22 Aug 2012

AT IT AGAIN .......

- A -
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!

- B -

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
He didn't get bruised,
He didn't get bumped,
Humpty Dumpty bungee jumped!

- C -
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Made Humpty happy again. 

Which version do you prefer? A, being the version I knew and loved as a child OR B, and C, the sanitised versions deemed more suitable for the generation for which it it is feared traditional rhymes may be dying out/causing ongoing psychological damage leading to murder and drunkenness - delete depending on your point of view.

Launched by The English Folk Dance and Song Society this new initiative, The Full English, aims to revive songs that have largely fallen into obscurity ......

OR does it?

Yes, I agree that its sad that many of these songs are not as well known as they were when I was a lass BUT I fear that just like the below examples not only will they be revived BUT, just as we discussed HERE in this post about fairy stories, they will be changed to make them somehow more 'acceptable'.

  • 'BAA-BAA BLACK SHEEP' * Worried that they could be accused of racism in 2006  two Oxfordshire nurseries changed the words from 'Baa-Baa Black Sheep' to 'Baa-Baa Rainbow Sheep'.
  • 'WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR?' A 2009 government funded song book had the words changed to remove any references to alcohol, the name changed to 'What Shall We Do With A Grumpy Pirate?', the lyrics 'Put him in the brig until he’s sober’ replaced with 'Do a little jig and make him smile’.
  • 'THIS LITTLE PIGGY' * Was adapted so that instead of eating 'roast beef' the third little piggy ate 'ice cream' in order to avoid offending vegetarians. I only hope the ice cream was dairy free in case it offends those with a lactose intolerance. (Not that it makes any difference to me as my little piggy always ate cheese and bread).
Hmm, interesting to think on where it will all end. I wonder will .......

'JACK AND JILL' * Became 'Jack And James' in order that we don't upset the Gay community?
'MISS POLLY HAD A DOLLY' */POLLY PUT THE KETTLE ON' * Could be sexist in that it is seen as the women's role to be both mother and domestic goddess?
'Little Bo Peep' To be prosecuted by animals charities for 'loosing her sheep' and not knowing where to find them?
'A BEGGING I WILL GO' To be banned in case it promotes, well, begging?

* Recommended as fun sites to visit.

Know any other rhymes that should be changed in case they caused offence?


Kelly said...

Political Correctness has just gone too far. Leave the nursery rhymes the way they were written!!

Just my opinion. :)

DMS said...

I think the rhymes should be left the way they are. I learned them when I was young and turned out just fine (or did I). I don't think we need to shelter kids from things breaking, sailors being drunk, etc. These rhymes usually came about for a reason. I am wondering if Jack Sprat will need to be changed (don't want people to be concerned with weight). Georgy Porgy probably needs to be changed asap.


Asha said...

I too wish it remained the same. Somethings are best left unchanged :)
What do you think?

Suko said...

Hahaha! I prefer the original Humpty Dumpty rhyme. As for the others, I'd leave them alone, except for the first one (and perhaps others) which might sound racist. We should remain sensitive to this, without taking it to an extreme to be politically correct.

Elisa Hirsch said...

I love the old versions the best, but I have to admit "B" had me laughing out loud. I just wasn't expecting that ending *still smiling*

GMR said...

Really? Good grief! Perhaps it should be JACK AND HIS COMPANION OF HIS CHOOSING...or THIS LITTLE MAMMAL went to market.... *shakes head* Provides for a laugh yes, but otherwise...no thank you. (Of the Humpty options? I remember and choose A. B works if you're in fear of scaring children I suppose, C just doesn't work for it.)

fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I think that political correctness has gone mad and things should be left just as they were when they were first written.

For me, the same thing applies to 'classic books'. They are classified as classics for a reason and to change and adapt them for modern genres of writing is tantamount to desecration in my opinion. Do we really need to read 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies'? especially as it shows the authors as Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith .... talk about besmirching Jane Austen's name!!

Rant over .... What about 'Sing A Song Of Sixpence' ... baking blackbirds in a pie!! Whatever next?!!


NRIGirl said...

Very funny post Tracy. Brought some smiles amidst my busy day; thank you!

naida said...

Well there is nothing wrong with the original Humpty Dumpty thyme. geesh!
And lol about offending vegetarians, really?

naida said...


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, a bit much. Most kids that sing these songs don't even understand the meaning or how it could be offensive. I like the original Humpty version.

I suppose we should stop singing Ring Around the Rosie too, though, since it's...you know...about the Black Plague. ;)


Alexia561 said...

The original version is just fine thank you very much! Think the whole politically correct movement is just taking things too far. Kids will not be frightened of any of these nursery rhymes, so why coddle them?

As for Baa Baa Black Sheep...how is that racist? A black sheep is the rebel of the family, that's all. Silly, silly people!

Jenners said...

Oh I just think this is over the top and silly. You just can't make everything be OK for everyone!

Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

People trying to make everything PC drives me crazy. These rhymes have been the same since forever and everyone grew up just fine.

I used to sing the Drunken Sailor song all the time and I never really thought about what it meant.