Dog on Fleas | When I Get Little

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United States - NY - Upstate NY

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Kids/Family: General Children's Music Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Vocal
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When I Get Little

by Dog on Fleas

Real, rootsy original music for kids and adults with great harmonies, inspired playing and intelligent lyrics and music.
Genre: Kids/Family: General Children's Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. When I Get Little
3:12 $0.99
2. Give it Away
3:30 $0.99
3. Big Black Snake
3:22 $0.99
4. The Moon Song
3:04 $0.99
5. Ridin' on a Pony
2:55 $0.99
6. Come on Down
3:37 $0.99
7. Honey Baby
1:51 $0.99
8. Green Grass of Summer
2:34 $0.99
9. Mon Pain Perdu
2:31 $0.99
10. The Coo Coo
3:03 $0.99
11. Peace Will Come
3:26 $0.99
12. What's Behind the Wall
2:56 $0.99
13. Trees
2:24 $0.99
14. Babeo
2:06 $0.99
15. Scratch My Back
1:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When I Get Little, the 4th and latest CD from Dog on Fleas, is full of Zen koans, tongue twisters, nonsense and completely sensical lyrics balanced atop fresh, mostly acoustic music in loose and honest performances. The soulful singing of Debbie Lan, John Hughes, Dean Jones and David Levine blends with piano, guitar, fiddle, bass, drums, mandolin and horns in creative, fun arrangements of original songs.

In theory this is music for kids, but in reality it’s good, heartfelt music that people of all ages love. There is a broad range of musical styles: the Cajun flavored title cut, an African Balaphone-driven version of the traditional Coo Coo, the frantic “Mon Pain Perdu”, a song about pirates and French toast sung in French, and the beautiful, hopeful “Peace Will Come”, a future classic by Debbie Lan.

“It’s a wonderful group with dynamic musicians and songs that are intelligent and just as much fun for adults as for kids.”
- Sarah Craig, manager, Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY

“Dog on Fleas’ music works because they have obvious respect for their audience of all ages. Dog on Fleas has produced of the best CDs for kids I’ve heard this year.”
- Kathy O’Connell, Metro Kids Sound Off, Philadelphia

Warren Truitt, Head Children’s Librarian at the New York City Public Library writes at his blog

"This is music from the earth, an autobiography of the rocks and dirt, rivers and breezes of the Hudson Valley, somehow miraculously channeled through the musicians known as dog on fleas. On their latest masterpiece, When I Get Little, they work their musical magic and make new originals sound like Reconstruction-era classics, while transforming traditional tunes into vibrant and alive Dog on Fleas creations. Several years of performing and composing together seem to have made the band an impressively cohesive unit, which is a rare thing in kids' music. It doesn't hurt to have three songwriters and four lead singers in the same group, either.

Once again, Dog on Fleas call upon the spirit of The Band for songs like the witty "When I Get Little", the I-can't-help-but-dance "The Moon Song" (psst, grownups, listen for references to Bowie, Pink Floyd, and the Who), and the lazy front porch shuffle "Come On Down". Check out the splendorous pastoral rock of "Green Grass of Summer", a song that would certainly make Teenage Fanclub jealous. "Honeybaby" is a sweet and simple ode to a child that cleverly uses Gingerbread Boy imagery, while the rowdy "Ridin' On a Pony" contains some impressively complex vocal gymnastics. And I dare you to try and sit still during the Cajun raveup "Mon Pain Perdu". If Ray Charles went to Memphis and recorded a song about his love of forestry, it would sound like the John Hughes-sung "Trees"; while pianist Debbie Lan says "Peace Will Come" if we practice kindness, love, service, honesty, joy, and unity. David Levine's "Babeo", besides being a precious song, is modern Americana: I suspect you will find this very tune in an American Folk Song compendium somewhere down the line. And "The Coo Coo", well, this song defies categorization. I guarantee you won't hear another tune like it on a kids' album outside of West Africa this year. The album ends with the 4/4, 2/4 rhythm workout "Scratch My Back", in which you can clearly hear the glee in singer Dean Jones' voice. And the whole project is anchored by Chris Cullo's invisible drumming, meaning that it's so well done and integrated into the songs, you don't notice it at first. Go back and listen again for the brilliant drum work.

What makes this album so enjoyable for all ages is the fact that the band weave messages of world brotherhood into the rockin' party ska song and nursery rhyme allegory "What's Behind the Wall"; of the cyclical reality of life (and a political barb) into the tender "Big Black Snake"; of pay-it-forward philosophy into the loping "Give It Away", and of the reliabilty of nature into the riverboat dance tune "The Moon Song", which contains my favorite line: "Forces greater than math control us / We're swimming in a cosmic bath, don't you know it".

This is adult music for children, kids' music for grownups. What ties everything together, though, is a feeling of global kindness and a love of and appreciation for nature and the gifts she has to offer, as well as taking joy in the tiniest details of life. Listen to this album with your kids, and often. They may not get the deeper messages at first but their little intuitions will pick up on the good vibes, on the fact that these musicians and singers have meaningful things to say. But don't think that this is a dour, social commentary-heavy album. In fact, make sure you listen to When I Get Little without your shoes on, else you'll dance right out of 'em."

Catch Dog on Fleas as they perform around the East Coast and beyond, and check out



to write a review

Erica Chase-Salerno

LOVE this! Our favorite kids' album!
All I can say is, hooray for Dog On Fleas! They did it again!

As our favorite kids' band, we categorize their stuff (especially this new album and their last one, Cranberry Sauce Flotilla) as kids' music that's not crap. This is music we adore, not annoying or poor quality like some of the other stuff we've acquired since we entered the kids' music genre at our house around 3 years ago (can you believe some of the stuff that sells as "music" these days?! Yeesh!). If your music collection does not yet include this album, get it - you'll be glad you did. It's also a good way to get to know the group - I think this is their best album yet. I've been buying additional copies to give as gifts and the response is the same - finally, good kids' music the parents can enjoy, too!

We listen to this album all the time, it's such great music. Love the varied instruments (especially fiddle) and acoustic sounds, fun and clever lyrics, toe tappin' rhythms and singable songs. I listen to this by choice, even when I'm riding alone in the car, it's that good.

What are our tastes, just to give you some perspective? Our kids' music collection includes good stuff by Pete Seeger, Dan Zanes, Putumayo, as well as classical music and jazz. But Dog On Fleas is our hands-down favorite, and "When I Get Little" is the best album. Buy two - one for you and your kid/s, and one to give away. Gift-giving season is coming, plus it's always somebody's birthday...the perfect present.

My one request? MORE! When's the next Dog On Fleas album coming out?!

~ Erica

Judy Ellis

Loved the combinations of genres, styles and sounds. There is something here for everyone . . . young and younger . . . whether you want to just lie back and listen, bounce around or clap to the beat. You can listen on many levels time after time for many years to come.

Bruce Triggs

Coo-Coo is a great song
It took me two casual listens to notice that Coo-coo was the same as the one Big Brother and the Holding Company used to play with Janis Joplin on their first album before they made it big. I always liked that song, even though it came out the year I was born. I may get the record just for that.


I love this as much as my toddler does!
The songs float through my head throughtout the day and my four year old and I sing them together. Sometimes I hear my son singing a little snippet of a song. Last night, he was singing "buddy up, buddy!" He loves the songs as much as I do. They are intelligent, catchy, wholesome and fun. I highly reccommend this CD! (I fast forward through the song about snakes, though - we still haven't had a family chat about life and death.)