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Middle Eastern Songs and Dances for Children
Middle Eastern Songs and Dances for Children
The very American and folksy children's tune "Old McDonald" is a standard for new parents. But those tired of listening to the same old children's songs may want to give a closer listen to our Global Hit today... "Middle Eastern Songs and Dances for Children." Host Marco Werman has more. Listen to today's Global Hit

September 08, 2005
The very American and folksy "Old MacDonald" is a familiar tune for millions of Americans. But those tired of listening to the same old children's songs may want to listen closely to our Global Hit today. The words may be unfamiliar -- but the idea is the same.

That's "Ali Baba'nin Ciftligi " -- or Ali Baba's Farm. It's a Turkish song. And like "Old MacDonald" it's all about farm animals.

Ali Baba's Farm is on a new CD called "Middle Eastern Songs and Dances for Children." It's by the group "Anatolia," based in Massachusetts.

Founder Edward Hines is a public school teacher and a specialist in Middle Eastern culture and music.

Edward Hines: "Ali Baba's farm is a song that every Turkish kid grew up with. And is nothing more than "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" in Turkish. Even though kids don't speak Turkish they get it. And that's the whole point is to give them something they have to figure out on their own and then they say, "Whoa, I know what that's all about. It's about animals."

The CD features eleven other Turkish folk songs. Hines says the group got the idea of making a children's CD from a Lebanese woman in Texas. She called looking for a way to teach kids about Middle Eastern music and culture.

Edward Hines: "That's when I said, okay, I'll do it. I'll put together something. So this is the first in a series of cds, videos and teacher's guides deisgned to introduce westerners and americans to middle eastern cultures. And I think right now that's kind of a good thing to do.

Hines says Anatolia's next project will be a collection of children's songs in Arabic.