The Potty Train is one of my most popular songs.
It came about after being asked to give a talk at Babson College to the Entrepreneur school. The talk was about HealthRock, a company I founded to use music to educate people about health. Kind of like Schoolhouse Rock…but HealthRock. It turns out that music is used around the world as a form of health education. People can remember the words and the rhythms to learn public health messages.
When you think of most of the world’s religions, the prayers were passed down through repetition of songs and melodies that the masses could remember. Think Catholic masses or Jewish Torah portions. So when the World Health Organization or other major health organizations want to teach the masses of a region to wash their hands to prevent diarrhea, or to boil water to prevent cholera, they teach a song.
Pretty cool. And it works. What’s really amazing is that the children often are the ones who learn and remind their parents, so learning often goes from the “bottom up” instead of from the “top down.”
And example is in South America when a rural area transitioned from outdoor toilets to inside plumbing. When the toilets were outside, the people washed their hands afterwards because it seemed “dirty.” With inside toilets, the adults stopped washing their hands because it seemed “clean.” That’s when the diarrhea started. It took a song about hand washing to teach the kids, and the kids reminded their parents. After the song was played in the village, diarrhea cases significantly declined.
So that brings me back to my talk at Babson college. One of the faculty who heard my talk was a female lawyer. She had a two year old that she was trying to toilet train but nothing was working. She had bought every device and book on the market and nothing worked; she was totally flustered. She asked me if I had a song about toilet training. I didn’t. But I told her I would go home and write one. And that is how the song came to be.
After I recorded the song, it became part of my HealthRock Preschool Edition. The woman in charge of the CD production called me one day with a complaint. She said right after the CD was published, she and her family took a car trip from New Jersey to Washington DC, and her little boy, who was getting toilet trained, sat in the back seat and wanted the song played again and again the entire trip. He definitely learned how to come aboard and take a seat on The Potty Train. Click Here to listen. If you like it, please post a comment or share.