The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525   Message #1908445
Posted By: Goose Gander
13-Dec-06 - 10:53 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
"Looking at the speculation above, how much of the imagery in these songs is the result of a combination of fanciful historical indoctrination of children by their homesick immigrant parents and the teaching of unrelated singing games by the teachers in the new homestead lands?"

"Scots and English were prone to infect their children, and show their superiority to others in their new home, with poetry and songs, newly composed or paraphrased."

Q, all due respect, but your comments seem unfair and unnecessarily hostile. Some of your phrases - "...indoctrination of children..."; "Scots and English were prone to infect their children, and show their superiority to others in their new homes..."

Where to begin . . . .

Indoctrinate? Infect? Show me a culture - anytime, anyplace, anywhere - where parents do not seek to inculcate values to their children. Show me the culture that does not respect itself enough to ensure that such values support that culture.

What is the option, self-denigration? To quote the historian Eugene Genovese, " . . . self-hatred, no matter how flamboyantly presented as a high-minded seach for a more progressive identity, is no more attractive in white Southerners than in jews, blacks, Sicilians, or anyone else."

As to the roles of schools in spreading singing games, that is an interesting question and certainly worthy of study. But let's be specific - we are talking about a cluster of lyrics, melodies and games that for convenience we lump together as 'Pretty Little Pink.' You may notice that the places we find this song (North Carolina, east Tennessee, etc.) in the mid to late nineteenth century were not particularly known for high rates of compulsary education. So whatever the role of schoolteachers in spreading these songs, they probably were not the primary means of transmission.

Now Q, I'm sure I've jumped the gun and have been likewise unfair and unnecessarily hostile to you. Not my intention, but there's no way I could have made my point (at least right now, the way I'm feeling) without taking this tone.

Finally, Sian of West Wales, thank you for the Burns verses . . .

"O dinna think my pretty pink,
But I can live without thee:
I vow and swear, I dinna care
How lang ye look about ye."

Wonder if there's more?