Q&A: Sean McCollough, recently released album for kids, 'This Is Our House'

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How do you feel about Raffi?

I like Raffi. I’ve even done a couple of his songs over the years, but I lean more towards Pete Seeger.

Do you have any children of your own?

Three; two are teens.

Did they help you with the album?

Certainly having kids is a useful thing if you want to play music for kids, simply because you have some insight into what kids are like.

You ever play for kids before now?

I’ve been playing music for kids since the first of my three children was born 18 years ago; mostly for elementary school age kids, but also some middle schools and high schools.

What age is the album geared to?

Mostly elementary school; some geared a little older. I tend to play folk songs for all ages—the music transcends generations.

Do you have a song you particularly like?

The song I play most often—that I’ve played consistently, the longest—is called “Mole in the Ground.”

Sing a line?

“If I was a mole in the ground, I would root that mountain down.” I think kids like it so much because it’s silly, and it has a kind of meaning for adults, too. We all want to be able to root that mountain down.

Did you write the music for the album?

Of 15 songs, five are originals and 10 are traditional folk.

Which of your own songs particularly strikes your fancy?

The oldest one on there, been kind of a hit for me over the years, is called “Peanut Butter and Jelly.”

What was your inspiration?

Just watching my son and his friend play when they were about three. My other inspiration was my best friend when I was that same age. We were nicknamed Peanut Butter and Jelly by our classmates at preschool, because we always stuck together.

Were you Peanut Butter, or Jelly?

No one ever differentiated.

Any idea what happened to the other kid?

My best friend was a girl, Elizabeth, and we are still in touch. Because we became brother and sister when her mom married my dad; I think we were like 5. And the end of the story, in a modern turn of events, our parents got divorced. But we still consider each other brother and sister.

This Is Our House is on sale at Disc Exchange or at seanmccollough.com

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