Several years ago I bought a cassette tape called "Broadway Kids" from the sale table at a toy store. We've been listening in the car ever since and we ALL know all the words.
Benjamin's favorite song is "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" from Annie Get Your Gun. He always wants to me to skip to that song... which is not as easy with a cassette as it is with a CD. (I have added the CD to my Amazon wishlist.) He likes to keep score between the boy and the girl to see which one "wins" each verse. He especially likes this part:
"Can you make a pie?"
"Neither can I."
Benjamin gives them each a point for that verse. He also thinks it's funny that they seem to be fighting in the song, but I've explained to him that they really fall in love in the full musical.
Claire also wants to know about the details of the stories of each of the musicals that the songs are from. This sometimes gets complicated.
There's "Seasons of Love" from RENT. "What's that about, Mommy?" Ah... starving artists, drug use and people dying of AIDS. Not exactly 7-year-old fare.
There is "Broadway Baby" from Gypsy. That one is about strippers.
"I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. Star-crossed lovers who both get shot to death. Delightful.
There's "Jellical Cats" from Cats. Jeff and I have tried to explain to her that the musical Cats isn't really about anything. She thinks that's odd. I do too.
Even "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" from Lion King has that pesky part about the brother lion having the king lion crushed in a stampede.
There's "Hair" from Hair... again with the drug use. Nudity thrown in for good measure here, too.
Of course, Sound of Music is an all-time favorite... but you can't ignore the setting of Nazi Germany.
Don't get me wrong. I love Broadway musicals and some of these questions have brought up topics that I am eager to discuss with the kids.
In fact, I remember listening to the full soundtrack of Chorus Line and Hair when I was pretty young. Great music! But... wow!... I had no idea what the real content of those lyrics meant. Funny how your perspective changes when you become a parent.