Ring around the Rosies
a pocket full of posies
we all fall down
This was our version of a children’s nursery rhyme that I played when I was in elementary school–in the 60s. The origin of this play rhyme dates back to at least 1665 or maybe even farther. Some scholars think it was a child’s rhyme about the Black Plague… and others have debunked it. But in this world of offended and re-offended people, if we look too closely we could turn this into a racist rant.
Here is what a Nicki from the Liberty Zone has to say about the colorful history that is making the rounds–starting with Eenie, Meenie, Minee, Moe– a child’s counting rhyme. So what is making the offended even more offended? It’s a “Walking Dead” T-shirt. Personally I don’t watch that show. I am terribly prejudiced against “zombies.” Especially the kind that like to catch and eat “brains.” So don’t start screeching because I am a zombie-hater.
What I am saying is that so many of these rhymes come from our distant past. Many of them have been re-purposed (a word or two changed) to make them more acceptable. I don’t have a problem with that– my ears are not as tender as some.
I do have a problem with eradicating our distant past. For instance, when mathematics were first introduced, it was for accounting. A person who could count above their fingers had a better chance of accurately knowing how much property they had. It was magical. You could say that the families who taught their children counting games had a leg up from other families.
I wonder sometimes how many of our children will be able to use their numbers if we do go into a dystopia world. How many of them could do the simple mathematics?
It does bother me when we throw the “baby out with the bathwater.”
I would rather see children playing circle games outside than be inside on the floor watching TV or playing video games.
Plus we do forget what it was like to be a child. Many of the rhymes I learned came from other children instead of the parents. We forget that children have a complete subculture that is hidden from adults.
So yea, let the children play with nursery rhymes and circle games. Let them describe their world from their eyes.