Dan Zanes – Night Time!

Dan Zanes Night Time!

Claire bought this CD from Amazon after seeing a Dan Zanes segment on Sesame Street. It’s a folksy collection that includes a number of original songs along with some traditional folk songs and covers like What a Wonderful World (sung with Lou Reed) and Woody Guthrie’s So Long it’s Been Good to Know Yuh.

Night Time! is packaged up like a board book, complete with liner notes and illustrations that pull together the theme of loose and relaxed night time music. My first reaction was that this CD was a little old for AJ (she’s 3.5) and I wasn’t entirely certain about the suitability of lyrics like ‘pay me or go to jail.’ It wasn’t an instant hit with her either in the same way that I Like to Sing was, but after two or three plays the infectious melodies and gentle magic of the songs grabbed both of us, and it’s currently in high rotation both at home and in the car. Night Time! is less of a kids’ album and more of a family album; there are aspects of it that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age. Because of that I suspect it will have a lot of longevity; it’s not likely to be something she grows out of in a year.

One practical note: the CD case doesn’t have a traditional disc holder (the disc slides into a flap at the back of the book), which I suspect makes the CD particularly prone to scratching. Kiddley house policy is to make a spare copy of all kids CDs for playing so that we still have the original kicking around. That’s highly recommended with Night Time! as well.

Dan Zanes Night Music! at Amazon.

Some samples:

01 Night Owl: [audio:Dan_Zanes_Night_Owl.mp3]

02 Pay Me My Money Down: [audio:Dan_Zanes_Pay_Me_My_Money.mp3]

08 Siyahamba: [audio:Dan_Zanes_Siyahamba.mp3]

9 Responses to “Dan Zanes – Night Time!”

  1. amy

    We recently caught a video of his on Playhouse Disney and were immediately addicted. Currently waiting for our copy to arrive from Amazon.

  2. Penni

    Thanks for the review, sounds great.
    We’ve got another cd in this house that is very popular For the kids
    Notable songs are Rainbow Connection by Sarah Maclachlan and The La La LA Song by Barenaked Ladies, plus a beautiful lullaby by Tom Waits and a very groovy version of Twinkle Twinkle.
    It’s another ‘family album’ – I’ve been known to listen to parts of it on kidless days. I think it’s for older kids but my 3 year old relates well to a lot of the music.

  3. kate

    I loooooooove Dan Zanes! I was going to write you all about him. Night time isn’t my favorite of his CDs though. I love House Party. I got Family Dance, Rocket Ship Beach and his new release (can’t remember the name) more recently so I’m not as fond of them yet. About “Pay me my money down”: I had thought the same thing when I first heard it but it’s not the worst thing we sing to our kids. Ring around the rosy is about dying of scarlet fever. And my French husband sings a song about a boat that’s lost and doesn’t have enough food. One of the verses goes “We’ll draw straws to see who’s eaten first. It’s the small one we’ll eat first.” Thanks to you all for such a great site.

  4. Mama Urchin

    We like Smile from NightTime, which incidentally has a video that’s played on Noggin here in the US (and is available on their website). We also enjoy other Dan Zanes music like Hello from Rocket Ship Beach. Great tip about the cd copying.

  5. Kim

    Dan Zanes is fantastic. He used to be the singer for the Del Fuegos, and now he’s my 3 yo son’s favorite guy to rock out to, with Ralph’s World coming in as a distant second. The whole family likes him. I like that the songs don’t sound soo kiddy and saccharin I want to fold my ears over.

  6. Sarah

    We have all of Dan Zane’s CDs except his most recent. Like Kate, Night Time! is neither my or my eldest’s favorite. That would be either Family Dance or Rocket Ship Beach. I’d also recommend his concert DVD. My daughter loves to Dance around the living room while watching it.

    As for the CD packaging being hard on the CDs, we’ve had most of ours for about two years and they all play like new. You’re house policy is a fabulous idea though and one I may adopt.

    Aside: I thought Ring Around the Rosie was about the plague.

  7. meryl

    Just read this and went and bought Catch that Train from Itunes. We’ll trial it tonight but I really like it already. It has a version of ‘Loch Lomond’ on it ‘you take the high road and I’ll take the low road…’. Good value too with heaps of songs. I think Rohan will be asleep before he yells out to change the CD.

  8. jennifer

    We love Dan Zanes! His show was my daughter’s first “rock concert”. We had a blast both kids and parents. He also has a cd that is more adult oriented called “Parades and Panoramas” which is fabulous and a favorite of my now, 22 month old daughter. We just got “Catch that Train” a week ago and is played no less then 3 times a day in it’s entirety! And we haven’t gone mad yet!

    Another good selection similar to this type of music that the whole family can listen to is “Mermaid Avenue” by Billy Bragg and Wilco and the “Oh Brother, where art thou?” soundtrack.

    We want our child to grow up listening to songs with musicality and learning to love music for what it is, not as a learning tool that beats into her head numbers, letters and dinosaurs.

  9. bill kirkland

    We like DZ – saw him at a concert for kids, Jamarama. BUT, another kids artist stole the show. Buck Howdy is our family’s new favorite. Don’t let the fact that he’s a “cowboy” scare you. His music is delightful, memorable, funny and singable.

    Bill Kirkland

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