For Our Children


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For Our Children Review

by William Ruhlmann

Inevitably, the first thing that strikes you about this benefit album for pediatric AIDS is the lineup: It contains selections by Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and Barbra Streisand, among other top stars. When you realize that 17 of the 20 tracks were newly recorded, For Our Children quickly becomes a must-have for fans of a wide variety of artists. Beyond those immediate virtues, however, the album is a diverse, if inconsistent, collection of music, some of it definable as children's music in the sense that it is likely to appeal to children, some songs about children from the perspective of parents. The sequencing of the album moves from upbeat material to quieter efforts; this is the kind of album you want to put on in the last hour of a child's day, as he or she makes the sometimes abrupt transition from energetic activity to sleep. Early on, the standouts are Little Richard's rock & roll and rap version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Bruce Springsteen's hilarious "Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips." After the halfway point in the album, Elton John's slight instrumental "The Pacifier" (not everybody made that much of an effort), the songs turn calmer, led by James Taylor's characteristically friendly reading of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Getting to Know You." Actress Meryl Streep turns out to have creditable pipes on "Gartan Mother's Lullaby," and Jackson Browne and Jennifer Warnes give a folk-rock reading to "Golden Slumbers." By the time of Barbra Streisand's austere "A Child Is Born" (from her 1975 album Lazy Afternoon), your young one should be asleep already. For Our Children is never less than pleasant, but, as with any random group of grownups, some of its participants have more affinity for children than others.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Disney feat: Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers 04:04 SpotifyAmazon
2 Disney feat: Bob Dylan 03:08 SpotifyAmazon
3 Disney feat: Sting 01:17 SpotifyAmazon
4 Disney feat: Paul McCartney 03:34 SpotifyAmazon
5 Disney feat: Stephen Bishop 03:23 SpotifyAmazon
6 Disney feat: Little Richard 03:41 SpotifyAmazon
7 Disney feat: Bruce Springsteen 01:45 SpotifyAmazon
8 Disney feat: Brian Wilson 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
9 Disney feat: Bette Midler 03:01 SpotifyAmazon
10 Disney feat: Elton John 05:25 SpotifyAmazon
11 Disney feat: James Taylor 02:51 SpotifyAmazon
12 Disney feat: Ann Wilson / Nancy Wilson 03:44 SpotifyAmazon
13 Disney feat: Carole King 03:44 SpotifyAmazon
14 Disney feat: Pat Benatar 02:16 SpotifyAmazon
15 Disney feat: Debbie Gibson 01:57 SpotifyAmazon
16 Disney feat: Harry Nilsson 02:44 SpotifyAmazon
17 Disney feat: Paula Abdul 03:14 SpotifyAmazon
18 Disney feat: Meryl Streep 03:43 SpotifyAmazon
19 Disney feat: Jackson Browne / Jennifer Warnes 03:30 SpotifyAmazon
20 Disney feat: Barbra Streisand 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick