01 October 2008

Sesame Street Is the Weapon of the Future

No wait...that's not right. But both music and the children's TV show are tools for cross-border communication. As a kid watching Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, I had no idea that kids in foreign lands might be watching the same characters, and hearing them in their own languages.
Sesame Street India - Galli Galli Sim Sim - on SoundRoots.org
A new CD/DVD combo from Putumayo shows how the culture of Sesame Street has spread around the globe, with 13 songs from Tanzania, Brazil, France, Russia, South Africa, India, China, Israel, Mexico, Palestine, and the Netherlands. The inclusion of a DVD with five music videos helps balance the relative brevity of the music CD, weighing in at under 30 minutes.

Music is an extremely powerful medium... While musical style is unique to different regions of the world, music itself is something we have in common. (Sesame Workshop President Gary Knell)

Many of the songs are either unknown to me or forgotten with other childhood details. Others are clearly distinct to their own cultures, such as "Galli Galli Sim Sim," the Indian show's theme song that sounds like a kids Bollywood tune. And the "Traditional Game Song" from Palestine.
Putumayo Presents Sesame Street Playground on SoundRoots.org
I would gladly have done without the USA version (or any version) of "Elmo's Song," but the Tanzanian "Don't Be Sad Song" really lives up to its billing, with an uplifting rhythm and Kiswahili vocals.

[mp3] Kilimani Sesame: Don't Be Sad Song
from Sesame Street Playground

But honestly, who could argue that the album's highlight is a Chinese version of "Rubber Duckie," sung by Zhima Jie. As kids' albums go, Sesame Street Playground will stand up well to repeated listenings by adults. Just skip over Elmo.


Ann said...

Thanks so much for this post. Too cute.

Anonymous said...

Readers might be interested in a recent post over at ParentZing!


We discuss how we used the music on the Sesame world music CD/DVD to delve into other cultures.

It's not all serious - we try to have fun with our topics - but at the end of the day we hope to inspire you to come up with similar fun in your own homes.


.... is urban. style. parenting.

ilaria said...

Hi there,
My name is Ilaria and i work with the JopRec (www.joprec.org) a little
indipendent label from berlin.
I find your blog over http://hypem.com/ and i will like to send you a
live set from one of our artists (Fernando Poo
www.myspace.com/fernandopoo) to put in free download over your blog...
And, if you want "spend" some words about Fernando new release, a
benefic project that the JopRec, the MKZWO and fernando organize with
kids save the rainforest (http://kidssavingtherainforest.org/), to buy
land in CostaRica and to create a natural park...
You can find more info about in the web page:
or download the press info here:
I hope you like fernando music and the project that we are organizing,
and that you will help us to promote it.
That's all...
I wait 4 some newz.
Thanks, Ilaria

If you will support our project we can put a link in plantanmptree web
page to your blog, so we will support your blog too...;-)


there are some more live sets from Ferny in the same directory, if you
like you can use all of them

SpinTheGlobe said...

Thanks, ann & parentzing!

ilaria -- thanks for bringing JopRec to my attention. Your tunes sound a little too electronic for my tastes, but I'm willing to listen to more. Unfortunately, you didn't leave any contact info... so I hope you see this. Please email if you want to submit music to SoundRoots: soundroots [at] soundroots [dot] org