Free-Range Kids Soundtrack?

Hi btrtssdhbf
Folks — Got this question over the transom (well, Internet) yesterday. Got me thinking/humming/blogging!

Dear Free-Range Kids: I’ve been thinking about “Let Me Fall” and wondering what other songs might be out there that speak to the Free-Range Kids movement, on both the serious side & more lighthearted ones.  Might be a fun question to pose to your blog!

I just looked at my “Believe in Me” playlist I put together. Maybe some of these?

Visions of a Sunset
Cole’s Song
May It Be
Beautiful Boy
Rainbow Connection
Bein’ Green
The Last Unicorn
Steward of Gondor (“Home is behind, the road ahead…)” – Kerrie

Well, I’m ashamed to say, the only songs I know on this list are the ones sung by John Lennon. But if you folks have other tunes to add to this list, please do! — Lenore

44 Responses to Free-Range Kids Soundtrack?

  1. Dmd April 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    Never be ashamed of knowing your John Lennon!

  2. Megan O'Neill April 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Modest Mouse, “Float On”. To me this song is about making the most of what comes in life instead of freaking out – and of looking for the positive in moments of what might otherwise be thought of as failure.

  3. Kerrie April 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Sorry, Lenore- the songs & their artists/albums are:

    Let Me Fall- Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam (also Josh Groban)
    Visions of a Sunset- Boyz II Men, Mr. Holland’s Opus
    Imagine- Lennon
    Cole’s Song- Julian Lennon, Mr. Holland’s Opus
    May It Be- Enya, LotR: Fellowship of the Ring
    Beautiful Boy- Lennon
    Rainbow Connection- Kermit/Henson, The Muppet Movie
    Bein’ Green- Kermit/Henson, Sesame Street
    The Last Unicorn- America, The Last Unicorn
    Steward of Gondor (“Home is behind, the road ahead…)- Billy Boyd, LotR: Return of the King

  4. Amanda April 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Big Things Too – from Veggie Tales / Dave and the Giant Pickle

  5. Mark April 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Pete Seeger has some great songs about kids going off on adventures by themselves. Try these:

    Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase – A child convinces his father to take him on a bear hunt and then gets lost in the woods.
    Sam The Whaler – A boy joins the crew of a whaling ship as a cabin boy.

  6. Liz April 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    “I, Huckleberry, Me” from the Big River soundtrack.
    This Land is Your Land (“I’ve roamed and rambled . . .)
    On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
    Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

  7. JC April 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Dar Williams, “When I Was a Boy”

  8. Kim April 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    The entire “Free to Be You and Me” album.

  9. Nicola April 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I would listen to the “rainbow connection” when I was a kid over and over and over again. “Why are, there so many, songs about rainbows…” Oy, I’m going to cry. I just LOVED that song.

  10. Rana April 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Climb every mountain, ford every stream…

    (apologies for having earwormed the entire thread)

  11. Anne Pages April 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    ‘Country Road take me home’ John Denver.

  12. Brenda April 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Also from The Muppet Movie- “Movin’ Right Along” – Kermit and Fozzy are on a road trip – what better sort of free range is there.

  13. Dot Khan April 10, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    I have almost an entire month’s worth of music on my computer. When the lead singer of The Knack passed away in February, I started thinking about how many old songs celebrated things that with today’s zero tolerance mindset about watching someone or younger relationships would never be played.
    My Sharonna – The Knack
    Too Young – Nat King Cole
    Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry
    You’re Sixteen – Burnette, Johnny / Ringo Starr
    Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes / The Beatles
    I’ll Get You – The Beatles
    I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles
    No Reply – The Beatles
    Run For Your Life – The Beatles
    You Better Run – The Rascals / Pat Benatar
    Younger Girl – The Lovin’ Spoonful
    Layla – Derek & The Dominos
    Youngblood – Leon Russell
    Dancing Queen – ABBA
    Hanging On The Telephone – Blondie
    One Way Or Another – Blondie
    My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars
    I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick
    I Don’t Like Mondays (based on a 1970’s school shooting) – The Boomtown Rats
    Photograph – Def Leppard
    Because Of Me – Robert Cray
    Wrap It Up – Sam & Dave / The Fabulous Thunderbirds
    Similar Features – Melissa Etheridge

    There are just too many to list so I chose a variety that many people may be familiar with.

