Thursday, October 07, 2004

Happy discovery 

I always thought the school I went to between 4 and 11 was a bit of a hippie school. In assemblies we'd sing things like 'Streets of London' and 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' (the source of my unfailing disrespect for the Beatles ever since). The principles were all pretty lefty, too, but I never before realised that some of our songs were taken direct from The Socialist Songbook!

I was singing this when I was five years old:

The ink is black, the page is white, Together we learn to read and write, to read and write...

But I didn't realise that the rest of the song was about social justice:

The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight, were closed up tight. Nine judges all that signed their names To end the years and years of shame, years of shame.

Of course, it's probably just the case that the song was used in a 'promoting multiculturalism' sort of way, but it's fun to think that whoever chose it could have been reading the same thing that gives us this:

Onward, Christian soldiers!
Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors,
or by them be slain.
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Primary school education was more fun in those days.

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