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The Drunken Sailor thrown overboard by political correctness in the Nursery

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 18 January 2017

At home with Joshua, the Mrs and i regale our son with the nursery rhymes we knew as children. I guess we both grew up in households that were, in many ways, small c conservative, whatever my mother's views on self sufficiency and other throw offs from the hippy world of the late sixties. To these rhymes we add my own creations. The first verse of yesterday's was:

"I m tapping my hand on Joshua's belly,
He also has a bottom which is often very smelly
He watches world at war with Daddy on the Telly
I'm tapping my hand on Joshua's belly"

And so on...

Joshua also goes to a class at the library which since it is run by the fascist lefties of Bristol City Council is a temple of political correctness. Thus there are new Nursery Rhymes which are so banal that I shall move swiftly on and ignore the eminently forgettable dirges. But there are also changes made to older ditties. The one where a minnow is meant to have a toe, because we can't use the N word so have to tell our kids that fish have feet ,is gone altogether. Rightly so.

But so too is the Drunken Sailor. I am not sure if it is because the sailor is a he and babies need to know that role models are gender neutral or if it is his fondness for the rum that offends. But to the same music Joshua must now listen to "what shall we do with lazy Katie?" Whatever. Back at chez Winnifrith the drunken sailor is still a drunk and still on board.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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