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Raffi, the whale guy, is singing again.

September 07, 2014

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I just had to share this great news with all of the moms and dads of the world: Children’s troubador Raffi still has the light in his eyes and a song in his heart. And a new cd!

I was so glad when the Centre for Child Honouring invited me to listen to and write about Raffi’s new album Love Bug. But honestly, I was a little nervous; I didn’t want to be disappointed. I hold Raffi in such high esteem, that I dreaded a fall. After all, how long can the music continue?

I bought many Raffi cds for my eleven-year-old son when he was younger. In truth, I was buying them as much for myself as I was for him, maybe even a bit more. What can I say? Raffi’s voice is like home to me.

Now, after ten plus years of Raffi not creating any new music—of silence, comes Love Bug. I knew a little of what Raffi was up to over the past years (not letting any grass grow under his feet, for sure). I’d read his amazing new book, Lightweb Darkweb, which is pure Raffi, in book form.

I knew that on the new cd he sang about Mandela, (I had already heard that song), paid tribute to Pete Seeger, and sang, “This Land is Your Land.” Things looked good on paper. But was the music going to be all work and no play? I wondered.

When it was time to hit “play” my hands were shaking.

But Raffi didn’t let me down. He lifted me up so high, and I haven’t come down since. Every song was wonderful. In its entirety, the album it is so totally silly and so totally profound, it’s perfect. For example, “Everybody’s got a love bug, deep inside, everybody’s got a love bug for their own.” The minor key he sings the song in makes it all the more irresistible.

I listened to the Doggone Woods all the livelong day, “where the trees all bark and have their say.” I just couldn’t stop listening. This song is hilarious, and the counterpoint of seriousness. Singing along made this year’s drives to my son’s summer camp amazing.

I’ll mention a few other songs I adored—some of them are still growing on me, as Raffi’s songs often do, like a great wine aging. “Seeing the Heart,” about a relationship between a mother and son is a great example. One of the most complex songs, I am still letting its meaning sift through me.

In the Real World” is one of the collection’s manifestos. In these on-line days anyone who has a child will really appreciate it.

I saved the other manifesto for last, because it’s my favorite song on the cd. Blue White Planet. It’s so basic a child can understand it, yet so profound when really taken in. The last line almost makes me cry.

“Blue white planet spinning in space, our home sweet home,

Home for the children, you and me. Home for the little ones yet to be.

If we keep her in our care, if we all give back our share

There’ll be music everywhere on our

blue white planet

And if a rocket ship one day takes us very 

far away

We’ll look back and smile and say, “that’s

our planet!”

Yes, I’m relieved and thrilled, and am truly a better person because of the gifts that Raffi keepsbringing to our planet. If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://www.childhonouring.org/lovebugnewcd.html.




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