Craft Recordings announces the release today of Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times, a brand new album from world-renowned children’s artist, Raffi, and award-winning singer and songwriter, Lindsay Munroe.
As the title suggests, this imaginative collection of songs offers a fresh, whimsical, and tender take on classic nursery rhymes, including “Three Blind Mice” (re-imagined as “Three Kind Mice”), “Ring Around the Rosie” (“Ring Around Sweet Roses”), and “London Bridge Is Falling Down” (“London Rain Is Falling Down”).
Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times is now available on CD and digital HERE.
The concept behind Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times came from Pam Gittleman, a preschool music teacher for over 20 years and a member of the 2020/2021 Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. In her classroom, Gittleman noticed that her younger students were becoming less and less familiar with traditional nursery rhymes. “It’s no surprise that young parents, teachers and caregivers shun these rhymes because many of them are inappropriate and outdated for today’s kids,” she says.
So Gittleman sought to do better for younger generations by revitalizing classic rhymes with updated lyrics that not only nurture a sense of caring and compassion, but also foster social and emotional intelligence. “While you recognize many of the beloved characters from traditional nursery rhymes, they’re not the same nursery rhymes our parents and grandparents used to recite,” says Gittleman. “Rather than three blind mice with their tails cut off and a baby falling out of a tree ‘crib and all’, there are now three kind mice helping each other get cheese, and a baby in a crib getting the visit of a loving brother and sister.”
Gittleman received enthusiastic feedback from her students, their parents, and fellow educators, but she was eager to share her work on a wider level and had the perfect creative partner in mind. “I couldn’t think of anyone with a wider reach as a voice for kindness and fun than Raffi,” she says. A longtime fan of the artist’s music and activism, Gittleman adds that Raffi’s Child Honor Principles (which include emotional intelligence, respectful love, and mindful parenting) were ” consistent with the underlying research I had studied to create my rhymes. It was clear that we were on the same page when it came to what was important in supporting the development of young children.”
Raffi was also captivated by Gittleman’s idea and set to work bringing his lyrics to life, serving as the album’s composer, producer and vocalist. While many of the updated Nursery Rhymes stories for Kinder Times already had simple, well-known melodies, others were quite short or had no melodies at all. In order to turn the rhymes into singable songs, Raffi wrote original music wherever needed. The artist also enlisted his protege, Lindsay Munroe, to play alongside him on every track – her bright, crystal-clear soprano complementing his familiar, soothing voice. Additionally, two of Munroe’s children lent their vocals to several of the songs.
To build a warm and enchanting musical world, Raffi incorporated a wide range of instruments, including harp, ukulele, trumpets and even a bassoon. The result is an imaginative collection of catchy and engaging songs that kids and parents can enjoy throughout the day, from the upbeat melodies of “Baa Baa Bright Sheep” and “Jack and Jill” to the soothing sounds of “Rock-A -Bye Baby.” Perhaps most importantly, each song captures the essence of what it means to be kind, empathetic and grateful.
“These songs offer a breakthrough – a revision of old and outdated nursery rhymes,” says Raffi. “I loved working with these updated lyrics and creating new melodies for them. Lindsay Munroe’s vocals have a charm of their own and her daughters’ vocals add to the joy of this album.”
Munroe adds: “It was such a joy to record these lovely new nursery rhymes with Raffi. They encourage kindness, empathy and gratitude, and I’m happy to lend my voice to such a wonderful album. My daughters Emma and Mem were delighted. sing on some of the songs too. We had so much fun creating this album and I hope you enjoy it and sing with us!”
List of Nursery Rhymes songs for Kinder Times:
1. Three nice mice
2. Diddle Diddle Dumpling
3. Sing a six hundred song
4. Ring around soft roses
5. Rock-A-Bye Baby
6. Jack and Julie
7. Hickory Dickory Wharf
8. Shiny Mutton Baa Baa
10. Rain falls in London
11. Eeny Meeney Miney Mo
12. Old Mother Hubbard
13. This little piggy
14. Hey Little Diddle
15. There was a nice lady
Arguably the most influential and successful children’s artist of the past 50 years, Raffi has delighted successive generations of children (and their parents) with his upbeat, exuberant personality and irresistibly infectious songs. The Canadian artist has released over 30 albums, including beloved tracks like Singable Songs for the Very Young (1976), Baby Beluga (1980), Bananaphone (1994) and most recently Dog on the Floor (2018) . Collectively, he has sold over 15 million albums, while his music has seen nearly a billion streams across all platforms.
Beyond the studio, Raffi is an award-winning author, who has written over a dozen books for children and adults. He also became a respected advocate for children’s causes, lending his voice, insight and experience to a number of critical issues through the Raffi Foundation for Children’s Honor, a unifying vision with the child at the heart through which societies can reorder their priorities to restore our planet and build community.
Hailed by the Washington Post as “the most popular children’s singer in the English-speaking world”, Raffi is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. A multiple GRAMMY nominee and Juno Award winner, Raffi has also received a United Nations Environmental Achievement Award and the Fred Rogers Integrity Award, among countless honors over the decades.
Lindsay Munroe is a singer, songwriter and mother of three children with autism. For years, Munroe has shared his love of music with his children, using it as a tool to help them learn rhythm and melody concepts, motor skills, pre-literacy and language skills, as well as socio-emotional and self-regulation skills. Before long, the Massachusetts-based artist began sharing her songs with local libraries and preschools, before launching her popular Sing-Along with Lindsay series on YouTube.
In 2019, Munroe attended a concert by Raffi that would change the course of his career. There she met the legendary artist, who encouraged her to write a song for families of autistic children. Several songs and many conversations later, the two artists joined forces in the studio, with Raffi not only producing and contributing to Munroe’s NAPPA-winning debut album, I Am Kind, but also releasing the record on his label, Troubadour Music, in 2020. A year later, the pair reunited for Munroe’s acclaimed follow-up, Frogs and Birds, as they released a special rendition of “Silver Bells”, for the 2021 holiday season. Rhymes for Kinder Times is their third collaborative album.