Being the proud father of two kids and the husband of someone who is very talented musically (sadly I cannot call musicality one of my talents), I have had the pleasure of plenty of children’s songs. Singing is not only fun and can connect your next generation to a vital cultural thread, but singing has been at least anecdotally linked to the development of early language skills in children. But since we happen to live in a monolingual American English household, just about all of the songs we’ve sung to and with our children, have been in English. In the vein of being a hardcore language geek who deeply appreciates language diversity, I thought it’d be fun and enriching to provide you with a compendium of classic children’s songs in a variety of the world’s languages. As you sample the linked song clips, try to identify themes in the tunes, as they compare to the songs you came to love as a child and may also sing to your children. These could be melodic themes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, or content themes. Or, you could simply just enjoy them!
Whether or not you are a country music fan, you may have heard recently that grammy-winning country singer Randy Travis has been left unable to speak or sing due to a stroke he suffered last year. After his stroke in July 2013, he was able to restore much of his motor functions with physical therapy, but has not regained his speech. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) usually affects one side of the brain. Movement and sensation for one side of the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain. What does this mean? If a stroke affects the left side of the brain, there will be problems with the right side of the body.