Dancin' Magic

Children should be children. They should not wear spandex tights or miniature tuxedos. They should not smoke or play roulette in casinos. And if children were supposed to listen to rock & roll, God would not have created Raffi.

This fine theory ignores the fact that kids love rock & roll and are born with the ability to wriggle their diapered regions in a manner that would be obscene if done past puberty.

For the parent who does not find it cute to watch his tot undulate to ”Ice Ice Baby,” Bartels’ new collection will help. Dancin’ Magic‘s 13 songs are wholesome enough to sing around a campfire but so danceable you and your kids won’t sit still when you hear them.

Mostly, you have heard these songs already. Like Bathtime Magic, Christmas Magic, and all of Bartels’ seven ”Magic” tapes before it, ”Dancin’ Magic”’s magic is its song selection. It balances style and nostalgia, which means it will remind parents of their youth without making them feel old.

”Rockin’ Robin,” ”Barefootin’,” ”Hokey Pokey”…all great songs. Bartels, as always, is up to the challenge of covering golden oldies. She can’t harmonize the way the Beach Boys did on 1964’s ”Dance, Dance, Dance,” but her clear soprano hits the high points. ”Limbo Rock” and ”La Bamba” (my favorite here) are exotically rhythmic, not hokey.

Dancin’ is hardly educational. ”Doooo the heck-a-lotion with me,” my 3-year-old sings, in happy noncomprehension. And there is a sameness to Bartels’ interpretations and the cheery orchestrations. But it’s an excellent sameness. This tape will make you happy, even if you are too young (or old) to understand why. A

Dancin' Magic
  • Music