Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

I’m not a mom, so I’m hopeless when it comes to buying gifts for my friends’ kids. If I’m invited to a birthday party I spend hours at a toy store trying to find something appropriate, hoping the gift isn’t something the child has already and that it’s interesting enough not to be exchanged immediately. Sadly, I usually end up buying a very impersonal gift card.

Thankfully my friends Eda and Anna Benjakul came up with a perfect solution for clueless people like me: lullabies that both parents and kids can enjoy. Eda and Anna are sisters who had children around the same time, and being very creative moms, they wanted to expose their children to all kinds of experiences — including music, since Anna is married to folk-rock musician John Abbey.

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There’s a lot of saccharine music out there, so when their children wanted to watch videos over and over again, it just was too much too bear. Surely there must be music that appeal to both the grown-ups and the little people? Apparently not! So Eda and Anna created Happy Baby Video (www.HappyBabyVideo.com), a video series of music sung by local artists from around the world. These are beautiful traditional songs in English, French, Gaelic, Spanish, Yiddish, Native American, and even Thai and Bengalese. So far there are two in the series: Groovy, Baby and Rockabye, Baby.

To watch excerpts of the videos, go to www.HappyBabyVideo.com or visit their MySpace site to listen to great renditions of Itsy Bitsy Spider and Five Little Monkeys, among others. www.Myspace.com/HappyBabyVideos. You can also purchase the videos from their site or Amazon.com.

I didn’t think lullabies could sound so good.

Originally published February 2008
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