You know the little song/poem “Five little monkeys/ jumping on the bed/one fell off and bumped his head.” It’s sung with children and made into little books and movies. Her speech therapist recommended we teach it to her, since she can pick up on and use the words. However…

Like many beloved nursery rhymes, it also has a dark and racist past, and I am trying to raise Wee One to be more aware that she has benefits other people don’t, and one of those benefits is that she won’t have songs made up about the color of her skin. So I don’t want to teach it to her. Not yet. Not until I can tell her the context of it all and explain why its a problem.

But she loves little songs and is great at singing along and doing the little hand gestures. So I started singing an alternative, that it’s five little “donkeys” on the bed, rather than monkeys.

Has anyone else changed a song for a reason like this? In a way, I think it’s not enough. Like, the spirit of the song is still there and even changing one word isn’t good. At the same time, I think completely shielding her from it is disingenuous. What do you think?




Okay, your turn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s