Having trouble persuading a preschool or elementary school kid to put on a mask and keep it on? Southold children's rocker Brady Rymer’s newest song and video, "Good Looking Mask," may encourage them to cheerfully wear one.
Rymer, a three-time best children’s album Grammy nominee, wrote an upbeat song about kids protecting each other. The accompanying music video features children from Long Island and afar in clips they sent him wearing colorful masks as they ride bicycles, skateboard, dance and more.
They came from as near as James (J.B) Browder, 4, collecting eggs at his family’s Browder’s Bird Farm in Mattituck while wearing his mask covered in baseballs, to as far as a girl from Finland who sent in the video of herself wearing a mask while riding her horse. Even the horse wears a mask.
FUN AND HELPFUL
Rymer decided to write the song and produce the video along with the members of his Little Band That Could as a simple way to make children more accepting of something new and unfamiliar that they are being asked to do.
"Education is also part of being a children’s singer and songwriter," Rymer says. "It seemed that something like that could not only be fun and cast mask-wearing in a sunnier light but also be helpful. I hope the video makes kids feel good about putting on their mask."
The song and video, released in mid-October, marks the second time Rymer has incorporated pandemic information into a children’s song. In March, when the World Health Organization first came out with recommendations to protect against the virus, Rymer wrote a song called "Do The Five."
In that video, he sings about five recommendations — washing hands, coughing into the crook of your elbow, avoiding touching your face, keeping a distance from others and staying home as much as possible. His daughter, Daisy, 21, who was home from Tulane University due to quarantine, pantomimes the different recommendations in a TikTok-style dance as her father performs. "We easily came up with some funny dance moves," Daisy says.
FANS GET INVOLVED
To make the new video, Rymer employed his Facebook page to ask fans to send a photo or video of themselves doing something they like to do while wearing their masks. "We got all these really beautiful videos back," he says.
Braedyn MacLeod, 10, of Jamesport, and her brother, Connor, 7, sent in a video of themselves playing with their Labrador puppies while wearing a flowered mask and blue-striped mask, respectively. "It’s really exciting to see ourselves in the music video," Braedyn says.
Brothers Kevin, 10, and Brian, 7, Morgan of the Bronx sent in a video of themselves doing a break-dancing routine that Brian cooked up, while purposely choosing to wear a Batman and Spider-Man mask, respectively. "If you wear a mask, you can save lives like superheroes," Kevin says.
The lyrics of the song emphasize that. "Zoey protects Marcos. Marcos protects Jane…," Rymer sings. "We’ll protect each other, it’s a selfless, loving act … Everybody doing what they should, and looking good, in a good-looking mask." The video is available free on YouTube and the song can be downloaded at bradyrymer.com.
Deirdre Varga is a kindergarten teacher in West Long Branch, N.J. She saw the request for videos on Rymer’s Facebook page and taped her son, Bodie, 7, riding on his skateboard while wearing a mask with shark’s teeth.
"The catchy tune behind it will help the kids understand that we are all doing this to help each other," Varga says, reinforcing the idea that children have a role as part of a wider community. "These are messages we begin teaching in Kindergarten."