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Five classic hardcore songs surprisingly okay for kids

Bryan Langdo got in touch with us saying he had an article about hardcore songs for kids. We’re not responsible for any damage caused by moshing youngsters 😉

I spent my teenage years listening to hardcore and punk. Many years later, and many other musical interests later, hardcore is still my starting point—usually the first thing I go to when figuring out what to listen to. With kids around, though, I’ve become keenly aware of the lyrics, volume, and aggression in it. No wonder I used to hide it from my parents!

You can only listen to so much kids’ music before you have to put your foot down. I started with Husker Du one day on the way to the food store. “Chartered Trips” ended, and I heard two voices from the backseat yell, “Play it again!” Another time I had “Pay to Cum” on. (I didn’t tell them what it was called.) And their reaction was insane. Jumping, laughing, shouting, “Why is he singing so fast?” They loved it.

I realized I was onto something. So I dug through my music and my memories and looked for other child-friendly songs. I was looking for songs that don’t have any cursing or adult themes, that aren’t too aggressive, and that have some kind of hook that’ll grab a kid’s attention. I found five.

1. Circle Jerks – “Wonderful”

Sure it’s sorta tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn’t stop this track from being very child-friendly. “Be kind, say thank you.” I’m sure the same words have come out of Barney’s mouth at some point. But he can’t shout them the way Keith Morris can. This is like hardcore gone hippie. There’s even some whistling.

2. Bad Brains – “Sailin’ On”

Super fast. High energy. Bad Brains are the perfect band for your ADHD kid. Okay, I’m not being totally serious. But this song, like so many of theirs, has a positive message: take life in stride. Plus there’s that “Aa Aa Aah” part for your little ones to sing along with.

3. Descendents – “Silly Girl”

This is just a good old love song, incredibly poppy, and sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. And since frontman Milo Aukerman studied hard and became a biochemist, he’s like, a good role model too. NOTE: If you have no moral compass, your kids will love “Enjoy.”

4. 7 Seconds – “99 Red Balloons”

Apart from the occasional F-bomb, 7 Seconds is a band you want your kids listening to. They sing about being yourself, treating others well, and steering clear of drugs. This song is exactly what you think it is: a hardcore version of that early 80s piece of synth-pop. And with the back and forth between fast and slow, kids love it.

5. Gorilla Biscuits – “Start Today”

This is the title track of a classic NYHC album, And while most of the album is loud, fast, and all around aggressive, this song has a harmonica solo. Key lyric: “My room’s a mess.” Tell your kids the song’s about keeping their rooms clean. Tell them it’s cool—it’s hardcore—to clean your room.

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