Sunday, December 11, 2011

Accidental Kidsongs: Lather

Jefferson Airplane: Lather


Nowadays, there is an entire industry built around kid’s songs. Most record stores or sections of much size at all have at least a few titles. Amazon has more than anyone could possibly keep track of. But none of that existed when I was a boy. Even if an artist released an album intended for children, it would be found in the appropriate section with their other releases. So my parents had to use their judgment about what my brothers and I should hear. The artists I was most exposed to intentionally were Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, and Alan Sherman. But there were certainly times when I heard, and latched onto, something they probably would not have chosen for me. In particular, my oldest brother would bring home the latest music, and strange things could happen.

I was not quite eight years old when Jefferson Airplane released their album Crown of Creation. My brother was thirteen, and not the best judge of what was suitable for his little brother. All he knew was that he had something he was excited about, and he wanted to share it. So he put on the album, and I was immediately taken with the song Lather. I suppose it may have been the concept of a grown-up who I could relate to. I still love the song, but now I get some of the more disturbing details that went right past me as a child. I certainly am not “snorting the best licks in town”, but I still miss my old toys sometimes, and those are the times I am glad I have children of my own.

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