Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's child drives a Smart Car


We hit the nursery rhymes pretty hard here. It's been seven years of fat hens laying eggs for gentleman and contrary Mary and her garden. We've done Wee Willie Winkie peeping at the locks and the dishes running away with spoons, but these classics are even less relevant than they were when I was a kid. That was back when the Humpty Dance was the hip-hop rhyme du jour.

It's easy to forget that things like buckling shoes aren't just old fashioned lyrics; they are a reminder to get on our knees and thank God for Velcro. But once upon a time shoes needed buckling as sure as handheld game systems need recharging.

Want more proof that these old saws are rusty? When I type "pease" for the ditty "Pease Porridge Hot," spellchecker suggests please, peace, tease, lease, and steel-cut oats.



Where are today's nursery rhymes? Because while "What Makes You Beautiful" seems like it was written by a syrupy-sweet old lady on goose who likes sing-songy platitudes, it was really written by two male, middle-aged Swedish songwriters and an American songwriter, who is also on The X Factor, and sung by boy-men with more hair products than they have body hair.

Imagine if this were the formula for all modern nursery rhymes? Pop music cannot be responsible for teaching our children about reading and writing and 'rithmetic. Look what Alanis Morissette did to irony.

Here's a classic that is nothing more than a nonsense rhyme scheme to today's youth.
Monday's child is fair of face, 
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

A 2012 update might read:
Monday's child has an iPad in her face, 
Tuesday's child can't tie a shoelace,
Wednesday's child has ADHD,
Thursday's child wants a 3D TV,
Friday's child in a five-point car seat,
Saturday's child eats organic meat,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day 
Has no idea what "sabbath" means because her family's progressive Christian church with the 24-piece spirit-rock ensemble uses hip lingo for Sunday worship like "Praise Hour."   

Those who can, poeticise. Those who can't, satirize.

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