Bopping My Head Against the Wall

posted by Momo Fali on June 24, 2011

When I was little I used to shut myself in our half-bathroom in the evening, adjust my Holly Hobbie nightgown, brush the Dorothy Hamill wedge off of my face (no, children of the 90’s…this is NOT a salad), look in the mirror, then press “record” on my cassette tape recorder. I had a microphone. I was awesome.

I had a particular fondness for singing “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Evergreen” by Barbra Streisand. Love, soft as an easy chair…

I’m sure that my family was happy when I hit the ripe old age of eight and moved on to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”, though even as I matured I never lost my love of Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”.

My son has recently discovered that our iPad stores my iTunes. The only time I get to use the iPad is when I go out of town, which is also the only time I get to listen to music without a small person making me pause it over and over while they ask, “Maaaahhm, what can I dooooooo?”

Among my musical offerings, my son found Journey (tips cowgirl hat to The Pioneer Woman), Justin Timberlake, Pearl Jam and the completely inappropriate-lyric-filled songs of the Black Eyed Peas.

Guess which group he liked the best?

It turned out that “Boom Boom Pow” garnered the attention of my nine year old boy much more than any other tune and because there are a couple of choice words in between the booming and the powing, I had to turn where no parent should ever have to turn.

Kidz Bop.

Now, I have heard a lot of painful noises in my life. The sound of crashing metal, the crying of my son during IV placements and the terror-filled screams of my daughter when she witnessed her brother’s fingertip chopped off in a door-slamming accident.

None of those compare to Kidz Bop. Trust me, I know. My daughter has 16 Kidz Bop CD’s.

Long before she was an eye-rolling 12 year old whose favorite words are, “Oh my gosh, Mom!”, she was a sweet, little girl who listened to music that made my ears bleed. Because some songs just aren’t bad enough on their own and need a chorus of children to mutilate them further.

If you’re lucky enough to have never listened to Kidz Bop, just imagine that you’re driving a carload of pre-teens, who have just licked the icing off of 12 cupcakes each and they all start singing. Loudly.

You know how the judges on American Idol always call people “pitchy”? Yeah, that. Times however many Kidz Bop kidz they can fit into a studio at once. Which, I think, then are referred to as a gaggle. A gaggle of kidz. Bopping.

Don’t let my distaste of this music be any indication of its sales ability. Billboard claims that Kidz Bop 18 was the #1 selling kids album of 2010, Kidz Bop 17 was #2 and Kidz Bop 16 was 10th. Clearly, kids really like it. Either that, or they hate their parents.

I can get behind the concept of having a gaggle of boppers singing contemporary music so that young children can understand the lyrics or can hear songs that would, otherwise, be inappropriate. The concept, yes. That I support.

But, in actuality, the only thing that’s good about Kidz Bop music is that it can be listened to with headphones.


  • Laurie

    Funny because it’s TRUE! Thankfully, we didn’t get into the KidzBop too much, but still, it is far, far preferable to the big singing purple dinosaur CDs.

  • Tara R.

    I say a prayer of thanks that both my kids were already too old to want Kids Bop CD when they started coming out. You have my sympathies.

  • lceel

    My boys are all way too big for Kidz Bop – thankfully. But it makes sense that Kidz Bop would evolve – given the direction that music and lyrics have taken recently. Look – they’re even sanitizing “Huckleberry Finn”.

  • Heather

    Kidz Bop sounds AWFUL.

    Remind me to never buy them. (I know, I know, easier said then done.)

  • AlisonH

    Oh wow does this bring back memories–I wonder what ever happened to the 45s of Shirley Temple singing (and others, worse, oh way worse) that my MIL dug out of her attic and inflicted on us via our toddler and her gift of a toddler-friendly record player back then.

  • Amie

    I recall begging my parents to buy me an album (as in, vinyl that I played on my portable blue plastic record player) called “Mini Pops.” A similar concept to Kidz Bop, but this album featured selected songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s sung by single kids or duos (not a gaggle). And most of them could actually sing. I’m sure it drove my parents crazy too, though…

  • Amie

    I take that back. I Googled it after I posted my comment, and those kids could NOT sing:

  • Jamie E

    I despise the KidZ bop and its liberal use of the “Z” in place of the “S”.XD

  • Miss Britt

    Confession: I actually love Kidz Bop. I think it is ADORABLE when kids sing along to pop songs.

  • Michelle McCort

    when they came in the wendy’s kidz meals a while back….i put them directly in the donation box. ugh. we just loudly substitute words/phrases when necessary….”and you don’t drive a truck ’cause it’s your birthday” (In Da Club)

  • anymommy

    I probably need a little more Kidz Bop in my life, since my very young kids know all the words to “California Girls,” including “so hot we’ll melt your popsicle.” Ouch.

  • Fiona (@nlpmum)

    I guess I’d best make the most of the time I have left before my kidz discover this trash. Trouble is, if I torture them with my collection of Bob Dylan and assorted other folkie stuff they will feel totally justified in torturing me with their dire collection later on. So, do I need to impose a music ban for the next 20 years? 😉

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