Tomorrow's Children

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
Tomorrow's Children Music Poster Image
Grammy-winning kids' album offers hope for a better world.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Lots of positive messages about protecting the environment, reducing our carbon footprint, and making the world a better place. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The entire album encourages us to protect and respect the environment, and how the future of our earth and human race depends on the actions of "tomorrow's children."

Violence & Scariness

Not really an issue, but the song "Take it from Dr. King," talks about how he "showed a brand new way without firing a shot," and the chorus says "You too can learn to sing, so drop the gun" many times. The message is positive, but be prepared to explain it to your kids.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Grammy-winning album boasts many calls to environmental and peaceful action, which is certainly a positive thing. The song "Take it from Dr. King" pays homage to the non-violent civil rights leader but says in the lyrics, "You too can learn to sing, so drop the gun." A good message, but might provoke some questions from younger kids. Overall the album is fine for any age, and will certainly encourage dialogue with your kids about the environment and who we are as a human race.

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What's the story?

91-year-old folk legend Pete Seeger ("Turn, Turn, Turn," "Goodnight Irene") has long been an advocate for the environment and civil rights, and he's continuing his social fight with TOMORROW'S CHILDREN. After visiting a fourth grade class in New York that had performed and written songs about the environment, Seeger decided to feature the kids' chorus, some of their songs, as well as some he taught them. Most of the songs are sung by the kids, with acoustic accompaniment and some vocals by Seeger, as well as background vocals by Sara Underhill, Dar Williams, Bob Killian, and Victorio Roland Moussa.

Is it any good?

Although Seeger does little of the actual singing on the album, his message and spirit are evident throughout the 19 tracks on Tomorrow's Children. He gives some back-story to the classic "Turn, Turn, Turn" by discussing how he added lyrics to suit the younger ears. Some of the songs are lengthy, and the kids' singing, albeit on pitch and with great enthusiasm, is still a 4th grade chorus. The message of the album is certainly clear and will no doubt kick-start a dialogue between you and your kids about making the world a better place. Seeger's way with strings and words continues to make him a voice to be heard, and beckons to the dreams of tomorrow's children "to change the world into something new."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the environmental message behind many of the songs. Some lyrics say, "We put trash and gasoline into rivers, lakes, and streams, and it shouldn't have to be that way." How does this make you feel? What do you think you and your family could do to help?

  • Do you know what it means to "reduce, reuse, and recycle"? Can you give some examples of how you can do each one?

  • Which song do you like the best? Why? Is it the lyrics or the music?

  • Do you think this album deserves the Grammy for Best Children's Album? Why or why not?

Music details

For kids who love to sing along

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