Holiday Music Review: Daria’s Songs for Merry Multicultural Mirth
My Monkey usually takes a while to warm up to new music, so when I popped in this new holiday CD from Daria, I wasn’t sure how he would react. Soon, however, he was asking me to play the “candle song” again, and we ended up listening to the CD over and over in the coming days. In fact, it hasn’t come out of our CD player since!
But wait, you say: There are so much holiday music out there!
What makes this CD so special?
First is Daria herself. This talented musician is not only celebrated around the world for her songs but also for her heart and her dedication to empowering kids through music. Her website is devoted to sharing multicultural activities with children, parents, and educators. For example, we have used her site to learn how to make our own drums, and now you can even learn how to say “Happy Holidays” in multiple languages!
Then, of course, there is the music. This CD is just plain fun, not something “educational” you put on when you’re trying to impart a little culture to your child. Yes, they will listen to music from other cultures, and yes, they will hear languages other than English, but chances are they will be having too much fun to notice!
Daria recorded the CD with two of her regular percussionists, Mike Beck and Tony Mascaro. They had fun adding extra touches to each song to make it special, such as the real wooden castanets on “Ocho Candelikas” and the wonderful harmonies on “Jingle Bells.” Daria herself sings the lead on all the songs as well as playing the rhythm guitar.
Since most of us do not speak as many languages as Daria, she is careful to include English verses in each of the songs, in some cases her own translations.
One of the things I love about this CD is that it is such a nice mix of classics I already knew (such as “Feliz Navidad”) and songs I had never heard before (such as the Spanish Hanukkah melody “Ocho Candelikas,” sung in the original Ladino). Also, the album includes a variety of rhythms and moods. The rollicking “Jingle Bells,” for example, really captures the “holiday spirit of fun, enthusiasm and joy,” while the lovely German carol “Ihr Kinderlein Kommet” reflects the sense of wonder Daria herself felt about the Nativities she had seen throughout her life.
I heartily recommend this album as a way to get into the spirit of the season at the same time as you open the world up to your child.
For more on Merry Multicultural Mirth:
For more on Daria: