Polisar's Children's Tune Grows Up With 'Juno'

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If that folk song playing under the opening credits of the quirky new Oscar-buzz comedy "Juno" vaguely rings a bell -- well, you're under 40, right?

And you probably first heard it at a school assembly or children's library hour or maybe on your own Fisher-Price record player. "All I Want Is You" was recorded in 1977 by Silver Spring's own Barry Louis Polisar, a pioneer in the now-exploding kiddie music field.

Not exactly a chart-topper. How did he end up on this year's most anticipated hipster-rock soundtrack alongside the Moldy Peaches, Cat Power and Belle & Sebastian?

"Purely by accident," Polisar told us. He said director Jason Reitman was looking around on the Internet for a song of a similar name, stumbled upon the track from Polisar's second album, "My Brother Thinks He's a Banana and Other Provocative Songs for Children," and fell for it.

"I get a modest sum," said Polisar, 53, the father of 20-year-old twins. "And I get street credibility."

The up-tempo harmonica-and-guitar ballad "All I Want Is You," with the words, "If I were a flower growing wild and free/All I'd want is you to be my sweet honeybee," is more love song than nursery ditty, but then Polisar's vision of children's music was always different. His subversive songs about nose-picking and throwing up got him briefly banned by Anne Arundel County schools in the early '90s, around the time he was gigging at the White House Easter Egg Roll and hosting a local kids' TV show, "Field Trip."

Still, Polisar was ahead of his time -- never got to sell out arenas like the Wiggles or Hannah Montana -- so he's enjoying the sweet vindication of being rediscovered via the Internet. Teva, the sandal company, used his song "Water" for a TV ad, and L.A. costume punks Radioactive Chicken Heads did a raucous cover of his "I Looked Into the Mirror, What Did the Mirror Say?"

"All these folks who grew up on my songs are now in rock bands," he laughed. "There's talk of a tribute album."

Tony Snow, Staying Dry on the Fly

How busy is Tony Snow? So busy that the former White House spokesman was applying deodorant moments before his commencement speech Saturday at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Snow told the 450 grads that he forgot his tie and antiperspirant when he packed for the trip, so he had to pick up replacements and put on both -- behind a robe held by a university staffer -- just before going onstage.

"I figured, 'What the heck,' " he told us yesterday. "I was going to give people a sense of the wonderful hospitality down there."

Since leaving the White House three months ago, Snow has been racing around the country giving speeches, doing radio and TV, working on a book proposal -- all while living with Stage 4 cancer (in remission) and chemo. "Stage 4 ain't what it used to be," he said. "I've been very active, and I'm feeling great."


Splitting?: Pamela Anderson and her husband of two months, Rick Salomon. The two married in a quickie Las Vegas wedding Oct. 6, but Anderson kicked him to the curb, blaming "irreconcilable differences" in divorce papers filed Friday in L.A. But hold on! The two were spotted shopping over the weekend, and yesterday she posted this on her Web site: "P.S. We're working things out." Will these two crazy kids patch things up? Will their planned reality show ever happen? Or will Anderson have three exes brawling over her?

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Condi Rice, shopping at the Chevy Chase Saks on Saturday with her security detail and two big Suburbans parked out front. The secretary of state wore khakis and a knit St. John's-style cardigan, stayed a couple hours and was seen buying -- well, we don't want to ruin anyone's holiday surprise.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company