Why Kids Still Go Crazy For The Beatles The Beatles: Rock Band video game and the band's remastered box set both hit stores Wednesday. Some of the Beatles' biggest fans are the youngest ones. Guy Raz talks with Dr. Deforia Lane of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Toddler Rock program about why kids go crazy for the fab four.
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Why Kids Still Go Crazy For The Beatles

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Why Kids Still Go Crazy For The Beatles

Why Kids Still Go Crazy For The Beatles

Why Kids Still Go Crazy For The Beatles

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The Beatles: Rock Band video game and the band's remastered box set both hit stores Wednesday. Some of the Beatles' biggest fans are the youngest ones. Guy Raz talks with Dr. Deforia Lane of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Toddler Rock program about why kids go crazy for the fab four.

GUY RAZ, host:

Beatlemania returns to America this week. The Beatles complete collection is being reissued on Wednesday in a re-mastered box set, the same day as the release of The Beatles Rock Band videogame. And the biggest fans of this week's releases may actually be the littlest ones.

(Soundbite from YouTube video)

Unidentified Children: (Singing) We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

RAZ: This is a clip from YouTube. It shows a classroom of five-year-old kids in Miami, Florida, singing, of course, "Yellow Submarine," just in case you couldn't make that out.

Unidentified Children: (Singing) (Unintelligible).

(Soundbite of song, "Yellow Submarine")

THE BEATLES (Band): (Singing) We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine…

RAZ: Dr. Deforia Lane has an idea of why the kids go gaga over the Fab Four. She's the coordinator of the Toddler Rock program at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and she joined us from WCPN in that city. Dr. Lane, welcome.

Dr. DEFORIA LANE (Toddler Rock Program, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame): Hi.

RAZ: Now, you have spent years sitting in circles with small children, toddlers, as well, singing this music with them. What is it about The Beatles that attracts children?

Dr. LANE: The Beatles have repetition, predictability and rhythm. And in certain cases, it literally paints a picture for children. And quite frankly, the beat makes you want to move.

There's a concept in music called entrainment, and that means you literally synchronize with the music. So children can be slow in early morning at the rock hall, but the minute the music is on, the child is, too.

RAZ: You know, I have to tell you when I hear "Abbey Road," I really think it's a children's album. I mean, "Octopus's Garden," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." I even actually put most of the songs on that on an iPod mix for my six-month-old son.

Dr. LANE: Aww. Well, it's amazing how the sing-songy melodies that The Beatles' music definitely is attractive to them. And The Beatles' voices are rather high, and babies and children tend to respond best to that timbre of voice.

RAZ: Let's listen, Dr. Lane, to one of the songs that your kids love to sing, "She Loves You." Let's listen to a kids' version of this song.

(Soundbite of song, "She Loves You")

Unidentified Children: (Singing) She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

RAZ: Dr. Lane, why do you pick this song for kids?

Dr. LANE: Well, number one, children like to sing along, and they don't pick up an awful lot of words at the same time, but I can cue them, or they can hear that yeah, yeah, yeah, and they come right in with it, and the lyrics - she loves me - every child wants to hear that.

RAZ: Sometimes the songs seem so childlike that, as I said, I mean, it sounds like they're almost written for kids, like "Octopus's Garden" from "Abbey Road."

(Soundbite of song, "Octopus's Garden")

Unidentified Man: (Singing) I'd like to be under the sea…

Dr. LANE: When you look at the imagery created in that, we would sing and dance around. I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade. It's one of those imaginary ways a child can enter into a song, just the words alone.

(Soundbite of song, "Octopus's Garden")

Unidentified Man: (Singing) We would sing and dance around because we know we can't be found.

RAZ: What about some of The Beatles' songs that, you know, sound innocent enough, like "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"? Some believe that there are drug allusions in that song. Is it ever strange to hear kids singing along to songs like that?

Dr. LANE: No, I'm going to be honest with you. I never even thought twice about lyrics meaning or having symbolism outside of the actual words, and maybe that's my childlike nature, too.

RAZ: What's your favorite Beatles' song?

Dr. LANE: Oh, what a question. "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand")

Dr. LANE: You know the part that goes, whoo? I mean, that drove the teenagers crazy. The kids love it, too.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) And I say that something, I want to hold your hand. I want to hold your hand.

RAZ: Dr. Deforia Lane is the coordinate of Toddler Rock program at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. She's also the director of music therapy at University Hospital's Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland. Dr. Lane, thank you so much for your time.

Dr. LANE: My pleasure.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) You let me hold your hand. Oh, let me hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand. And when I touch you, I feel happy inside. It's such a feeling that my love I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide.

RAZ: And that's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Have a great week, and happy Labor Day.

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