  14. bequirox April 10, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Beach Boys.

  15. Leppi April 10, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Stand by me (film and song)

  16. Emily April 10, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    how has Puff the Magic Dragon not made it on here? Peter, Paul, and Mary. Actually – that whole album: Peter, Paul, and Mommy.

    Also the Really Rosie album has good songs – One Was Johnny comes to mind.

    We’re Going To Be Friends – the White Stripes: it’s all about kids doing things themselves.


  17. Jules April 10, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    “Already gone” by Sugarland. The first verse:

    My mama mapped out the road that she knows
    Which hands to shake, and which hands to hold
    In my hand-me-down Mercury, ready to roll
    And hang out, make lots of noise
    And lay out, late with a boy
    ‘Cause she knew all along
    I was already gone

    One of my favorite songs: about going with your feelings and doing what feels right and finding out it was all a big mistake but totally worth it.

    Because the best things in life can come from your mistakes if you are allowed to make them. Isn’t that how we got penicillin and Silly Putty? And letting our kids follow their hearts and make mistakes is what is Free-Range.

  18. Shannon W April 10, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Only Human –Billy Joel (ie Fail is the New Succeed)

    This one’s for the Girls – Martina McBride

    I hope you dance – Lee Ann Womack (living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking..)

    Teenagers, kick our butts – Dar Williams

  19. Shannon W April 10, 2010 at 1:26 am #


    Letting go – Suzy Boggus

  20. tattooedelf April 10, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Warning by Green Day

  21. Dan Brown April 10, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Metallica, “Dyers Eve”

    (warning: naughty words)

  22. kawaii April 10, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Peter Alsop!

  23. Heather April 10, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    “whipsmart” by liz phair. i will never get tired of that song or its message.

  24. Joe Power April 10, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    In high school a friend turned me on to classical music and when I got to college I discovered Celtic & Klezmer music so my tastes have never quite run to anything you’re likely to ever hear on the radio. Still, if you’d like to take a chance on some uncommon songs that fit this thread, you could do worse than listening to any of these:

    Dougie MacClean – Rite of Passage
    Ed Miller – The Prince of Darkness
    Silly Sisters – Somewhere Along The Road
    Kathleen Farley – Ready For The Storm
    Stan Rogers – The Mary Ellen Carter
    Leslie Fish – Hope Eyrie

  25. Dawn April 10, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    One of my favorites, and I didn’t see it here (if it was posted I apologize for missing it) is “Look to the Rainbow” from the musical Finian’s Rainbow

    In case you don’t know the song, these are the lyrics:

    Look to the Rainbow Lyrics

    On the day I was born,
    Said my father, said he.
    I’ve an an elegant legacy
    Waitin’ for ye,
    ‘Tis a rhyme for your lips
    And a song for your heart,
    To sing it whenever
    The world falls apart.

    Look, look
    Look to the rainbow.
    Follow it over the hill
    And the stream.
    Look, look
    Look to the rainbow.
    Follow the fellow
    Who follows a dream.
    Follow the fellow,
    Follow the fellow,
    Follow the fellow
    Who follows a dream.

    ‘Twas a sumptuous
    To bequeath to a child.
    Oh the lure of that song
    Kept her feet runnin’ wild.
    For you never grow old
    And you never stand still,
    With whippoorwills singin’
    Beyond the next hill.

    Look, look
    Look to the rainbow.
    Follow it over the hill
    And the stream.
    Look, look
    Look to the rainbow.
    Follow the fellow
    Who follows a dream.
    Follow the fellow,
    Follow the fellow,
    Follow the fellow
    Who follows a dream.

  26. Teacher Tom April 10, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Pete Seger’s “Little Boxes” is an awesome song to sing with kids. And I love to sing Jim White’s “Turquoise House” with the kids. My favorite part:

    If you say your prayers at night,
    If you comb you hair just right,
    You might not feel like you’re in hell,
    But then again you might.

    I also like singing the old country standard “Oh, Bury Me Not.” Johnny Cash did a great version of it. The guy is dying and begs his friends to not bury him “on the lone prairie,” but . . .

    “Oh bury me not . . .”
    And his voice failed there,
    But we took no heed,
    To his dying prayer.
    In a shallow grave,
    Just six by three,
    We buried him there,
    On the loan prairie.

