WHEN Karen wrote about 'politically correct' nursery rhymes, she was thinking about how much she preferred a black sheep to a rainbow sheep after reports have told how Baa Baa Black Sheep has been banned in some settings.
The rhyme we have had most objections to is baa baa black sheep as it's considered racist. We have to sing about baa baa rainbow sheep - not that I've ever seen a multicoloured sheep - or baa baa woolly sheep. Am I wrong in not seeing the colour of a sheep as problematic, particularly given that its significance related to the payment of Wool Tax?
Other problems we have faced is that Humpty Dumpty is considered fattist. I have great difficulty with this objection - Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall, he doesn't break the wall because he's too heavy. Run Rabbit has encountered problems as it's against vegetarians as it promotes rabbit pie. The farmer shooting the rabbit comes under less criticism. We have had to amend our version to the farmer getting by without his cabbage pie.
So where does this now somewhat controversial rhyme come from?
The Rhymes website tells us it may have been was inspired by the collection of tax on wool by King Edward I. Other possible stories behind the rhyme are a celebration of the wool industry, with a potential link to Flemish workers.
You can see a fuller explanation here:
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