Sunday, December 04, 2005

Joshua Giraffe

What's with some children's songs and animal cruelty? She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain quips "we’ll kill the old red rooster when she comes (chop,chop)". And those poor Three Blind Mice. The farmer's wife "cut off their tails with a carving knife". I usually skip these songs on children's cds we listen to.

My favorite children’s song is Joshua Giraffe by Raffi. It is delightful, and teaches such a loving, animal friendly message. Joshua, born in a zoo, is sad. A few of the lyrics are:
My mommy doesn't lick me, even when I'm sticky from candy floss, candy apples, popcorn, soft drinks, jelly beans and gumdrops
There must be something better than living in this cage
How little of life he had, wasting away with no room to play
But Joshua's fate improves!:
Joshua was lucky, he had some special friends... they chopped his cage in two, he discovered he could fly and he soared into the sky
...they haven't come back yet. But when they do, they say they are going to free all the animals from their cages
Our daughter loves this song, jumping and singing with glee. She also has a sincere understanding of why animals shouldn't be in a zoo (or in a circus). For those parents interested, Raffi has other great songs like Baby Beluga and Oats and Beans and Barley on his Baby Beluga CD.


Jennifershmoo said...

Oh, I love, love, love Raffi. We had a long stretch of no-Raffi years, but now I get to play all the old CDs again when my 16mo niece comes over to see me.

Harmonia said...

Thanks for posting! I don't have children so I don't often think that cruelty is in those songs but you are right! How sad.

Dreena said...

Yeah, some of the songs are bad for this - nursery rhymes too. I remember singing/reading them all as a kid, and now I read them and edit it as I go!

Jennifer, I don't know if we will have any no-Raffi years anytime soon! But at least he is "adult-friendly" compared to much of the kids' music out there! :)

DreamQueen said...

This is only nominally related but you'll understand...

My fiance were at a book sale the other day, and I found a kid's book about the early days of the Hudson's Bay Company. The cover of the book had a drawing of skinned animals offering their coats to the traders. I felt like vomiting!!! Who would buy such a thing for their kids?

Dreena said...

Hey Crazyvegan! That's awful, but unfortunately not all that surprising, is it? Sad, but yeah people buy it.

Mary said...

I am a "Beluga Grad," as Raffi would call me: a young adult who was raised on his music in the 80's. Joshua Giraffe used to scare me when I was little, and it is still so haunting. Like the old spirituals African slaves sang... one day he flies away to freedom and will return to free others. How beautiful!