Reggae for kids?! When you think of reggae, you probably think of the Caribbean island of Jamaica, the birthplace of this popular musical genre. In fact, reggae is listened to throughout Latin America, Africa, Japan, Canada, etc. Reggae has been influenced by traditional African, New Orleans jazz, and rhythm and blues, and evolved in the 1960s from Jamaican ska and R&B. Bob Marley and the Wailers are arguably the most well-known reggae singers, though there are numerous excellent reggae artists! Here are some of our favorite songs and CDs of reggae for kids, to introduce your them to the greatest reggae bands.
The first CD especially made for children and families, is Ziggy Marley’s “Family Time.” We love the children-friendly lyrics, with themes of families and love, the catchy and uplifting tunes, and the guest singers: Toots Hibbert, Paul Simon, Jack Johnson among others. This CD is the perfect introduction to reggae for your family.
Putumayo (one of my most favorite companies in the world!) compiles wonderfully global and diverse music collections for both children and adults. They have a variety of reggae CDs, including one for children called Reggae Playground that is a well-rounded playlist of reggae from Jamaica, and from countries around the world.
Here are some more songs that your children might enjoy- play them while you’re cooking, while you’re crafting, or even while your cleaning. Reggae is a mood-lifter, and listeners will be bopping their heads and singing along before they know it:
Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”
Bob Marley’s song “One Love” was adapted and written as a children’s book by his first child Cedella Marley.
Jimmy Cliff “I Can See Clearly Now,” which was used in the film “Cool Runnings,” a movie based on the 1988 Jamaican Olympic Bobseld Team.
UB40 remade a song from the Jungle Book movie: “I Wan’na Be Like You.” The CD, “The Disney Reggae Club” has favorite Disney songs, sung by reggae masters such as Ziggy Marley, Toots, Wailing Souls, and this song by UB40..