Susan Stewart
August 31, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Silly Songs and Modern Lullabies

Current Status
In Season
Various Artists
Sierra Records
Kids and Family

We gave it a B+

There is something on the well-crafted and entertaining Silly Songs and Modern Lullabies for every taste, which means not everything will be to everybody’s taste. If you like to sit back and let dreamy musical myths wash over you, you’ll love Happy Traum’s ”The Cyclops and the Unicorn,” but you might find Peter Alsop’s trip through his sister’s nostril a little hard to take. Alsop’s ”Safari (Into My Sister’s Nose)” (”I hope that it’s still open/’cause her finger’s always there”) is on the edge of kid humor: too disgusting to be funny, except to a kid. His ”No, No, No!” is a clever attack on parents who say one thing and do another. But purists, if there are any left, should know that it contains mild obscenity: ”Dammit all, no, because children who swear/ Grow up to be stupid asses, so there!”

Utah Phillips’ bitter ”Kid’s Liberation Song” is harder to justify (”Maybe they think that I’m a damn nuisance/ But I didn’t ask to be here”). Kids will come up with that line on their or soon enough — why help them?

Not all 11 songs are in questionable taste; Dan Crow’s ”The Fish’s Rodeo,” for instance, is merely fanciful and fun, as is his ”I Had Ham.” Damn good album, if you can stomach the lingo. B+

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