Feb 282011

A 1901 version of the classic nursery rhyme

You might remember the nursery rhyme

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

An innocent enough ditty, and one I’d always thought to be related to the fact that black sheep are rare and so have a more valuable wool than normal white sheep – or at least may have formerly had more valuable wool until modern aniline type dies made it possible to get intense blacks from originally/naturally white wool (and perhaps genetics allowed for more black sheep to be selectively bred if needed).

But, silly me.  Apparently I failed to realize that it is really all to do with racism and slavery.  Some of the sad souls who believe this have changed the words to Baa Baa, Rainbow Sheep in a desperate attempt to be oh so politically correct.

But – wait – don’t they know that references to rainbows these days has a gay connotation?  Oh my, what will the gays think?  And so, some even more politically correct fools are singing ‘Baa, Baa, Happy Sheep’ – but doesn’t that now give offense to those of us suffering from a depression disorder?

Details here.  Read it and weep.

Three further comments.  First, to say that it originates from slavery is a very broad comment to make – slavery having been prevalent for many hundreds of years.  Second, a  Wikipedia article on the nursery rhyme quotes a source as debunking the ridiculous claim of the rhyme having anything to do with slavery, and third, I circle back to my opening comment.  Black sheep are good, rare, special and valuable.  This song makes a positive feature of black sheep, with people wanting the wool.

It seems the mere mention of the word ‘black’, no matter what the context, is enough to get some people knee-jerking their nonsense in response.

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