- Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Putumayo World Music
- ASIN: B000B5UNH4
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,888 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Audio CD | Import
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French Playground, a musical rendez-vous of fun French and French Creole songs will delight children of all ages. French Playground reflects the rich variety of Francophone music. Bilingual families and children learning French or English will enjoy the fact that the complete lyrics for each song are printed in both languages. The CD features full-color liner notes with artist and cultural information. The artists on French Playground include some of the most popular childrens performers in their respective countries, along with successful pop artists such as Pascal Parisot, Thomas Fersen, Tryo and Ariane Moffat whose songs were selected for their all-ages appeal. Musical styles range from French chanson and Gypsy jazz to the twoubadou music of Haiti and the roots-bending style of Triton, who is from Mauritius, an island off the east coast of Africa. Gallic joie de vivre is expressed in each of the tunes, from the opening songs invitation to "tickle the sun" with a ladybug (Chatouiller le Ciel avec Toi), to songs that celebrate the beauty of the South of France ("Clic-Clac Oh Cest Beau!". Listeners share a boisterous Sunday dinner with family (La Ptite Monnaie). Some of the tracks provide tasty little slices of French life, including "Bonjour,Bonjour", which tells of a little buss journey past boulangeries and other neighborhood spots. Children will also enjoy a young mans memories of staying with his grandparents (Petit Francais). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of French Playground will benefit Terre des Hommes, whose efforts provide active support to disadvantaged children around the world.
What a welcome change this collection is! Completely free of the arch, cloying ickiness that sometimes informs even the most well-intentioned kids' music offerings, these tunes may well help create a vanguard of pint-sized, sophisticated (in the best sense of the word!) world citizens. While not all of the selections were originally composed with this market in mind, the music is nonetheless delightfully child-appropriate in content, rhythmic bounciness and melodic saturation. The producers have rightly assumed that youngsters are small but sentient beings whose developing tastes and interests need to be engaged and encouraged. The styles employed evoke a nostalgic yet ultra-contemporary enfant boulevardier's world of cafés, bicyclettes with bells, bals musette and le jazz hot, so that parents will also be charmed and not find themselves left out of the experience, or worse, rolling their eyes and diving for cover. The songs not only reflect daily life as encountered by children living in France but accurately portray that nation's modern cultural melting pot -- where immigrants and visitors from Africa, the Caribbean and North America, regardless of encroaching ultra-right isolationism, have indelibly graced the national consciousness with their own traditions and dialects. --Christina Roden
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Top customer reviews
Eclectic and unusual themes of interest to young people are presented with 'adult-level' sophisticated musical accompaniments that grab and hold a listener's interest. I liked 'Monsieur Bibendum' because of its bouncy, jazzy vocal harmonies. The vocalists also mimic trombone-like effects as they evoke the roundy-cheerful Michelin tire icon of that name. The idea here is that people come in all shapes and sizes. Much of this is 'toe-tapping' stuff!
If my French were better, I would LOVE this set!
I do have to say that most traditional children French songs are just as catchy and lyrics usually tend towards the absurd or 'politically incorrect'(like the lark you pluck over and over again...) - which is what makes them so interesting and fun! Generations of French children have grown up quite soundly with those songs. Come to think of it, maybe the lady who was worried about the lyrics actually uncovered what's wrong with my countrymen - it is the songs we learn as kids that mess up our heads irreversibly! ;-)
To address the negative review, I think that's just a misunderstanding. Take "Mr. Bibendum" for example. It's a song about a guy who is big because he enjoys fine food (not McDonald's junk) and who has stopped letting society tell him how he should feel about his body- his wife likes him and that's all that matters! I found that to be a surprisingly positive message from a song coming out of France where, let's face it, anybody who's lived there can tell you they can be less than diplomatic about things like weight and appearance.
As for "Wonderful," it's a song about a guy who doesn't want to melt into the background, who wants to make something of his life whether "in sports or business," and who wants to be extraordinary so that people will take notice of him. What's wrong with that? Again, I think this is a misunderstanding- especially since the English translation differs very subtly in feeling from the original French.
Other songs have wonderful messages like environmental conservation, family togetherness, finding happiness in small things and appreciation of nature.
This is a CD full of such cute songs- some playful, some touching, all very catchy. You will definitely find yourself singing along!