31 Days of Great Children's Music: Beethoven's Wig

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Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here

Imagine how much fun some of the greatest classical music would be if you could sing along to it.  Now imagine if it resembled a Weird Al parody at the same time.

That's what you get with the Beethoven's Wig albums - laugh-out-loud lyrics with familiar classic melodies we all know and love.

I've only listened to the first volume so far, but from what it sounds like, the series gets even more hilarious as it progresses.  I think I might like "Kings and Queens of England" (Trumpet Tune, Purcell) the best at the moment.  It reminds me of the memory trick that my best friend and I used in high school to remember all the U.S. Presidents in order for a big history exam.  We sang them all to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and it worked perfectly!

We were, however, quite dismayed when the tests were passed out and we discovered that we really only needed to learn the four presidents featured in the current chapter for the exam...

We made our teacher sit through a rendition of the entire thing when class was over and he just kept chuckling the whole time, whether from our needless studying or our atrocious voices, I'm not sure, but I do know it made his day a little brighter and I can still remember the song, even decades later.

WashingtonAdamsJefferson, Madison and Monroe... 

So that's why "Kings and Queens of England" is my favorite.  Not only will I be able to sing the U.S. Presidents in order, but soon I'll be able to do the same with the British Monarchy!

I also love that the songs all make an appearance twice - once with the words and once as they were originally composed.  This allows little ears the chance to fall in love with both versions!


  • Use my favorite song on the album to brush up on your history.  This would be a great resource for a homeschooling lesson or even as a jumping-off point to just explore things on your own.
  • Use "Can You Can Can?" (Can Can, Offenbach) to get everyone's heart rate up.  Just a few minutes (or seconds, depending on your fitness level) of jumping around while wildly waving imaginary Can Can skirts is sure to count for your aerobic exercise for the day!
  • Head outside one night with some sparklers while you play "Tchaikovsky's Cannonball" (1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky).  Take photos of your children waving them around (sparkler photos are so cool!) and have them "conduct" an imaginary orchestra.
  • The creator, Richard Perlmutter, shares the lyrics to all the songs on his website.  Print them out and read along as you listen and laugh.

To Watch

Smiley Guy Studios has created animation shorts for some of the songs:

To Read

Cute companion picture book for the song that started it all:

I loved using the "Who Was" biography series in my classroom - my second-graders would tear through them!  Here's one on Mozart:


And here's another series on classical music (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers) that looks cute:


Looking for More Music?

There are a total of five installments in this fun series:

Are any of your favorite classical pieces featured on these five albums of children's songs?  Which ones?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  

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