Friday, December 4, 2009

Nursery Rhymes

Ah, Friday already! I'll begin with my wee story for the Loose Bloggers Consortium; this group of writers are awesome. A word or phrase is given and each week, we write about it. Check out the wonderful blogs of the other members:
This week, it's nursery rhymes.

The PC brigade, of whom I have met several members, have decided that nursery rhymes have to 'clean up their act'! 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' with his three meagre bags of fine merino wool is to become 'baa baa rainbow sheep' better get used to non-dyed, rainbow jumpers from now on, girlfriend, Humpty Dumpty, our horizontally challenged friend gets put back together again, no doubt with the help of all the King's horses watch where you're putting that hoof, mate! and all the King's men except they're on their allocated tea break and then they have an hour of diversity workshops to get through. I assume Little Bo Peep will have that staff taken off her for breaching ''elf and safety" procedures; either that or arrested for leaving those poor little sheep alone for all of five minutes; "find their own way 'ome? Are you MAD??".

The reasons are varied; a 'black' sheep apparently alienates young black children and humpty getting smashed not in the drunken that would be a good nursery rhyme upsets the youngsters sensitive sensibilities. This is complete and utter nonsense. Ask a child...any child...what they think of these nursery rhymes and the answers will be varied but I can guarantee that no child was scarred or left shivering in a corner, greetin' their eyes out because Humpty got yolked.

Regardless of whether you agree that the world should continue on it's PC road or not, it is not children that fuel the fire, it is adults. My opinion on political correctness is varied; I'm glad certain derogatory terms are no longer tolerated but the child given a warning by the police this is only one example of many for drawing a chalk game on the road is ludicrous.

Nursery rhymes are dark, they were ways of spreading the word, news of disease; Ring a Ring a Roses is about the plague although some dispute this... the King's policies; Jack and Jill is to do with taxes, alcohol and politics. Of course, children have no interest in the meaning, until they get older and ask. By trying to make everything cosy and wonderful, children learn nothing. We may not want to fill their little heads with the ills of the world but when they have the capacity to ask, then we tell them the truth; kids don't need sugar coating with everything-they are perfectly capable of coping and learning without pain and fear.

I have a full house of weans, wummin and weirdos tonight I mean that with love so my receipt and recipes will follow. Have a wonderful weekend!


Grannymar said...

I think I must have the mind of a small child, because I NEVER asked what the rhymes meant.

Ginger said...

We assign meaning to whatever it is we are talking about. For example, we've decided that f*ck is a bad word. When someone says "f*ck you!", that's bad.. but when you really think about it, isn't it a compliment? ;)

Anyway. You get the idea.

I don't plan to "protect" my kid from everything. My hope is that I can teach him how to differentiate between what is harmful and what is good. I don't buy into political correctness, other than it makes people think twice about what is appropriate to say, thus sparing the targeted person hurt feelings for a minute. But it's kind of a cop out. I find that people still think the derrogatory word they would've used anyway, and that the PC word becomes a mask for that meaning..
How do you join the Consortium? It sounds cool.

Helen McGinn said...

Grannymar, it's the differences in us all that makes the world a wonderful place. :O)

Ginger, *L*, yes, yes it is! You'd be great in the consortium; go see Conrad at ; he's the ringleader! ;O)

Janice said...

They certainly are, and what they hear at school is far worse! My two survived and after some hairy years in their teens, they have turned out into fairly balanced individuals.

Conrad said...

Bravo, Helen. You and I have very much the same ideas on these matters. And, I think you put it beautifully!

I'm like Grannymar, too. NONE of us worried about the content. We were all rhythm and action!

Rummuser said...

As children, we learn things that condition us for the rest of our lives but somehow the nursery rhymes despite having been made up with dark themes, never seem to influence us. We simply have grwon up without realizing the dark side of them.

Protege said...

Great post! And so true, sometimes I think back to when I was a child, how differently we looked at things. Today everyone is so worried about insulting someone that we forget how to have fun. And children are more resilient than we think.;)
Have a great weekend,

Melissa B. said...

That sheep's wool is going to make someone a colorful sweater! And thanks for the writers' links...I'm always interested in meeting new folks!

Peanut-Butter Kitty said...

Hi Helen,

Growing up, my mom would tell us the story of the "Old Lady in the Shoe" but she would put her own twist on it. She would put our names in the story and make up little things about us. My sister and I would listen for hours, and laugh, laugh, laugh.

In response to your visit on Nov 30th, I only have the one blog and it's kind of pathetic. I do spend hours reading everyone else's!

My sister says "HI", I told her about your blog, she wants to visit Scotland and Ireland.


Judy Harper said...

You've changed your site a bit! I like it! I'm like Grannymar, I don't remember questioning the rhymes, though I did imagine what was happening, I do remember trying to understand the one about the black birds. I mean, if you cook the pie, how could they fly out! And how could you get that many blackbirds in a pie! lol

Unknown Mami said...

Helen, you've brought up some very painful childhood memories for me. To this day I can not crack an egg without breaking down in tears. I try to put it back together again, but I never can.

5thsister said...

Political correctness run amuck!

I left you some bling over at my blog. Please stop by to pick it up!

Anonymous said...

Very well put... and so true!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That sheep cracked me up!! I have a little something for you on my sunday post!

Shelle said...

I have read nursery rhymes from time to time to my kids, but they just confuse me. really...maybe I'm just too simple. I do like to remind the kids that sometimes they can't be put back together HD. PC just makes me crack up....and that's not the HD kind.