Monday, 29 February 2016
Nursery Nasties (Adventures of L-Plate Gran)
Little G has got a book of traditional nursery songs and rhymes with an accompanying CD (or as she calls it: an ABCD). Listening to it the other day, and joining in on an inaccurate and ad hoc basis, as we do, I was struck by the violence and nastiness of some of the songs.
Admittedly, they are not as bad as Struwwelpeter, the dreadful infant reading matter that I was brought up on: here is no Big Bad Scissorman cutting off the tiny digits of children who suck their thumbs (the pictures actually showed blood dripping down!), but there are still some that raise the odd eyebrow at the potential outcomes.
Old Mother Hubbard: cruelty to canines.
The Old Woman Who Lived in A Shoe: child starvation, emotional and physical abuse.
Rock A Bye Baby: parental/designated carer neglect culminating in potential fatal child injury.
Sing A Song of Sixpence: wildlife crime followed by avian attack resulting in acute facial deformity.
Goosey Gander: religious intolerance and elder abuse.
Humpty Dumpty: accidental fall off boundary structure, leading to horrific demise.
Jack & Jill: health and safety issues around drinking untreated non-tap water.
We have also noted the same tendency to violent outcomes in the Beatrix Potter books: Peter Rabbit's dad was MADE INTO A PIE when he was caught by Mr McGregor in his garden. Meanwhile at Baby Rhyme Time we are all so culturally sensitive that we have to sing a 'vegetarian' version of 'This Little Piggy' so as not to offend the non-carnivores.
Luckily it all goes right over Little G's head, for now.
To be continued ... ....
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Another good read.ReplyDelete
I'll never be able to listen to a nursery rhyme in the same way again! Great post ;-)ReplyDelete
I have never liked Beatrix Potter stories but I sang Rock A Bye Baby to Millie all the time when she was younger. Pepper Pig cartoons are much more comforting.ReplyDelete
You only notice the horrors when you start the think about them and their origins! Like 'Ring-a-roses..and its association with plague....Delete
Are Tom&Jerry cartoons still allowed ? Grimm fairy tales ?ReplyDelete
I think there are watered down (Disney) versions of Grimm...for the sensitive parents!Delete
I have an early copy of the Just So Stories that I picked up second-hand. The odd attitude to animals is a bit uncomfortable, and the racism simply intolerable!ReplyDelete
Re-reading Enid Blyton has the same effect..and the SNOBBERY! and sizeism!Delete
I've always thought these old nursery rhymes are quite violent.ReplyDelete
I take your point about the violence, racism etc in children's stories and rhymes but oh my goodness hasn't political correctness gone mad with its rainbow sheep!!ReplyDelete
Wonderful, CarolStar. I've never thought of it before, but then I suppose we didn't when were children either. It's only from an adult perspective that we even consider the violence. I mean look at Tom and Jerry. I loved them as a child, but those cartoons are all violence, aren't they? I'm glad Little G is still oblivious.ReplyDelete