I was commuting to work yesterday, minding my own business, when I heard a teenager telling her friend that her strawberry-themed bracelet symbolized her favorite song “Strawberry Fields” by Twintapes. Now as a rule of thumb, I normally tune out every single thing that I hear on the subway, but this particular statement stopped me in my tracks. To say that I am an avid Beatles fan is like saying that the band was “a little popular.” I have obsessed over their music for as long as I can remember, and I will stop there because I could go on and on for days on the topic. The band changed my life and made me fall in love with rock ‘n roll at a very young age, and it breaks my heart to know that teenagers and kids are being robbed of the tunes that made me love music.
This Beatles-oblivious teenager could not possibly go on thinking that one of the greatest songs of all time was written and recorded by the Twintapes, and this problem should be addressed in the future—for all our sakes. Presently, I have seven girlfriends expecting babies and a brand-new nephew—I know, there is something in that Alabama water—so I feel that it’s my duty to make sure that they are brought up listening to “Come Together,” “Revolution,” “Hey Jude,” and “She Loves You.” I want them to recognize the phrase, “We all live in a yellow submarine,” and I want them to know who wrote “Strawberry Fields Forever.” I took it upon myself to find kid-appropriate methods of Beatles introduction.
Bingo Records produces albums by The Bingo Kids, a group of artists that record the hits of performers like Prince, Motown, and the Beatles. Beatles Hits for Kids is two volumes of Beatles hits including “Help!” “Penny Lane,” and “Love Me Do.” Kids will be well-entertained with the kid-friendly, refurbished classics. Kidz Bop has a similar album on the market, Kidz Bop Sings the Beatles. The Beatles Yellow Submarine film was released in 1999 and is an animated film featuring a comedic storyline inspired by the Beatles and their hits “Yellow Submarine” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Who needs The Little Mermaid when you have this brilliant under-the-sea musical?
The Beatles Book for Classical Guitar: Kids Edition, arranged by Javier Marco and beautifully illustrated by Eugenia Pereyra, is the perfect guide to young instrumentalists who crave to strum “Yesterday” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Geoff Edgers wrote a kids’ book that explains the magnitude of the Beatles legacy in terms that kids may easily understand titled Who Were the Beatles? Mike Venezia wrote a biography of the Beatles for kids titled The Beatles as a part of his “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers” collection. Beatles Trivia Pursuit is a game intended for kids older than 11 and will test even the most devoted Beatlemaniac. Beatles Rock Band is a video game that lets you be part of the fab four that made rock ‘n’ roll history.
Puzzles, DVDs, NYC historical landmarks, and books offer plenty of ways to help kids, tweens, and teens become familiar with the Beatles. Let’s remind youngsters where rock ‘n roll came from and welcome them into the warm fraternity of Beatlemania.