.

Relevant parenting lyric:

“Good feelin’, good feelin’
I know you got the good feelin’!
Let’s get it, let’s get it
Gotta love the life that we livin’!”

8. Home – Phillip Phillips

This song was playing on the radio as I drove my two kids (and my third in utero) away from our first home and to our new house in the country, so it has a special place in my heart.

Relevant parenting lyric:

“The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home”

9. Gold – Britt Nicole

A powerful message to kids everywhere, that their worth is not defined by others’ opinions or surface-level appearance. Super upbeat and fun to sing!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“So hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold”

10. One Minute More – Capital Cities

Positive, chill, and encouraging, just like the kind of parent I wish I always were!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“This life is an exploration
And you gotta see what I see in you”

11. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

I’m pretty sure most of these lyrics are half gibberish, but that’s the beauty of it anyway. It’s just like talking to your toddler!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“I would like to hold my little hand.
How we will run, we will, how we will crawl, we will!”

12. Free to Be Me—Francesca Battistelli

This is a roll-your-windows-down and let the sunshine in kind of song. Celebrate your imperfections, because the goal is to be your self. Now that I can relate to!

Relevant parenting lyric:

“’Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own, I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me”

What songs are on your family playlist? Any favorites we should know about?

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Songs Your Whole Family Will Love

  1. Mel May 19, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Geronimo!- Sheppard
    Hold On- Alabama Shakes
    The Middle- Jimmy Eat World

    Let’s do this over coffee…

    • Laurie May 21, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Thanks for the memory, Mel! The Middle was on the mixed CD we played at bedtime for our son, who is now 14.

  2. Lianna
    Lianna May 19, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    Yesss, Mel! I knew you’d have some good contributions! You were, after all, the person who taught me to make a good mixed tape.

  3. Sherri
    Sherri May 21, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    This is awesome, Lianna! Can’t wait to download these songs!

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