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The Nursery Rhyme Collections

Nursery Rhyme Collection 1 Nursery Rhyme Collection 2 Nursery Rhyme Collection 3 Nursery Rhyme Collection 4

Between 2008 and 2014 many different musicians have recorded the most extensive collection of nursery rhymes in many different styles of popular music. Check the video above to see the vocal performances of some of the artists involved. Meanwhile 276 traditional and brand new children's songs have been released on 4 double CD albums. The songs of the Nursery Rhyme Collections 1 & 2 have been translated into 4 languages (Spanish, German, French and Italian). Click on the flags above to find the translations in your language.

To find all lyrics of all songs and background notes about each song (where available) use the list below. All information is provided in a mobile friendly version.

Some notes about the Nursery Rhyme Collections 1 & 2

by Ian Watts, Producer of the album

When my own child Dominic was born, being a musician myself it was a high priority for me to purchase music so that he could listen from an early age. I went on the usual websites and purchased a CD, with a lovely child friendly cover. The CD arrived and I put it on; to my dismay the music on this CD was really awful, cheap, tinny sounding, with horrible twee vocals. I think I managed to listen to about 3 tracks before I started flicking through it to see if the content improved…it didn’t and the CD now resides in a CD rack never to be played again. OK, I’d misjudged the purchase so I returned to the CD website and this time looked a little harder. Again I found something with a professional looking cover and a description telling me that the songs on this CD were perfect for entertaining my child; again money changed hands and the CD duly arrive. Again, dismay and dissapointment at the appauling standard of music contained within. Then by pure luck we were bought a present by a friend of a collection of some 101 nursery rhymes, surely third time lucky? But no, same rubbish, just more of it and this time strung together in a massive ill fitting medley with a maximum of 10 seconds of each nursery rhyme! Again to the CD rack to live a lonely life.

Now my own parents got me something really great as a child, I remember playing it on my fathers reel to reel tape machine and I remember that it had many acoustic sounding instruments and a guys voice. It really inspired me and I felt very upset that I wouldn’t be able to give my own child musical inspiration like this. Then it hit me, why not record my own for Dominic? I started this mamouth task in October 2008 and enlisted the help of a few musical friends capable of delivering proper music. We set up with drums bass and guitar and through the course of 2 days arranged and produced the backing tracks to what would become The Nursery Rhyme Collection. Over the next 10 months the project became more and more complicated with many musicians coming in and out of Comfy Towers recording studio in Linby, Nottingham, UK to record their own parts in their own styles.

The end product was such a revelation that I decided to make it a public release so that other parents could enjoy the benefits of quality children’s music instead of the cheap rubbish (which is not cheap financially of course). My own son absolutely loved the music on The Nursery Rhymes Collection, dancing, singing, learning and sleeping to the various tracks completely unaware of course of the months of effort that went into recording it and completely unaware that it was produced for him. I hope in time he will understand.

2 years went by, the release of the Nursery Rhyme Collection in England and Germany was overwhelmingly successful. Today the Nursery Rhyme Collection 1 is one of the best selling children's CDs on Amazon.co.uk. Meanwhile my second son Alistair was born and it was about time for the next collection. It was always in my mind to produce another double CD with more Nursery Rhymes as I’d had so much fun making ‘The Nursery Rhyme Collection Volume 1 & 2’ and inspired by many positive comments from the first album I set to work with a determined smile on my face. I wanted to maintain the same formula of using talented English musicians to bring their own feel to the tracks, using the same ‘Sing-along-a song Band’ core musicians that had worked so well on the previous get together. Clearly other parents had shared the same disappointment as me when purchasing Nursery Rhyme products for my own children and there seems to be a definite gap in the market for premium quality music for children, not only to treat them with respect but to keep our sanity as adults when hearing them repeatedly whilst the children listen. After all, why should we give our children sub standard music when we wouldn’t want to listen to our own favourite music if it was produced in a cheap, tinny, lifeless and unreal manner? My own children have been listening to this album as it was being created and I have used them to vet it and direct it. They have been telling me what they like and more importantly what they don’t like and a few tracks had to be completely reworked to satisfy their demands! There were so many more great Nursery Rhymes and Children’s songs I just had to include on this album, many of which I’d wanted to record the first time around but had run out of space on the double CD! Songs such as the classic ‘Morningtown Ride’ for example that took me right back falling in love with songs played to me as a child on my dad’s ‘Gramophone’ and tape machine.

One problem we faced with this album was that some of the most famous Nursery Rhymes were simply just that; ‘rhymes’ and verbal rhymes only, they had a rhythm but no melody. For example try reciting ‘This Little Piggy’, there is no recognised tune to it. The challenge was to create a new tune to fit the well known rhythm, one that children could easily grasp, hopefully we succeeded. On this album we further developed the idea from Volume 1 & 2 of stylistic versions of children’s songs with influences from varied genres and our own personal music collections, feedback from the previous volumes showed that this aspect was enjoyed by the adult listener. Stand out tracks of this nature are ‘Thirty Days Hath September/Tinker Tailor’ and ‘Wee Willy Winkey/Jack Be Nimble’ where musicians from tribute bands were used to their full ‘tribute’ potential. A further highlight for me was ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ where I had the pleasure of working with the one and only ‘Jess Conrad’; a true star of 60’s fame who provided the excellent lead vocal complemented by brilliant rapping from ‘Duke01’. We also have the pleasure of introducing ‘Harriet Hopkins’ and ‘lalala’; both up and coming young acts to look out for. We were truly thrilled to have these guys guest perform on our album but of course additional thanks goes out to every musician involved, some familiar to us from Volume 1 & 2 and a few new ones; we couldn’t have achieved such a beautifully varied product without them.

So let’s provide our children with music of some integrity that won’t drive us mad and hope that they will enjoy it so much that they remember it fondly for years to come, perhaps even inspiring some to take up creating music themselves.

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