Travelling with one’s kids should be a wonderful experience, with the whole family bonding and creating new memories together. However, what with life not being a car commercial and all, the truth is that long drives can easily become a nightmare if the children get bored, which ALWAYS leads to picking on the closest sibling and ends up with the non-driving parent pretty much screaming at them to be quiet. And if you’re on your own, it can become terribly dangerous.
Of course you can always let them watch movies or play video games, but then you would deprive them of the joy of looking out of the window and letting the mind wonder, imagining what will happen ‘when we get there’ or reminiscing about all the good times that happened during the holiday. There are also very good podcasts and stories to be heard. And if you are a very patient and open-minded parent, you can let them choose the music. Or if you are a sneaky rat, like yours truly, you can trick them into listening to good – or, at least, tolerably good – music.
The following playlist is extremely subjective. My kids happened to enjoy these songs, but maybe yours will hate them. Why did they enjoy them? Some songs are just instant hits – the first bars of Bill Haley are still working their magic 63 years after they were heard by my parents when they saw the Asphalt Jungle and bought the 7” (my dad’s first record). Same with the Blues Brothers. And unfortunately with Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.
Most of the songs featured on this compilation were composed or sung by artists who never forgot who they were as children, and thus seem to be instinctively recognised as peers by all youngsters. The Ramones? The Beasties Boys? Kiss? Jacques Dutronc? Alain Souchon? All ten years old in their heads. For maximum impact, have them watch the videos beforehand, or remind them that it was in Shrek (Bowie, Buzzcocks) or Beetlejuice (The Banana Boat Song).
These titles worked for my family and the videos are really fun, but you should really create your own compilation with the music you love, and have as much fun as you can with them, before the inevitable moment when they think you are lame, and when it is THEIR turn to train YOUR ears.
Update: Now that our whole life has morphed into an endless road trip trapped with the kids, I hope that this playlist will cheer you up, and that you’ll have fun with your loved ones. Be safe. Stay at home.