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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The evolution of children's songs

So many things have changed since I was a kid. We have now entered a politcally correct society where everyone is suing everyone and anything we say can and will be held against us, always. When I was a kid we were innocent. Today, kids know much much more. It's pretty scary.
Let's take the wheels on the bus for example. For the most part the song has stayed the same. There is only one minor difference. When I was a child, the song sang: The Mommy on the bus says "shh shh shh..etc" (after baby cries) The daddy on the bus reads his newspaper...etc.
One can interpret from this that the mother is the sole caregiver and the father just sits back and reads his newspaper right? Well, today the song goes: The Mommy on the bus says "I love you...etc." The Daddy on the bus says "love you too...etc."
Now, in this particular variation Mommy and Daddy have been given equal status as caregiver. (For another politically correct version go here )
This next example probably isn't so monumental, I just think it's funny. Growing up I always sang "The eensy weensy spider went up the water spout..."I was singing this to some kids and they looked at me funny as they sang "The itsy bitsy spider..."Last Friday night my mother started to sing this song to Estee and she sang "the eensy weensy spider..." My guess is this is just my mother's version and this is how she taught me, not that the song has changed. Does anyone else sing it like me?
Another sign of the times can be found with our furry blue friend, cookie monster. As innocent as I was growing up (and probably still now), I never would have dreamed that cookie monster's love for cookies would cause problems for kids. A few months ago my cousin informed me that angry mothers were blaming cookie monster for the obesity in their children. Could that be it? Always looking for a scapegoat huh? She continued to tell me that because of all the angry parents, Sesame Street changed cookie monster to cucumber monster. I was beyond outraged! That doesn't go well at all!!! C is for cucumbers that's good enough for me.....cucumber cucumber cucumber starts with c? no! After doing further research I found out that this was only considered and instead cookie monster now sings about cookies being a "sometimes food." What is actually happening is they will be having vegetables making guest appearances on the show.
Is this really necessary? Are kids really going to eat more cookies because cookie monster does? That is the epitome of his name. I think children realize that. If they don't, isn't it our job as parents to explain it? They aren't getting obese on their own. They have to be given most things by their parents. I have come to the conclusion that some of the evolution may be a good thing but some of it may be society just going overboard. On the other hand, we do have the oppositte extreme as well. You can see one example in two previous posts of mine:
1. music troubles
2. things you can do in the shower
I am not quite sure yet which version of things I will be exposing Estee to. Maybe both. Are the changes good or bad? You decide...


Blogger Ayelet said...

Hey, I thought this was a "strictly about Estee" blog. I'm not sure if it counts just because you put her name in the post! For the record, I also sing eensy weensy. As for 'the wheels on the bus', when Mordecai came home from preschool, his version was as follows: the daddies on the bus they learn some Torah...I nearly died laughing!

4:11 PM  
Blogger Ayelet said...

If you want to put a link in your post but want to change what clickable words actually appear: Write the post. Highlight the words you want to be clickable. Click on the hyperlink icon next to the bold and italics buttons on your posting page. It'll prompt you for the url. Did I make that clear?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

okay first of is about her--well motherhood which is a topic I stick with because if it weren't for being a mother I wouldn't have known all these things or cared about any of them! :)
Thanks for the help, I'm going to try it...

5:20 PM  
Blogger Ayelet said...

Oh, dear. No offense meant with the first comment...still buddies?

6:07 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

of course...
You see, as much as I love the computer, sometimes I hate it cuz you can't hear tone. I was being silly. No offense taken at all!!!

1:24 AM  
Blogger houseofjoy said...

We have a book with the eensy weensy spider, I always sang itsy bitsy- I think they are both used...

Also, my favorite example of politically correct children's book is a nursery rhyme book I have with
The old woman who lived in a shoe.

I grew up with "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many children she didn't know what to do. She gave them some broth without any bed, whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
In the new version - she gave them all broth with butter and bread, read them a story and put them to bed.
Although I'm more like the new version, I sure do have moments when I identify with the original.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Kar said...

Except I'm not your cousin.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Kar said...

Well, Lindsay said the stuff about Cucumber Monster. I said the stuff about cookies are a sometimes food, we discussed it in my early childhood ed class.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

but you didn't tell me. And it was Taylor not Lindsay

5:13 PM  
Blogger Kar said...

Yes I did!

1:08 PM  

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