An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Roman Cavalry choirs are singing

This may seem like child abuse to a certain fraction of you, but we don’t let Leta listen to music geared toward kids. Or I guess I should say we haven’t ever introduced it to her because we were afraid it would induce seizures and/or homicidal behavior in her parents. We get enough of the repetitive, seep-into-your-brain-and-rot-it-from-the-inside-out tunes in the television shows she watches. DORA I’M LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU.

If I say the word VAMANOS! I think I will trigger an unwelcome twitch in a certain percentage of you who have had to watch hour after hour of that little kid running around with her wretched monkey and talking map AND OH HEY I NEED THERAPY.

So she’s growing up listening to our music, and that means she hears a lot of Radiohead and Boards of Canada and lately a lot of Neko Case. And I recently purchased and am constantly playing the fantastic new Dinosaur Jr. album Farm, but she’s always going NO NO NO, THE OTHER SONG, THE OTHER SONG. And people, do you have any idea how many times we have had to listen to the other song? I don’t even have to break out my superpower here, you know the one, where I tear off my button-up shirt to reveal a golden H on my chest that stands for HYPERBOLE! And I run around labeling things THE ABSOLUTE WORST or THE BEST THAT EVER WAS and when I have to wait on the phone for customer support for ten whole minutes I’m all THEY MADE ME WAIT SO LONG I DIED FROM DEHYDRATION.

That kid loves Coldplay, specifically “Viva La Vida” and we listen to it all the time, every day. We’re listening to it right now. It is her favorite song, no other song compares, and she cannot stop her body from moving to its rhythm. Exhibit A, the child in her pajamas:

I know in some circles it is patently uncool to like Coldplay, and well, those certain circles can suck it. In fact I would have to say GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK, and please go shave your ironic mustache. I grew up listening to Anne Murray, ABBA, and the Bee Gees, so I would say she’s already ahead of me. My only wish is that we can at some point move on to another song. I know, I know, it’s about as likely as her looking up from her bowl of black beans at dinner and saying, “This again?

  • Ingrid

    Thanks for making me feel better about liking Coldplay 🙂

    P.S. I’m jealous of Leta’s jammies!

  • Amy

    I love this video! Great song (those ppl CAN suck it), awesome dance moves & overall a good Friday fun feeling. Esp. as the hubs & I just had BOTH a NYC & Cape Cod trip slip through our hands. Boooo.
    LOL @ #46 Jennifer – he was cracking me up!

  • I grew up on my dad’s classic rock: the Who, the Guess Who, The Beatles, The Stones, The Moody Blues. It probably wasn’t until Jr. High I realized “modern” music existed!

  • I’ll like Coldplay just this once, because I love your parenting. Buy that kid a keyboard! Leta you made my day.

  • Leta looks like she’d be great at DDR or line dancing; or DDR line dancing? Hmmmm…

  • dk

    I’m SO with you on the kids music. We forbid any kid-oriented music in our house too. Consequently our kid’s favorite song ALL THE TIME is Wonderwall by Oasis. We thought we were doing ourselves a favor, but anything, even the delight of Oasis, is old on the 1,000nd listen.

  • That’s EXACTLY what I look like when I dance to that song! Hahahahahaha

    But what’s with the Elvis impersonator singing along?

  • bethh

    ha, after hearing so much press about that song, I’ve now FINALLY heard it, thanks to you and Leta. That’s an adorable little video.

    I now have the song on loop, thanks to youtube. I will hold off on doing the Leta Dance at work though.

  • I totally know what you’re saying about kids music. BUT…I do love Laurie Berkner, and the Barenaked Ladies have a kid’s album that I actually really like. That is my 2 cents for the day. 😉

  • So cute! I wanna have one like that so I can dance around and sing along! A sweet family moment, thanks Dooce!

  • That was awesomely awesome, particularly the dramatic finish.

    My three year old’s favorite song is Trouble by Cat Stevens. And while it is beyond adorable to watch a three year old sing it, it is also a bit, er, troubling, lest she change her name to Yusef the Explorer.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely love the dance! My girls do the same thing and it always makes me smile and laugh. 🙂

  • I watched the whole thing. And smiled the whole time. Don’t let Leta get older. Hurry quick, do something! A shot, I dunno…but keep her little like that with the dancing twitch thing she does.

