Beluga Grads having a Whale of a Time

Subtitled 3 Generations Go Bananas at @Raffi_RC Concert

Raffi ticket

Raffi #BelugaGrads Family Concert Ticket


Like practically all Canadians of a certain age (*cough* 27 *cough* No, really! *cough* *cough* Well, the specifics are unimportant, so…moving on…) I spent my childhood immersed in the music of Raffi . I played my Singable Songs for the Very Young and More Singable Songs LPs until I wore out the needle on my Strawberry Shortcake record player (and my dad kept…forgetting…to pick up a new needle…I’m beginning to suspect that he may have been enjoying the peace and quiet).

Singable Songs

Singable Songs and More Singable Songs
album covers

Moving on to the modern world of cassette tapes, One Light, One Sun was my absolute favourite. And even as an adult, “Joshua Giraffe” is guaranteed to send terrified shivers up and down my spine.

Raffi talking

Raffi speaks onstage at Roy Thomson Hall
December 2, 2012 ©PicklesINK 2012

Raffi Cavoukian fell into children’s music by accident, or perhaps serendipity. Originally a folk musician, Raffi accepted his mother-in-law’s invitation to sing for her nursery school and then took her suggestion to record a children’s album – proof positive that mothers (or mother-in-laws) know best! The rest, as they say, is history.

Raffi guitar 4

Raffi plays guitar and sings at Roy Thomson Hall
December 2, 2012 ©PicklesINK 2012

Raffi’s authenticity and genuine love for children comes through in his music as well as his activism. Raffi has always been a strong proponent of children’s rights, from his song “All I really need,” inspired by the 1979 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; to his 1997 founding of the Centre for Child Honouring, dedicated to advancing a vision of societal transformation based on respect for children and the earth; and most recently, spurred by the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, to his founding of The Red Hood Project which aims to make the internet safer for young users.

Having been a fan of Raffi’s music from a very young age and his philosophy from more recently, I introduced my children to his music early on. Ben has always loved music – these two pictures, taken a year apart, show Ben jamming with his favourite busker, Keith, at a farmers’ market.

Ben jamming 1

Ben, age 3, jamming with Keith the busker
©PicklesINK 2012

Ben jamming 2

Ben, age 4 –
This time Keith gave Ben the stage to himself!
©PicklesINK 2012

He spent several months around the age of 3 obsessed with watching Youtube videos of vintage Raffi concerts and then putting on his own Hawaiian shirt, picking up his ukulele and recreating them for Molly, who appreciated the private concerts very much!

Ben as Raffi

Ben puts on a concert for a captive audience,
baby Molly in the jolly jumper.
©PicklesINK 2012

So when I heard in August about the upcoming #BelugaGrads Family Concert tour, I wasted no time getting my tickets…and not just mine!

Nana and Aunt Jane

Aunt Jane (left) and Nana watching the show
©PicklesINK 2012

Nana, Grandad, and Aunt Jane were delighted to come and share the Beluga nostalgia…

Grandad, Molly, daddy

Grandad, Molly, and daddy welcome Raffi onstage
©PicklesINK 2012

…and Ian, an English import and therefore a more recent Raffi convert was excited to experience the magic as well!

Ben and Kiara 2

Ben and Kiara dancing together
©PicklesINK 2012

Ben and Molly were also happy to have their young friend Kiara and her mommy Keri along for the ride. Kiara may turn out to be one of Raffi’s most fervent admirers – she didn’t stop bobbing her head and clapping the whole time!

Kiara clapping

Kiara clapping along with the music
©PicklesINK 2012

Ben and Molly’s reviews of the concert were glowing: Ben told me that his favourite part of the concert was every part and his favourite song was every song! Molly was more specific – her favourite song was “Molly’s song,” which she said went, “Monkey monkey monkey monkey. Monkey monkey monkey monkey. Monkey monkey monkey monkey. Monkey monkey monkey munchkin.” I’m not convinced I remember that one but perhaps it will provide inspiration for Raffi’s next album!

Grandad’s favourite part was when Raffi crouched behind his chair to slip on a red jersey before singing a new song, “On Hockey Days.” He was slightly disappointed when Raffi stood and revealed that it was Team Canada rather than Habs but enjoyed the song anyway.

Raffi hockey 2

Raffi can handle a hockey stick
and sing at the same time!
©PicklesINK 2012

One of the most touching moments in the concert was when Raffi led us all in singing “Happy Birthday” to 3 year-old Mason – read more about that in @Clippo‘s touching post “On Music, Love, and Raffi.”

Thank you so much, Raffi – It was a wonderful concert and an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon for kids and adults alike – As I said to the other obviously Beluga Grad parents in the elevator on the way down, “Our kids enjoyed it, but let’s be honest with ourselves – we all came here for us, right?”

~ karyn

Do your kids listen to Raffi? Did you? What’s your favourite Raffi song?

4 thoughts on “Beluga Grads having a Whale of a Time

  1. Liam and I love Raffi and his songs were the soundtrack of Liam’s first year on earth. My mom recently told me that I went to a Raffi concert as a kid 🙂 Wish I could remember it!

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