The Fall-like weather is really getting me down this week- how about you? I know that summer in Portland doesn’t really start until July, but C’mon, SUNSHINE! One of the things that makes the rain bearable for me is music. When we’re cooped up inside staring at a downpour out our windows, my boys and I get movin’ to music in our living room. The album I want to feature today comes from the son of a famous musician, and it’s always a mood-booster for my family.
Ziggy Marley is the eldest son of reggae musician Bob Marley, and a father of six children. He was born in 1968 in Jamaica and began his musical career playing with his father and his siblings on “Children Playing in the Streets” in 1979. The siblings became known as Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers and they released several successful albums together. Ziggy later began his solo career and his album “Love Is My Religion” won a Grammy for “Best Reggae Album” in 2007.
Ziggy Marley’s “Family Time” is one of my favorite family albums and perfect for rainy days, sunny days, and all the other days between. Released in 2009, it won a Grammy for “Best Musical Album for Children” a year later. It features over ten songs and contributions from musicians such as Elizabeth Mitchell, Jack Johnson, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson. The title track, “Family Time” begins with “Lift up your hearts with a smile, Lift up your feet with a dance, Lift up your spirits with a song, It’s family time,” and the whole album carries that warm and loving vibe throughout. One of my favorite songs is “Cry, Cry, Cry” and though the theme of early morning crying will be very familiar to parents of young children, it’s told from the child’s perspective: “Wake you up at 5 am, Before the sunrise I’ll be your friend, and you know I don’t like for you to take too long, Just come running when you hear this song, I’m gonna cry, cry, cry, Set the children free” The song “I Love You Too” is a love letter from parent to child, or child to parent, and is absolutely beautiful. Inspired by his 3 year old daughter, it has been recently published as a children’s book this year. I could mention other favorites from this album, but each and every song is catchy and dance-able and both musically and lyrically lovely. Rain or shine, this is one you’ll want to add to your personal music collection and treasure over and over.
Want to check out a live performance? Ziggy and his band will be in Oregon the end of this month, performing on Sunday, June 30th at an Oregon Summer Zoo Concert — based on his performance last year, it should be a family friendly, relaxing event!