“Is it going to be Boring music or Children’s music?” three year old M asked as she eyed the CD mailer with suspicion. We tore it open and as my children caught the tiniest glimpse of the corner of the cBeebies logo they burst into peals of excited laughter and leaped up and down, bumping into each other and spinning around. From the instantaneous brand recognition one would almost think that I use cBeebies as a babysitter while I’m cooking the childrens’ tea.…
No really, I’m a big fan of cBeebies, and for much more than keeping my children out of my hair. Aside from the occasional weird this-will-most-definitely-rot-your-teeth recipe on Big Cook Little Cook, I think cBeebies is something this country can really be proud of. Coming from someone whose country produced The Littlest Hobo and some of the best ever segments on Sesame Street, this is high praise indeed. As parents, we feel a sense of security with cBeebies, knowing that our kids are watching advert-free, high quality, accessible, and for the most part educational programmes – edutainment, as it were. There are colourful characters and dynamic children’s presenters, and positive messages about inclusion and cultural awareness… but one of the things that really leaps out for me, especially from where I stand chopping vegetables in the next room, is the music. It’s bright and cheerful, and incredibly catchy, and I can’t even imagine the skill that goes into creating a unique theme song that will appeal to kids and parents alike.
So I was looking forward to the new cBeebies’s album too, if only to be able to sing along with “Hello, Hello” in the car.
The new CD, Song Time, features songs (mostly theme songs) from cBeebies TV programmes like ZingZillas, Teletubbies, Guess With Jess, Tinga Tinga Tales, Driver Dan’s Story Train, In the Night Garden, Bob the Builder, and dozens of others. You’ll be surprised at how many of them you and your children know by heart – bizarrely mine even knew the theme songs from shows they have never seen.
Our family’s favourite tracks on the cBeebies album, and those we’d recommend even if you don’t watch TV, were:
Justin Fletcher is one of my favourite ever children’s presenters, and we enjoy watching Something Special together, a show specifically aimed at children with delayed learning and communication difficulties. I often find myself singing “Hello, Hello, How are you?” to myself around the house, positively infected by its simple cheerful message and catchy tune. My children sternly correct me when I mess up the lyrics – “It’s good to see you, not it’s great to see you”, but also love the song and are getting pretty good at the Makaton gestures that go along with it.
Download Something Special
Have a listen and tell me it’s not better than most songs on the radio! We love it. Even Daddy, who is a bit of a music snob buff was singing it at the top of his lungs in the car, and dare I say it, rocking out. Oh dear, that expression makes me sound somebody’s mum. Ahem.
Download The Great ZingZilla Band
3. What’s the Story in Balamory?
I must confess, I have no idea what on earth they are singing about, aside from that one little bit about “moving and jumping with Josie Jump!”. But the children? Oh, you have never seen anything like the excitement on their faces when the song came on. Three year old M burst into fits of giggles when she heard the beginnings of the intro and was smiling so hard that I thought she might actually explode. Two year old E sat there grinning away and snickering behind his hands, and then sang out “Baaaa….laaa….moooooo….ryyyyyy… Baaaa….laaa….moooooo….ryyyyyy…”. It’s impossible to keep quiet and just listen to this song – you’ll feel compelled to sing along to the chorus.
Download What’s the Story in Balamory
Beautiful. The Charlie and Lola theme tune is purely instrumental, and is just such a lovely, bright, spritely, bubbly, twinkly piece of music, but sophisticated at the same time. Not being a musician I have no idea how best to describe the music itself, but I can tell you it is one of our absolute favourites. We even used it for our Cot Jumping for Children in Need video – proof that it makes great jumping-around-being-silly music too.
Download the Charlie and Lola Theme Song
Teletubbies Club Mix? What next?!
We came across a few interesting surprises in the album – the producers obviously wanting to give you something more than just a collection of theme songs. I won’t give it away, but we thought the subtle remixes of Bob the Builder and Chuggington both work really well, and the Club Mix version of Say “Eh-Oh” by the Teletubbies certainly puts a different spin on music for babies.
An album of theme songs? How do they all fit together?
Well, they don’t really. We were a bit disappointed that the CD as a whole hasn’t got the cohesiveness that you normally expect from an album, and can feel a little disjointed. For example, the sleepy theme song to In the Night Garden is slotted right in between Something Special and GiggleBiz, both much more lively and also for slightly older children. We would have preferred smoother transitions between the songs, and perhaps more of a divide between the music for babies and toddlers versus those for pre-schoolers and beyond.
Do you buy the whole album or just individual tracks?
We weren’t into every song – there are 50 after all! – and found ourselves fast-forwarding past a few that the kids don’t know very well. So there is an argument for just choosing the tracks you like and downloading them onto your MP3 player. That said, at 79p a track, it’s cheaper to buy the album even if you only like a fifth of the songs.
Download cBeebies Song Time from
- Tesco Entertainment for £6.97 – BEST PRICE
- Amazon for £7.49 ((individual track downloads available too)
- Play.com for £7.55
- iTunes for £7.99 (individual track downloads available too)
Buy the cBeebies Song Time 2CD Album from
Overall, it’s a great collection of familiar songs, some with a fun twist, and all with the quality and liveliness you’d expect from cBeebies.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Rock and Roll Baby World for getting the CD over to us for review.