Album: Various artists, The Rough Guide to World Playtime (WORLD MUSIC NETWORK)

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The Independent Culture

Singing games are synonymous with childhood, and their roots go back to Homer. Many of these come from expat communities, for whom they are a way of reinforcing ethnic identity. We getsongs from Equatorial Guineans inSpain, Indians in Canada, Algerians inFrance, and so on. My favourites are byKiran Ahluwalia, born in India but livingin New York, and Aurelio Martinez,a Garifuna singer from Honduras –tracks not from street kids, but slickprofessionals, alas.