Humpty Dumpty bungee jumps instead of great fall in new sanitised rhyme!
A new campaign to save traditional British rhymes and songs from dying out has been launched as part of a National Lottery-funded campaign
The push ensures that sanitised and more upbeat versions of classic nursery rhymes, including Humpty Dumpty, is being taught to children.
In one updated version of the famous rhyme, the hero didn’t get bumped or bruised at all, but instead ‘bungee jumped’.
In another instead of being unable to ‘put Humpty together again’, it has been changed to all the King’s horses and all the King’s men ‘made Humpty happy again’.
Rachel Elliott, the education director of the English Folk and Dance Society, which is running the campaign, insists that the nursery rhymes should be contextualised.
“There can be a risk of people being oversensitive and sanitising these things,” the Daily Mail quoted Elliott as telling a major newspaper.
“They have to be contextualised – we don’t want to condone drunkenness by singing about the Drunken Sailor.
“But there was a lot of drunkenness at that time. And I don’t think the song is going to encourage it now,” she said.
The society has warned that in some schools children are more likely to learn eastern European or African songs than English ones.
Some songs have been dropped because they refer to death, disease or war in ways that are deemed to be no longer suitable for children.
The society’s new campaign, which has attracted a 585,400-pound grant, will eventually create the world’s biggest online collection of English folk music, song and dance manuscripts.
“The other cultures that you find in schools have more of a sense of tradition than the indigenous white children,” Malcolm Taylor, the society’s library director said.
“So they will learn about folk songs from other cultures, from Poland, and Africa – as they should, to engage those people – but you need to correct it by increasing the resources for English songs,” Taylor said.
The project will involve primary and secondary schools, with workshops for teachers to encourage singing. It will also provide online teaching materials, lyrics and music.
“This project that will enable people from across the world to access English folk music, songs and dances,” Katy Spicer, the society’s chief executive, said.
“It will preserve the original collections for generations to come,” she added.