To my readers: I wrote this piece purely for your amusement. In no way is it meant to diminish the gravity of world events. Sometimes, when I have a lot on my mind, I deal with it by putting on puppet-shows and writing about small things.
Dear Dan Zanes,
I love your work. You've had many a mention on my blog even before you won the Grammy. Therefore, please understand that I have all our best interests at heart when I ask you please to stop talking about how you aren't interested in singing songs about tying your shoes or using a fork. Here are some examples of theme and variation:
*Dan Zanes is the big daddy of family music, by Chad Berndtson, Taunton Daily Gazette (exact quote also found in a Washington Post article) :
“It’s great to be able to do what I love and get attention for it,” Zanes said. “The landscape has definitely changed since I started doing this around 2000. I remember, there were a number of people who actually felt sorry for me singing songs about using a fork and learning to tie your shoes and stuff like that.”
*Dan Zanes wants parents to get with the music, by Stephanie Dunnewind, Seattle Times:
"I've been eating with a fork for almost 40 years now, so it's not something I'm going to become emotional about," [Zanes] said. "And it's not easy for kids to relate to romantic love. But somewhere in between learning to tie your shoes and songs about my old girlfriend is a huge range of subject matter. Almost anything is fair game once you get away from the two extremes."
*All in the family: Dan Zanes makes music for young and old, by Greg Glasgow, Daily Camera:
"I wanted songs that I could connect to emotionally and that my daughter would be excited about," says Zanes, 45, who started playing family music 12 years ago, when his daughter was born. "Songs about learning to tie your shoes or eat with a fork didn't really fit into that, because I've been eating with a fork for a long time. It doesn't mean anything to me anymore."
*Dan Zanes rocks for little kids, by By Maja Beckstrom, Portsmouth Herald
"I didn’t realize the world of children’s entertainment would be as segregated as it is," he says. "Kids can’t understand adult music because it’s largely about romance or sexual love, and grown-ups can’t understand kids’ music because they’ve already learned to use their fork and tie their shoes."
Mr. Zanes, you make it sound as if there is an abundance of songs about the subjects you eschew. I figured some preliminary research was in order. As I was looking through my music collection for songs about shoes, I came up with a few: "Blue Suede Shoes," written by Carl Perkins and performed by Elvis Presley, "Boogie Shoes" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band (yes, I own the "Staying Alive" soundtrack), Cyndi Lauper's "Put on Your Green Shoes" (which is about saving the environment), and "I Love My Shoes," by Eric Ode. Yes, Ode's song is geared for children, but we know very well that some grownups kvell over footwear, and if you tell them to hold back on shoe-purchases, they will get emotional.
So... I couldn't find any songs in my music library that covered tying shoes (although here's a nifty link if you're looking for rhymes) or using a fork.* That doesn't mean they don't exist, but I do listen to a lot of music. So, with all due respect, Mr. Zanes, it's time to put to rest your quotes about the two subjects you don't find interesting, because hardly anyone else is singing about them anyway.**
*Did you know that over 2/3 of the world uses either fingers or chopsticks when eating? Verify this fact and more in the book What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks and Chopsticks, by Patricia Lauber.
**("Yeah, Alkelda, but what about this musician?" Fine, Smarty! You've got me there.)