April 13, 2024


Entertain Reaching Stars

Nursery Rhymes – Where Have All The Traditional Ones Gone?

3 min read

If you’re reading this article you too, probably, have a toddler or two running around creating havoc. If, like me, you’re wondering where all the traditional nursery rhymes have gone to, I’m here to remedy the situation!

Do you remember the traditional children’s songs from your kindergarten years such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Incy Wincy/Itsy Witsy Spider, ABC, etc? I assume that you remember them sung in a certain way, with different emphasis and stresses on certain keywords. You cannot forget the melodies either – impossible! In fact a lot of melodies are reused on multiple nursery rhymes such as Twinkle Twinkle has the same melody as the A, B, C Song and Baa Baa Black Sheep.

So you can imagine my horror when recently, when I was trying to entertain my youngest daughter (15 months old) with some videos on YouTube and almost none of these aforementioned kids’ songs were as I recalled! Was my poor memory to blame here?

I wanted to show my baby all the nursery rhymes that I had grown up with, as did my own mother/father and theirs too. I was stunned (or should that read “shocked”?) to see how disastrously bad the vast majority of the online videos were. I mean they were really awful! At best, some were genuinely laugh out loud, but for all the wrong reasons(!) and at worst some were downright scary and perhaps not even suitable for young children. Perhaps the ratio of good:poor quality was around 1:40! Also I noticed that most of the YouTube nursery rhyme videos had incredibly long intros – 20, 30 or even more seconds of pre-ambling material, promotions and other irrelevant material before actually commencing the main theme. I probably don’t need to tell you dear parent, that even just 20 seconds can seems like an incredibly long time when you have a wriggling and slightly bored baby on your lap!

Not only are the websites and animations mainly of an incredibly poor quality the actual songs and lyrics themselves were very often incorrect, as the singer/company’s first language was often not actually English. Where had all the real nursery rhymes gone I wondered? There was very little online resources that mirrored my childhood memories. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” had now become “Dwingle Dwingle” and the little boy from Baa Baa Black Sheep now lived in the lane (whatever that means!)

It’s important that we don’t lose our traditional songs to the unrelenting technological changes that allow anyone to upload any material they like to the internet. It’s important that high standards are adhered to and that we pass our playground songs on accurately. I urge you to check out some of the nursery rhyme videos for yourself to see how awful they have become. You will laugh at some and cringe at others but after the initial laughter has died down you too will feel the sadness of your childhood memories becoming lost.

The number of views a video has received or where it appears in the search results unfortunately doesn’t give any indication of quality. So, how to locate the good stuff and ignore the bad? My recommendations are as follows:

  1. Go to YouTube (not Google) to search
  2. Use the nursery rhyme’s full name – i.e. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is better than “Twinkle Twinkle” and use speech marks around title.
  3. Adding the word “British” or “English” can really help
  4. Click search options and under “Features” (far right) click High definition.
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