Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blah Blah black sheep

As I was listening to the heated conversation by the water cooler about a nursery rhyme being totally racist, these lines from an old nursery rhyme went on in my head. The rhyme was 'Baa Baa Black sheep.
Have you any wool?
Yes Sir! Yes Sir! 3 bags full.
One for my master, one for my dame
One for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Back in 79, when I was singing these lines over and over in the tuneless voice of a 5 year old, at the top of my lungs, I had no idea that this song would one day be banned.... strange! I did not even know that there was a hidden meaning in there. Such seemed like a normal rhyme. A boy has a sheep and he is singing to it.
My older daughter at age 2 sang this song...something like this 'Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa' (fill in the proper tune here folks)
My second daughter sang the same song at age 3 and it went something like this 'Blah Blah black sheep, have you many full?!' LOL!
So many funny memories associated with that rhyme. Imagine my surprise when I heard that it was actually the racist lyrics that have made the schools in UK ban this poem. What do kids know about racism ?! nothing more than what we as adults teach them. I mean has anyone ever seen pre schoolers display anything even close to that. Tsk!! I would think we should embrace our past instead of trying to change it. Sure bad things have been done but how about we learn from it and stop harrassing each other but Good Lord! no, we will shove the dirt under the rug since it's way easier.

All I am going to say about this is that we have such a funny tendency to go about things in wierd ways. We won't stop fighting each other based on color, race, religion, region etc. but heck!! we sure will ban a kid's poem because it has racial innuendoes. Boo hiss on that!


aj said...

I'm from Florida. The state's official song is "The Swanee River (The Old Folks at Home)":

Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.


All de world am sad and dreary,
Eb-rywhere I roam;
Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home!

2nd verse

All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I;
Oh, take me to my kind old mudder!
Dere let me live and die.

3rd Verse

One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love
Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see de bees a-humming
All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo strumming,
Down in my good old home?

And no one really seems to mind that.

The point being that how people react to racism is, for lack of a better term, batshit fucking insane.

Hey! Speaking of which, did you happen to catch Barack Obama's (lengthy) speech upon the subject of race in America the other day? He basically says what has to be said. It's too bad he is running for president. It almost seems beneath someone like that. Ha ha!

Shivani Sherman said...

cool! I like Florida's official song. Takes a person back in time eh!

No I haven't had a chance to catch Obama's speech but will definitely have to listen to it. Very interested in hearing what he has to say about race and all.

Anonymous said...

Yup! do listen to Obama. Your sister is going to be voting this November for the first time as a US first going to him......