When you start playing childrenâ€™s records, sooner or later youâ€™ve got to get to the Smurfs. You canâ€™t even accuse the record label of cashing in on the Saturday morning show on this one, because this came out in 1980, a year before the show premiered in the U.S. (although I do remember it being advertised incessantly on TV). And no matter how you feel about the Smurfs, these are pretty catchy songs.
Remember in that Fastball song called â€œThe Wayâ€ how the verse was sung in a minor key to give it an air of mystery, and then the chorus was in a major key to give it a more hopeful feel? Well, the Smurfs did it years before they did. In fact, they do it twice on this album (and quite effectively too). This first song, â€œSmurfing Land,â€ gives the Smurfs a bit of an origin story. Basically, a wise magician was lonely so he made some little blue friends. Hey, weâ€™re not talking about â€œWith great power comes great responsibilityâ€ or â€œTruth, justice and the American wayâ€ here.
The second song to go with the minor key verse/major key chorus is â€œLittle Smurf Boat,â€ and for some inexplicable reason I really like this song. (So much so that itâ€™s actually on my mp3 player.) The description of the boat is wonderfully done, and the song has a very dreamy quality (figuratively and literally).
All right, after all that slow, lugubrious stuff itâ€™s time for something silly, and it canâ€™t get much sillier than the song â€œYouâ€™re a Pink Toothbrush,â€ a song where Dadâ€™s blue toothbrush is flirting with Momâ€™s pink one, even using the olâ€™ â€œWeâ€™ve met somewhere beforeâ€ pickup line.
I put this song in because for some reason thereâ€™s this guy singing with the Smurfs with no explanation as to who he is. Is he the wise magician who created the Smurfs? Is he their David Seville? Is he special guest star Christopher Cross? I have no idea, but enjoy this sweet song about growing up called â€œMerry Go Round.â€
And finally, I had to add â€œSmurf Lullabyâ€ because so many people commented on my blog about it. People who have lost this album years ago still remember all the words to this. Like the Smurfs or hate them, youâ€™ve got to admire the fact that a song like this has made that deep an impression on so many people.
Iâ€™m sure you guys thought I was going to savage the Smurfs with Scrappy-Doo like glee. To be honest, I never cared for the Saturday morning show, but I really enjoyed this album. If youâ€™d like to hear the entire album, you can get it here!
OK, before things get any more soppy, hereâ€™s something odd to end the festivities. This was a public service announcement from UNICEF featuring the Smurfs. Itâ€™s certainly not what youâ€™d expect, although itâ€™s probably what many of you had dreamed about. (By the way, the message at the end translates as “War. Don’t let it devastate the world of children.”
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