At the age of 69, Neil Sedaka is still an indefatigably cheerful performer, and has a lifetime’s worth of catchy songs that he doesn’t mind overhauling. These characteristics serve him well on his first children’s album, “Waking Up Is Hard To Do.”
Yes, the title track is a reworking of his No. 1 1962 hit, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.” On the original, he sang: “They say that breaking up is hard to do/Now I know, I know that it’s true/Don’t say that this is the end/Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again.” Here, he goes with “They say that waking up is hard to do/Wear a smile, don’t you be blue/Just rub the sleep from your eyes/Instead of going back to bed you gotta stretch and face the day.” Sedaka follows the pattern throughout the CD, whose booklet doubles as a coloring book.
The original versions of the songs were all written or co-written by him, though in some cases, they were most famously sung by other artists . “Where the Boys Are,” the Connie Francis hit, becomes “Where the Toys Are.” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” best known as The Captain and Tennille’s signature song, becomes “Lunch Will Keep Us Together.”