The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71726   Message #2606971
Posted By: Joe Offer
07-Apr-09 - 08:24 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Ching Chong Chinaman Song
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ching Chong Chinaman Song
Yeah, I have to admit that I cringe every time I see this thread come up. I thought it came up more often than just 47 times, but I was wrong - it's the thread called Once in China There Lived a Great Man, which has 156 posts. I delete messages that are obviously posted just to cause trouble, but not if they give any appearance of having historic roots. It bothers me that some of the people who stop by to post, are people that really love these songs, and they get nostalgic over them.

We baby boomers did learn such songs from our grandmothers - and they thought the songs were cute. I think that in the 1950's, even grandmothers had an inkling of an idea that such songs were a bit naughty, but I'm sure they didn't see them as hateful or bigoted.

It's an interesting aspect of folklore that it's the "unprintable" things that are oftentimes the purest aspect of folklore, untainted by the niceties of copyrights and royalties and attributions and such. But into the 1950's, there were children's cartoons that expressed what we would consider to be racist attitudes.

No, I wouldn't recommend passing these things on to your grandchildren, but they definitely have folkloric and historical interest.

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-