guilty pleasure monday: ana ng (they might be giants)

i don’t want the world; i just want your half.

wish i had a better version of this classic to share, but those of you unfamiliar with this classic will just have to take my word that this song is noteworthy. ana ng, one of the gazillion songs the zany brooklyn group they might be giants cranked out as a dial a song, is a simple, loopy song about a girl the singer has never met. the singer ponders whether his soulmate is somewhere on the other side of the planet:

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven’t walked in the glow of each other’s majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They’re the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you


anyway, it was wonderful to see that i’m not the only person in the world who wonders about whether someone i’m meant to know lives somewhere in peru or china or maybe even zaire. (not my soulmate, of course. already found that guy.) lucky for me, now, that there’s this here internet thing that has already helped me find people (or vice versa) who share my sensibilities. or who at least seem to tolerate me. some. (::waving at folks::)

when i think of they might be giants, i also think about their output for kids and families. my kids have spent many happy hours dancing to the songs from their book and CD entitled no!, especially happy doesn’t have to have an ending. (i can still hear them sing-shouting i’m just a hippie kitten.) and i squealed with joy when they came out with here come the ABCs, even though by that point, they had teamed up with the Mouse. still, i hope as time goes on, john and john maintain their independence, their sense of humor, and their steady creative output!

i also started thinking about the sort of artists who are going into kids music these days. you’ve got the mothersbaughs (from devo) who seem to score a zillion different kids shows and movies. you’ve got they might be giants who are hooked into the disney music train. and i cannot forget dan zanes (formerly of the del fu-e-gos, as juliana hatfield once sang), who is also a disney kids music god at this stage. (permit me a little shoutout to my homeboy yosi, who is also producing some fun music for kids, including our perennial fave, beach. maybe he hasn’t been signed by disney yet, but he has been on XM and puts on a fantastic, energetic show. be sure to catch him when he comes to your town — your kids will love it!) i must confess, i’m glad there are artists who are digging deep and trying to write more intelligent stuff for kids. but it seems like only the quirkiest ones are willing to go there. i’d love to see more mainstream folks enter that world and see how they fare. (some dip their toes in via sesame street or a compilation LP, but that’s where it ends.)

they, too, might become childrens music giants.

3 thoughts on “guilty pleasure monday: ana ng (they might be giants)

  1. I’ve often wondered why the edu-tainment music for kids comes to a screeching halt at the early Kindergarden level. The one exception is SchoolHouse Rock which as far as I know hasn’t produced anything since the 70’s. I hope that somebody picks up the ball and put together some snappy bubble-gum pop tunes and videos to teach early grade school level science, social studies, grammar, etc. etc.

  2. thanks to the DVD that uncle larry purchased for his beloved niece and neph, i can tell you that attempts were made to create schoolhouse rock pieces on economic education as well as science (neither of which i recall very much from when i was of the target age.) wish they would come out with more stuff. it was useful — hell, i admit that when i was taking my graduate school 7 hour final, i had a moment when the preamble song ended up in my head!

    this reminds me of another bit of news i read this week — PBS is cancelling reading rainbow. it sounds like for over 25 years, levar burton has had an uphill struggle to secure funding for this program. sometimes, i feel like PBS’s kids programming is overwhelmingly geared toward the prek and under set. there are a few programs for older kids that shine, like fetch with ruff ruffman and cyberchase, but i wish there were better choices. i suspect it is difficult to compete with disney channel and nickelodeon — but so many kids wouldn’t stray too far off the farm if they had compelling choices there.

    maybe hannah montana can sing the 50 states song 😉

  3. I can still sing the preamble to the Constitution too, thanks SchoolHouse Rock! 🙂

    Disney Channel, Nick and the other kids networks are missing out on a HUGE Marketing opportunity. They already have a dedicated audience and a great array of talant that appeals to the tween market. All they need is to dash in a bit of educational stuff from time to time. (Didn’t Hannah Montana have an episode where she sang her anatomy lesson during a test?)

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