recess radio program

They Might Be Giants' "Bed, Bed, Bed"
    by John Cech

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When's the last time you heard the words, "akimbo" and "gavotte," in the same children's song? Or in any children's song for that matter. The two-man rock group, They Might Be Giants, has made clever, vocabulary- and imagination- expanding grooves a signature of both their music for adults and for children. Their valentine to high-energy optimism that you've just heard is called "Happy Doesn't Have to Have an Ending." It's on a new children's book they've published called Bed, Bed, Bed that comes with a four-song CD tucked into a pocket in the back.

The book is a series of poems -- the lyrics of the four songs -- tied together by the illustrations of the Canadian artist, Marcel Dzama's, which give it, visually, a kind of hip, retro, 1920s feel. There's something comforting about this look, and about these songs, which transform the act of going to bed into an unexpectedly calming march for tuba and glockenspiel, and make the turn from the impossible into the possible as easy as a quick chord change.

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Bed, Bed, Bed, A Bedtime Book, A Bedtime CD. Songs by They Might Be Giants, Illustrations by Marcel Dzama. Simon and Schuster, 2003.

Today's program featured the following work:

Copyright 2004 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."