  27. EV April 10, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    I have boys, so Man of LaMacha is a favorite in our home.

  28. Kara April 10, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Upside Down by Jack Johnson
    (from The Curious George movie)

    some lyrics…

    Who’s to say
    I can’t do everything
    Well I can try
    And as I roll along I begin to find
    Things aren’t always just what they seem

  29. got Play? April 10, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Hear is a song- Jack Johnson (if I could change the world) the best song ever.!!!!!!! GREAT for a movement in advocacy!!!!!!! Keep spreading the word

    got Play?

  30. Gail April 10, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    The only one I can think of that isn’t already mentioned is Puff the Magic Dragon.

    Ev – Sadly I’m the only Man of la Mancha fan in my house but maybe if I show my boys that video they’ll change their opinion. And then maybe I’ll be allowed to listen to the soundtrack when they’re home.

  31. Laura April 10, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    First one that came to mind for me has already been mentioned, “I hope you dance,” by LeAnn Womack:

    “I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
    Never settle for the path with least resistance
    Livin’ might mean, taking chances, they’re worth taking
    Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth making
    Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
    When you come close to selling out reconsider
    Give the heavens above more that just a passing glance
    And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance”

    That about sums it up, for me. I’m considering caligraphying (I have no idea if that’s how it’s spelled) and framing it for my son’s wall.

  32. Kenny Felder April 10, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    The post just above mine, by Laura, left out the key part. After “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance” the last four words are “I hope you dance.”

    But what I wanted to share is a poem called “Spring Morning” by A.A. Milne (the fellow who gave us Winnie the Pooh). For me, this speaks very eloquently of what childhood is supposed to be, and used to be, and isn’t any more.

    Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
    Down to the stream where the king-cups grow–
    Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow–
    Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

    Where am I going? The clouds sail by.
    Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
    Where am I going? The shadows pass.
    Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

    If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
    You’d sail on water as blue as air,
    And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
    “Doesn’t the sky look green today?”

    Where am I going? The high rooks call:
    “It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
    Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
    “We do have beautiful things to do.”

    If you were a bird, and lived on high,
    You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
    You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
    “That’s where I wanted to go today!”

    Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
    What does it matter where people go?
    Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow–
    Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

  33. Lmom April 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Impossible Dream from Man of LaMancha has always been one of my favorites.
    I also second I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack! Obviously a song written by a mom to her child!

  34. Deborah April 10, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    How about “Little Bird” by Annie Lennox?

    I look up to the little bird
    That glides across the sky
    He sings the clearest melody
    It makes me want to cry
    It makes me want to sit right down
    And cry, cry, cry
    I walk along the city streets
    So dark with rage and fear
    And I, I wish that I could be that bird
    And fly away from here
    I wish I had the wings to fly away from here
    But my, my I feel so low
    My, my, where do I go?
    My, my, what do I know?
    My, my, we reap what we sow
    They always said that you knew best but
    This little bird’s fallen out of that nest now
    I’ve got a feeling that it might have been blessed so
    I’ve just got to put these wings to test
    For I am just a troubled soul
    Who’s weighted…
    Weighted to the ground
    Give me the strength to carry on
    Till I can lay my burden down
    Give me the strength to lay this burden down
    Down, down, yeah
    Give me the strength to lay it down
    But my, my I feel so low
    my,my,where do I go?
    my,my, what do I know?
    my, my, we reap what we sow
    They always said that you knew best but
    This little bird’s fallen out of that nest now
    I’ve got a feeling that it might have been blessed so
    I’ve just got to put these wings to test

  35. EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy April 11, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Various bits I like on themes of dealing with loss or change; making adjustments; moving on; making one’s own life; and taking responsibility

    Various Artists
    Sloop John B

    Cinderella Man
    Roll the Bones
    The Big Wheel
    Time Stands Still
    Between the Wheels
    The Analog Kid
    Available Light

    Cowboy Mouth
    How Do You Tell Someone

    Gordon Lightfoot
    Sit Down Young Stranger

    Billy Joel
    My Life
    You’re Only Human (Second Wind)

    These are by no means the most common themes in popular music, but they are there.

