unnursery rhymes

SONY DSCI have been re-writing some nursery rhymes to make them more topical but probably not suitable for children: mind you, were the originals okay? What do you think? Is it all a bit unnursery?

Three blind mice, three blind mice.

See how they run, see how they run.

They all ran after the farmer’s wife who cut off their tails with a carving knife:

Did you ever see such a sight in your life as the way we treat the disabled in this country?

(It reminds me of the way people are treated in being assessed for Disability Living Allowance)

Hickory dickory dock

a mouse ran up the clock

the clock didn’t strike at all because it had been silenced for repairs.

(Big Ben has been shut down for repairs)

Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

Now when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They realised that because of cutbacks there were only 500 of them.

 

Mary had a little lamb
whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go until she tried to go into a public building where no animals were allowed.

 

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 bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed. This is clearly a safeguarding issue and Social Services are investigating.

 

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.

This is also clearly a safeguarding issue and Social Services are on the case.

 

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare,
With King Cole and his fiddlers three although with his smoking habit and bad diet King Cole was at risk of coronary heart disease.

Be blessed, be a blessing

potery (sic)

Note PadAt the recent conference for ministers of larger churches I was introduced to the American Slam Poet Taylor Mali. I like potery and I have written a few pomes in my time (you can see them on the ‘pomes what I have writ’ section of this site) but I was really inspired by him so I am copying one of his poems below. Hint: it’s much better watching him on YouTube (you can do the search!) and you can find more of his work on his website!

What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.

I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?

And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-­kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-­ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

Be blessed, be a blessing