I’ve now surmised: it all goes back to what you hear when you’re six months old.
I’ve always laughed when they beep songs on the radio – particularly to the point where there are more beeps than words. Why bother? If you really want to release that song, make a radio friendly edit. Or [gasp!] let some of the stations lighten up a little. Because, if Big Brother is going to continue beeping radio songs, I’ve decided that they’re going to have to expand their scope.
Particularly in light of the nursery rhymes I’ve been reading my daughter. For some reason, we have received three books of, essentially, the same rhymes. There is a little variation, but for the most part, I am torn between laughing and hiding the books over the sex, violence and discriminatory behaviour in all three volumes:
There were once two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many;
So they fought and they fit
And the scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren’t any.
- Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep here;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.
Oh, look – she is being held hostage. Great.
- Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes;
There came a little blackbird,
And snipped off her nose!
zombie blackbirds taking revenge?? how’s that for nightmare fodder?
- Fe, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman;
Be he alive or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.
violence and a little sense of hatred, perhaps?
- Little maid, pretty maid, whither goest thou?
Down in the meadow to milk my cow.
Shall I go with thee? No, not now;
When I send for thee, then come thou.
gasp! the floosy!
- Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief,
Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a sham,
Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a cheat,
really. Do you think this rhyme would have been published if Taffy were another nationality??
Never mind all the rhymes about going off to market to do in pigs.
Please note the tongue firmly in cheek, here. They’re children’s rhymes – for chanting and dancing more than content. Hey – kind of like beeped-out songs on the radio! I grew up reciting these lyrics and bear no ill will to Englishmen or Welshmen, nor have I let my husband stuff me into a gourd.
Does it mean I’ll edit Mother Goose, anyway? Probably. Though instead of merely beeping over the offending content, maybe Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife will get a job, make more money that he does, leave the overbearing bastard and buy a bigger house.
all rhymes as in Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever.