Has anyone really thought about some of the ridiculous things that we teach our children? For example:
1) That children’s song “Ring Around the Rosies” is about the Bubonic Plague! Let’s break it down (Note: This is the version I learned as a kid. It may be different for you.)
Ring around the rosie – refers to a rash that is one of the symptoms of the plague
A pocketful of posies – flowers or herbs that were carried by sufferers
Husha, husha – a victim’s gasping for breath (other versions have this as “”Achoo, achoo” to denote sneezing instead)
We all fall down – death itself
I don’t know if this actually is true. I remember watching an old episode of “Ripley’s Believe Or Not” back in the 80’s. Jack Palance pretty much convinced me then. Come on, kids! Let’s sing about “Black Death”! Charming.
2) “Rock-a-bye Baby” is just pure evil. It is merely a veiled threat to our babies to let them know that if they don’t go to sleep right away, there’ll be hell to pay.
Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all
Who made this song up? It’s an ugly picture of a baby falling to his death wrapped up in a soothing, peaceful melody. Dark and twisted.
3) Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy. These are complete strangers who break into our homes while we’re sleeping. Home invasions all sugar-coated with the promise of getting goodies. Where is the sense in that?
We make up songs, stories, and nursery rhymes to teach children morals and life lessons. But, some of them kind of miss the mark and don’t make a lick of sense.
Here is a link to an excerpt of Ricky Gervais’ stand up routine for HBO. I think I have a bit of a crazy crush on him. He’s no heart throb but humour and intellect go very far in my books. Enjoy.