    Do you like how I say that as if I know the child personally? yeah, I know. It’s just what I do though.

  • Lacy

    She’s fantastic!! That kid is blessed with GREAT hair!! Is it weird to envy the hair of a small child? She sings, she dances, AND she has great hair. What a life!

  • WHAT?!? You mean if I have a child, I don’t have to listen to any of that god awful kiddie music? I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before. That was one of the major things holding me back from having one. Well, that and 18 plus years of being responsible for another life.

  • Carolyn

    Um… I did the Viva-la-Vida-is-playing-and-I-can’t-not-move dance in my kitchen last night while making dinner. Except my version wasn’t as cool as Leta’s.

  • Jaxon

    Oh yeah, great humiliation footage for later. Looks like you guys are having fun.

  • She likes Coldplay not Dora Dora…’nuf said. I think she has better taste in music than me.

  • Isabel (5 years old)

    “I love that song and her dancing…..can I talk to her on the computer sometime?” Posted by her mother Carrie

  • Monica

    If you like Neko Case you might try Kasey Chambers. And I think I heard she was coming out with a new album of stuff she worked on for kids – but it’s not your typical kids music.

    Go Leta Go!

  • shineon84

    She has some stage presence! You have a budding rock star on your hands!

  • Sara

    My four year old is a big fan of George Harrison. He talks about him like they’re old friends. He has also picked a favorite song every year–2007 was Sweet Escape, last year was Bleeding Love, and I’m still waiting to see who wins song of the year for him this year. Yesterday we heard Bleeding Love on the radio and he said “Is she ever going to stop bleeding?”

  • Kelly

    OMG – she dances exactly like my husband when he’s drunk. That was brilliant.

  • Oh wow. That was fantastic. And Jon? Wow. I have no words. Add in your singing and I’m practically peeing my pants!

  • Missy

    Love the interpretive dance! Chuck’s contribution was small, but nice. Where was Coco?

  • Well slap my ass and call me Judy! I was totally prepared for the cuteness of the dancing but not AT ALL prepared for the adorable lip synching!!! Good GOD, the laughter that must occur over at the Armstrongs!

  • Mama Aiden

    Ohh, she is sooo going to kill you when she’s older!

  • You sound like the coolest parents ever! Although mine come in a pretty close second since I grew up “watching” Sesame Street to my Stepdad’s soundtrack of The Doors, Rolling Stones, and Supertramp. At the time I hated him for not letting me “listen” to Sesame Street, but now I think he’s awesome for it.
    If you get tired of hearing Dora yell Vamanos, you should try Yo Gabba Gabba! I don’t even have kids and I love watching that show. If you haven’t already seen them, look up the Youtube clips of Elijah Wood’s and Jack Black’s guest appearance on there.

  • jill

    have you & leta seen the PS22 choir version of this song? kids beautifully singing coldplay… it makes me all teary eyed in the best way.

  • Ouch. I think my ovaries just exploded. Too. Much. Cute. Kisses to sweet Leta! ♥

  • My boys (3&8) don’t listen to kid’s music. In fact, when preschool began and classrooms played music geared towards kids, my son would announce how boring those particular songs were. My first son used to find comfort as a baby the second Radiohead, Travis, Rufus Wainwright & Coldplay was put on (I’m not a fan of Coldplay). To this day, when asked to bring music to class for share time, he’s the only one who jams to Greenday & Queen.

    We also would receive some complaints because we’d let our son chose songs to burn CDs as party favors for his birthday. Looking back, I think at one point I was listening to one of the discs and asked my husband, “Is this song about one man’s need for a sex change and did we put it on a 5 yr old birthday party’s goodie bag?”

  • That kid has the moves!

    As for Coldplay, one of my greatest concert experiences ever goes like this:
    Parachutes Australian Tour around 2001? 2002?
    They play the concert, they play the encore. Everyone is all loved up after listening to Clocks.
    They leave the stage, the lights come on, 90% of the crowd leaves. Chris comes back on stage, looks at the crowd and says “Do you mind if we play a few of our new songs?” and then PLAYS FOR ANOTHER HALF HOUR to the couple hundred of us left, standing in the blaring lights as the staff clean up bottles around us.
    SO awesome.

