Pirates, Pants, and Laurie Berkner’s 25th Anniversary

Aah, the era of piracy on the high seas. It’s hard to be sentimental about such disreputable scallywags, but Rich Manic has managed to create an entire children’s theatrical performance based around that period, crafting the persona of Pirate Captain Festus McBoyle. The award-winning New Zealand performer has released a new single entitled “This Song is Pants”:

Now I might be the Captain but I don’t always get it right
But when you sleep without pajamas on for at least 6 hours a night
Ya wakes up kinda foggy and ya brain is cloudy too
So that is why I’m sharing this important song with you

The title plays off an old English saying that equated the word “pants” as something deemed to be below par or substandard. McBoyle isn’t just telling kids to remember to get dressed, he’s reminding them to stay engaged and in the moment.You can hear Pirate Captain Festus McBoyle at his website, Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music.Here is a ukulele tutorial of his song, “Hula Hula Lady”:

Most people think that the kindie (kids independent) childrens’ music era started in the early 2000s. But the Laurie Berkner Band pioneered the movement way back in 1997 with her first album, Whaddaya Think Of That?

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‘Whaddaya Think Of That’ from Laurie Berkner

Hard as it might be to believe, but kids who grew up with songs like “We Are the Dinosaurs,” “The Cat Came Back,” and “I Know a Chicken” are now parents themselves. And Berkner is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the album with a remastered collection on the Kidz Bop label. There will also be a limited edition vinyl edition that can be pre-ordered, being released on November 18, 2022.

You can order the 25th anniversary release of Whaddaya Think Of That? from Laurie Berkner’s website, Amazon, or Apple Music. You can stream the songs on Spotify.

Here is a video for her classic song, “We Are The Dinosaurs” with artwork by children’s book illustrator Ben Clanton (known for his Narwhal and Jelly stories). He has also illustrated several of Berkner’s songs as their own books:

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This post was last modified on May 27, 2022 7:24 am

Jeffrey Cohen

Born and raised in New York (with a brief sojourn in New Jersey during his preteen years), Jeffrey Cohen lives in New York with his two sons. He has reviewed children's music for the past 14 years on his own blog. Jeff's podcast, "MrJeff2000 Explains It All" is available through iTunes.

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