Was I brainwashed? Who cares, I'm happy!
When I was in my early 20s I bought the album on CD. I was so happy to see it again! My favorite song as an adult is "Helping." I just love the last line: "Some kind of help is the kind of help that helping's all about, and some kind of help is the kind of help...we all can do without." From my childhood (preschool mainly) I remember the first three songs very clearly. I agree with every word you've said about this beautiful album. We never would have imagined the backward turn our world has taken.
Free to Be You and Me was a hugely impactful album for me. I can sing all of the songs, and I often do, to my daughter. Thanks for this tribute. I actually wonder a lot about this album today, because it really was a big step forward in creating new spaces for growing kids to imagine themselves into. And yet, there are pieces that could use some new elements. For example, the Housework track I now think misses the mark. Certainly women should not be forced into housework, and certainly ads are false portrayals of real life. Yet, being home-makers (together, as a family) is something I think needs to be celebrated much more today. We abandoned our homes and our housework, and I think we are all less for it because of this. But I do feel OK to cry because of Rosie Greer :)
I'll never forget when this came out. I loved the book and the album and my family did too. I think it helped to contribute to them becoming caring, thoughtful adults. They all are horrified at the backward steps our country has taken in the last few years.