Rated G

These videos are wonderfully appropriate for all maturity levels. They express a range of life experiences, with an emphasis on joy and love. The artists that sing them come from all races, backgrounds and genre traditions. The words “sweet and innocent” have connotations that are boring, bland or naive, but I don’t think that does these songs justice. This list has teeth. Songs of human emotions from jealousy and insecurity to love, loss, aging, parties, life, determination: the themes run wild. What they have in common is that they are appropriate for any stage of development, age or walk of life. They sing about life experiences we all have in common in ways anyone can identify with.

Chris Brown was arrested for domestic violence against Rihanna this year (2009), but the words of his song With You can be cheerfully sung in any preschool:

‘Cause if I got you I don’t need money, I don’t need cars, girl you’re my all ...

And now I know that I can’t be the only one,

Bet there’s hearts all over the world tonight with the love of their life who feel what I feel when I’m with you

Jordan Sparks seems to be especially philosophical in her songs, “We live and we learn to take One Step at a Time, there’s no need to rush/it’s like learning to fly or falling in love.” Another one of my favorites is Michael Franti &Spearhead with Sey Hey:

I’ve been a lot of places all around the way

I’ve seen a lot of joy and I’ve seen a lot of pain

But I don’t want to write a love song for the world

I just want to write a song about a boy and a girl

Or as Rascal Flatts say “It’s a brother and a sister kind of thang…” in Me and My Gang.

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