Are explicit lyrics keeping you and your child away from the Top 40? Here are 7 positive, age-appropriate new songs to play in the car or at a birthday party. We call them the kid-friendly songs, 2019 edition.
1. You Need to Calm Down — Taylor Swift
Love her or hate her, the pop princess’ new feel-good tune tells haters to take a step back. It’s a great song for kids dealing with bullies at school, with lyrics like, “I’ve learned a lesson: that stressing and obsessing about somebody else is no fun.”
Swift’s song addresses internet bullies and prejudiced people in the real world — and the music video is colorful, cute, and LGBTQ-inclusive. Look out for cameos from stars Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, Adam Lambert, Laverne Cox, Adam Rippon, Todrick Hall, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the new Queer Eye cast, and even Swift’s former rival Katy Perry.
2. Old Town Road — Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
This country-rap combo tied the record for the most consecutive weeks at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list. It’s a favorite at college parties and elementary school events alike; the feel-good beat and cheeky lyrics are fun for the whole family to sing along to.
The most offensive word in the song is “boobies,” which your kid has probably already heard on the playground. Check out the “official movie” (music video) above for some good old Western fun.
3. I Don’t Care — Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
These two heartthrob pop artists collaborated on a sweet song about their committed relationships. The lyrics are positive, talking about how easy it is to feel comfortable in a new place with someone you love by your side, even if you don’t “fit in.” The music video is also family-friendly and full of fun green-screen effects.
4. Sunflower — Post Malone and Swae Lee
Popular rappers collaborated on this tune for the new animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The song is gentle and soothing, and the music video combines the lyrics with clips from the movie. Its message is positive, and it’s just as kid-appropriate as the movie.
5. Happier — Marshmello ft. Bastille
Two electronic dance music giants worked together to make this uplifting, catchy track. This one’s another great music video to watch with the family: it features Nickelodeon actress Miranda Cosgrove, showing her journey to happiness and self-confidence with the help of her dog. SPOILER ALERt: the dog dies. But there’s still a happy ending.
Cool — The Jonas Brothers
They’re back! The hit family boyband of the 2000s has reunited to make music again. Their newest song encourages confidence, with lyrics like, “When I grow up, I wanna be just like me.” There’s a “dammit” or two though, so make sure your kid knows the family’s rules on curse words. The video is mostly appropriate, but there’s a bit of provocative dancing (in 80’s jazzercise costumes).
On a Roll — Ashley O
This hit single is by Miley Cyrus, as her character “Ashley O” in the science fiction TV show Black Mirror. The song, an adaptation of “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails, was released outside the show. Black Mirror is not appropriate for younger kids, but “On a Roll” is catchy and positive, with lyrics like, “I’m riding so high, achieving my goals” and “I’m gonna get what I deserve.”
Like the Black Mirror episode, the music video’s not exactly for kids, so just play this one for the audio.