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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

 

Goodbye Yellow Greg Page

The mom and dad blogosphere is abuzz today with the news that Greg Page is retiring from The Wiggles due to health problems. You can watch his goodbye message here.

My thoughts on this might be a little different than some others, because in our house The Wiggles are as big as The Beatles. Well, almost.

The first pop/rock my kids ever heard in their young lives came from The Wiggles. And the key here is that they heard it. We didn't actually watch any Wiggles videos until a long time after becoming familiar with their first two or three CDs.

So we've always judged the group on the quality of their songs, which I've always felt are as good as children's pop gets. And in Greg Page they had a lead singer with a warm, comforting voice that didn't strain or falter. The Wiggles will carry on without him, but I'm glad that my kids have outgrown them because it just won't be the same without Greg Page at the helm.

We still listen to their music from time to time, tending to skip over the tunes geared toward the toddler crowd. The Wiggles catalog offers a wide variety of styles and lyrics. They helped me introduce my kids to everything from Jewish folk music to Irish jigs.

I have a feeling that a few parents who say they don't like The Wiggles are basing their feelings on being forced to listen to the same five or six silly songs that the Disney Channel repeats daily. I would suggest that if you dig deeper into their catalog, you could find quite a lot to respect. There are even a few tunes that I could safely include on a mix CD for my grown-up friends.

Here are seven of our favorite Wiggles songs, as selected by my son and daughter. Give them a good listen:

"Walk"
Encouraging kids to not be sedentary. I still hum this tune to myself when I'm out walking.
"The Four Presents"
Love the addictive chorus!
"The Gypsy Rover"
A traditional Irish folk song from the 1950's.
"John Bradlelum"
My son and I actually learned the little dance that goes along with this song. Now he thinks dancing is embarassing... especially when I do it.
"Havenu Shalom Alechem"
The Hebrew Song of Peace. My kids probably wouldn't have heard this if not for The Wiggles.
"Porcupine Pie"
Fun cover of a Neil Diamond song.
"I Love It When It Rains"
Some of their best songs were the quiet ones. Greg has a great voice for lullabyes... Very soothing.

We wish Greg Page all the best as he tends to his health. Thanks for helping my kids discover music. Their lives will be fuller and richer because of it. And good luck to the "new" Wiggles. You can never make enough kids smile.

Click here to buy Wiggles CDs!


10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you know I think they're great, too, and I wish them and especially Greg the best as they transition through this.

I think you've hit on something as far as why some people are quick to slag them off... they've probably only ever seen the few endlessly repeated Wiggles episodes on Disney (and probably didn't really listen to the music from them). Or perhaps they've just assumed that The Wiggles must not have good music, for whatever reasons. I can't imagine that people who really like good music wouldn't appreciate them a lot if they actually listened enough. We were introduced to The Wiggles from their video releases, which are often filled with top notch music in a great variety of styles.

Who else has offered as much quality and quantity in music for toddlers?

4:41 AM  
Anonymous brettdl said...

My son loves the Wiggles, but he has such a broad catalog of music, I don't think he'll be affected much.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Hsien Lei said...

We're celebrating unofficial Greg Page Wiggle Tribute Day at Play Library and your post has been featured. :)

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Forever said...

Our favories are Monkey Dance and Rock-A-Bye Your Bear. I like their music much more than their shows.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Greg's goodbye video. I actually had trouble getting that to play anywhere else today.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here, esp in Aust, we are sad to hear of Greg's departure but also wishes him well with his health.
Can your son do that dance, no one here has tried it yet. A daily wiggle dvd does heaps here with my little busy 2 year old.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

You can't be a Wiggle forever, I guess. I'm only glad it's not Anthony. He's my favorite!

Those songs, those songs--I have ten gigabytes of awesome rock music on my iPod, and what get's stuck in my head?

"Fruit salad, yummy, yummy..."

8:41 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Ack! Pardon the extraneous apostrophe! get's=gets. Sheesh.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Katrina, I have 108GB of music on my computer and, just like you, I can't get "fruit salad, yummy yummy" or "hot potato, hot potato" out of my head!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love the Wiggles, but only with Greg at the helm. Since Sam has joined they've changed so much. The music is no longer original and there's not much dancing. The whole point was to get kids up and moving while having fun and learning about different cultures with the various cultural music and dancing. I'm sorry to say it, but without Greg...the Wiggles are dead. We love you Greg and miss you immensely. I pray they find a cure for this.

7:08 AM  

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