  36. Claudia Conway April 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    ‘Bicycle race’ by Queen, maybe?
    ‘I want to ride my bicycle
    I want to ride my bike
    I want to ride my bicycle
    I want to ride it where I like’

    And definitely ‘We’re going to be friends’ by the White Stripes:

    Something you should know about We ‘re Going To Be Friends Lyrics

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    Fall is here,hear the yell
    back to school,ring the bell
    brand new shoes,walking blues
    climb the fence,books and pens
    I can tell that we’re going to be friends

    Walk with me,Suzy Lee
    through the park and by the tree
    we will rest upon the ground
    and look at all the bugs we found
    then safely walk to school
    without a sound

    Well here we are,no one else
    we walked to school all by ourselves
    there’s dirt on our uniforms
    from chasing all the ants and worms
    we clean up and now its time to learn

    Numbers,letters,learn to spell
    nouns,and books,and show and tell
    at playtime we will throw the ball
    back to class,through the hall
    teacher marks our height
    against the wall

    And we don’t notice any time pass
    we don’t notice anything
    we sit side by side in every class
    teacher thinks that I sound funny
    but she likes the way you sing

    Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed
    when silly thoughts go through my head
    about the bugs and alphbet
    and when I wake tommorow I’ll bet
    that you and I will walk together again
    cause I can tell that we’re going to be friends

  37. K April 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Me and Bobby McGee (probably not exactly the right message, but the first freedom song I think of).

    The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World can also be quite empowering.

  38. lonedattyof3 April 12, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    The Flirtations:
    Everything Possible
    There’s something inside so strong
    Secret o’ life

  39. B. Durbin April 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Dar Williams, “You’re Aging Well.”

    Why is it that as we grow older and stronger
    The roadsigns point us adrift and make us afraid?
    Saying ‘You never can win.’ ‘Watch your back.’ ‘Where’s your husband?’
    I don’t like the signs that the signmakers make.

    So I’m gonna steal out with my paints and my brushes.
    I’ll change the directions — I’ll hit every street.
    It’s the Tinseltown scandal, the Robin Hood vandal,
    She goes out and steals the King’s English.
    And in the morning you wake up and the signs point to you.

    They say “I’m so glad that you finally made it here.
    You thought nobody cared, but I did, I could tell.”
    And “This is your year.”
    And “It always starts here.”
    And “Oh, aren’t you aging well?.”

    Also see her song “The Babysitter’s Here.” While her stuff is aimed a little older than toddlers, I think it’s very good and accessible for a wide range of ages.

  40. Karen April 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Funny that this came up on the blog this week – I was just at a concert last week and the local singer/songwriter played a song that I thought could be a bit of a Free Range Kids anthem!

    “No kid ever disappeared and if they did we’d never hear
    The sordid details of their deaths never landed on my doorstep
    I was taught to be polite, how to eat and sit upright
    But I was left alone to fight and figure out if that felt right
    I think we got the richer lives when we played around with knives
    I think we led safer lives when we played around with knives”

  41. Toby farley April 17, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Beautiful Day – U2
    Montana – Venus hum
    Hayling – FC Kahuna
    Everybody’s Free (to feel good) – ?

  42. Toby farley April 17, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Oh !

    Wake Up, Stop Dreaming – Wang Chung

  43. Kevin April 18, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Walk Tall by Ziggy Marley and Paul Simon.

    My 6 and 3 year old know this song by heart. When they slip and skin a knee they look at me and say: “I know, I know, even when we fall…We gotta get up!”

    Fantastic Song and was recently a free mp3 download at AMZ.

    Here’s a quick sample of the lyrics…love the last verse:

    Walk tall, walk tall
    Even if you fall get up
    Stand tall, stand tall
    Even if you fall get up


    Life is a lesson that we must learn
    If you play with fire you might get burned
    If you worry too much
    You gonna get stressed
    So brush off the dust
    And lift up your chest


    Everyone creeps before they walk
    Everyone cries before they talk
    There comes a time you gotta be strong
    So pick up your feet and sing this song


    Don’t you worry ’bout how it looks
    Not everything was written in a book
    Some things you learn as you go
    But here’s one thing you already know


    Nothing is ever gonna keep me down
    I jump over hurdles I’ll come around
    And if at first I don’t succeed
    I’m gonna try it again
    Till I get what I need

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