About three years ago I was stuck in traffic on the way back from the National Space Centre in Leicester with two small-ish children in the car who had enjoyed a very exciting day and were now entertaining themselves - as 8 year old brothers and 4 year old sisters tend to - by poking and tickling each other until the driver threatens to put them out on the hard shoulder of the motorway and let them make their own way home.
Even at that age, of course, they knew that that wasn't going to happen, so drastic measures were called for. Dad tuned in to Radio 2 (the BBC's easy listening station) and mere moments later discovered the power of "The Laughing Gnome" by David Bowie.
Inspired by this, and aiming to replicate those happy couple of minutes, I cast my mind back to being forced to listen to Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart's 'Junior Choice', and trying to pull out memories of the songs I heard which I could remember enjoying, and over a couple of months added in the sort of music that I had discovered as an adult which I would have loved to have stumbled across in childhood.
This is the first of the compilations I made. It's kept our kids quiet for a few seconds shy of 51 minutes on long journeys, and other parents I've shared it with have attested to it doing the same for theirs.
The tracks are:
1. David Bowie - The Laughing Gnome
2. Bonzo Dog Band - Mr Slater's Parrot
3. Ken Dodd - We Are The Diddymen
4. Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers - The Monster Mash
5. Sheb Woolley - Purple People Eater
6. Benny Hill - Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
7. The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
8. The Goons - The Ying Tong Song
9. The Goodies - The Funky Gibbon
10. Spike Jones and His City Slickers - Cocktails For Two
11. Charles Penrose - The Laughing Policeman
12. New Christy Minstrels - Three Wheels on My Wagon
13. Rolf Harris - Jake The Peg
14. Tiny Tim - Tiptoe Thru' The Tulips
15. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - I'm A Little Dinosaur
16. Flanders and Swann - The Hippopotamus Song (Mud)
17. Gayla Peevey - I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas
18. Alvin and the Chipmunks - Christmas Don't Be Late
19. Barking Dogs - Jingle Bells
The link is here - I hope that you enjoy it.