My friend reported on Facebook this morning that her child came home from school singing ‘Baa baa pink sheep’. A quick internet search revealed that my worst suspicions were true. Some nurseries and schools have banned Baa baa Black Sheep so as not to cause offence.
Is this not political correctness gone mad?
This made me think about other nursery rhymes, much loved by both my children and my grandchildren.
Georgy Porgy is a definite one for the chop. He kissed the girls and made them cry. Now, if the girls can’t even kiss grandma now, imagine the trauma caused by Georgie Porgy’s unwanted attention. That one’s binned then.
Mary had a little lamb. Hmmm…..it’s fleece was white as snow. Clearly an example of white supremacy. What about the other sheep whose fleeces were a bit imperfect? Yup….that one’s out too.
There was a crooked man……oops. This one is a non-starter. Could we change ‘crooked’ to ‘bent’ maybe. Erm….no. ‘Slightly lopsided’? Nope. We’ll have to ditch that one.
What are little boys made of? That’s got to go as it is defamatory to boys in general. I actually know lots of boys who are sugar and spice and lots of girls who are snails and puppy dogs’ tails. Anyway, it is insulting to snails. And puppy dogs.
Three blind mice. Well, aside from the poem being about blind creatures, that farmer’s wife exhibits extreme cruelty in the blatant cutting off of innocent creatures’ tails. Has to go.
More animal cruelty in Horsey Horsey. Not even allowed a little rest.
Pop goes the weasel – more animal cruelty!
Ding dong bell, pussy’s in the well. Dear me. Even more animal cruelty.
Tom Tom the piper’s son. Crikey! He stole a pig and then made off. When he was caught he was beaten. We can’t be reading that to our little ones.
As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives! No, no, no.
Looking down a list of nursery rhymes for inspiration brought to my attention how realistic they are for us today. Life in ConDem Britain:
Diddle Diddle Dumpling – having to wear his trousers in bed because he can’t afford the heating.
Jack Sprat and his wife having to share a dinner because they only got one meal from the Food Bank.
Little Tommy Tucker – busking on the streets so he could eat.
Old Mother Hubbard – when she got there the cupboard was bare. Another candidate for the Food Bank.
The North wind doth blow and Rain Rain Go Away – definitely linked to the Environment Agency job and budget cuts.
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She could afford a shoe?!?
Pease Pudding – clearly a northern delicacy – but having to eat it nine days old? Yuck.
I seriously wonder whether common sense has just gone out of the window. I also wonder whether anyone with black skin is seriously worried that children sing about a sheep who happens to have a black fleece? It’s a good job that nobody in authority heard the lullaby that my mother-in-law used to sing to her children. Now that would have been banned!