  • Jennsa

    Man, she’s got some mad dance skills.

    Must go home now and listen to Viva la Vida on repeat. For hours. 🙂

  • That was the best 3:48 of my day. What a beautiful family you have…

  • I flinched at reading “VAMANOS” and I don’t even have kids! One day with our twin nieces watching the same damn Dora video over and over and over again was all it took.

    As cute and hilarious as Leta is in that video, I think my favourite part is the way Chuck walks back and forth in the background. There’s something terribly human about that dog!

  • Jan

    Leta may, as some have suggested, be mortified seeing this as a teenager BUT, believe me, she’ll LOVE it when she’s a grown woman. What could be better than a little girl doing some kitchen-Coldplay-pajama dancing with her daddy?

    Also, Leta RAWKS the moves.

  • Thank God it’s Coldplay. My childhood dancing consisted of tunes by John Denver. I love Viva La Vida. Now I’ll think of it as Viva La Leta.

  • katie

    My son is 3… like you, I don’t allow much children’s music in my house because I’d like to survive his childhood with at least some of my hair intact.

    His favorite song is “Kids Oracular” by MGMT. The mere fact that it’s called “Kids” would normally prevent me from knowingly play it in my house, but one day while driving him to school the song came on and he yelled from the back seat “MAMAN! TURN IT UP! ISSS MY NEW FAVOWIT SOOOOONG!”

    If only I had realized that I would now hear that about 700 times a day.


    Children can ruin the best songs.

  • This is the damn cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Leta, you are awesome – AWESOME.

  • PS. I almost forgot, I was going to suggest a cure for Coldplay. The first time my little brother heard My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday (, he was cured of the Viva La Vida.

  • Love it! My son’s favorite song right now is a toss up between Bob Marley’s Jah Live (only for the line that says, “Rasta Your God is Dead”) and JJ Heller’s song Small. Given that JJ Heller is a Christian singer songwriter and Bob……well Bob is Bob…..I find it to be insane!!! And I love him dearly. And we love music. As I drive my kids to school in the morning for 25 minutes to get 9 miles (yes we live in LA), we sing together. I do allow kid music…..but only cool kid music…like the Putomayo playgound stuff and Ziggy’s children’s album and Dan Zanes, he is an awesome folk artist. Loved watching Leta dance!!

  • Laura June

    In terms of kids music growing up, I can only remember listening to Raffi, Fred Penner and Sharon, Lois & Bram.
    The music geered towards kids today seems positively torturous in comparison.

    Other than that it was the Traveling Wilburys, the Eagles, Supertramp and the like. I <3 my parents for that.

  • Sherpa Tat

    I don’t let my kids listen to kid music either.
    Our house favorite is “Ahead of my Time” by The Teddy Bears.
    Go ahead, try not to dance with that one playing – we all jump around like crazy. Love it.

  • All music is uncool somewhere. We must rise above. And has she heard the Jon Schmidt “Taylor Swift Meets Coldplay” Youtube?

  • Robin

    This brought such joy to much day! Thank you for sharin!

  • Anonymous

    The kid is a natural at finding/feeling rhythm. Get that girl some piano lessons, she’ll be great!!

  • Abbe

    When I was about Leta’s age, I was obsessed with CCR’s Down on the Corner. I made my mother mark the ‘right’ side of the record, so I’d know which side to play. I still have the record and to this day, when that song comes on, I’m back in our old house, dancing across the hardwood in my socks, making up lyrics because my 5-year old brain couldn’t decipher all of the words.

    I hope when Leta is grown, she has the same kinds of memories!

  • Nicole S.

    Very very cute, but I had to mute my computer lest my head explode. That song is just awful. Probably as awful as a Coco kiss right after she’s had a feces breath mint.

  • She looks surprising similar to Chris Martin when Coldplay appeared on SNL and played that song. 🙂

  • Jessica

    That was awesome =) thanks for making my day!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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