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On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem

DigiTrad:
OLD SMOKY (Korea version)
ON TOP OF OLD SMOKY
ON TOP OF OLD SMOKY (4)
ON TOP OF OLD SOPHIE
ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: On Top of Old Smoky (31)
On Top of Old Smokey (33)
Lyr Req: On Top of Old Smoky (7) (closed)
Help: Who wrote 'On top of spaghetti...' (10)


WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 May 06 - 03:27 PM
Acme 09 May 06 - 07:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 May 06 - 07:31 PM
Rockhen 09 May 06 - 07:33 PM
Acme 09 May 06 - 08:24 PM
Azizi 10 May 06 - 12:01 AM
Tannywheeler 10 May 06 - 08:41 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 May 06 - 09:28 AM
wysiwyg 10 May 06 - 09:58 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 May 06 - 10:09 AM
wysiwyg 10 May 06 - 10:35 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 May 06 - 10:39 AM
Acme 10 May 06 - 11:12 AM
wysiwyg 10 May 06 - 07:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 May 06 - 07:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 May 06 - 07:34 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 May 06 - 07:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 May 06 - 08:47 PM
frogprince 10 May 06 - 09:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 May 06 - 09:16 PM
LilyFestre 11 May 06 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,the real me 11 May 06 - 10:10 AM
wysiwyg 11 May 06 - 10:38 AM
Paul Burke 11 May 06 - 10:52 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 May 06 - 11:09 AM
wysiwyg 11 May 06 - 12:12 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 May 06 - 01:28 PM
wysiwyg 11 May 06 - 02:54 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 May 06 - 03:00 PM
wysiwyg 11 May 06 - 03:19 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 May 06 - 03:25 PM
Acme 11 May 06 - 03:27 PM
Kaleea 11 May 06 - 03:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 May 06 - 08:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 May 06 - 12:09 AM
Acme 12 May 06 - 01:29 PM
Azizi 12 May 06 - 04:08 PM
Azizi 12 May 06 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 12 May 06 - 07:47 PM
Acme 12 May 06 - 07:58 PM
Azizi 12 May 06 - 10:40 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 May 06 - 10:43 PM
Azizi 12 May 06 - 10:59 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 May 06 - 11:49 PM
Azizi 13 May 06 - 12:25 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 12:56 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 01:00 AM
Azizi 13 May 06 - 01:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 02:09 AM
Azizi 13 May 06 - 03:07 AM
Stringsinger 13 May 06 - 08:31 PM
GUEST 13 May 06 - 09:36 PM
GUEST 14 May 06 - 09:52 PM
wysiwyg 15 May 06 - 12:21 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 May 06 - 09:56 AM
Tannywheeler 15 May 06 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,yeahright 15 Feb 10 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,cameron 11 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM
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Subject: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 May 06 - 03:27 PM

From UPI:
High schooler suspended for song

SUWANEE, Ga., May 9 (UPI) -- A Suwanee, Ga., 16-year-old has been suspended from school for singing a parody of "On Top of Old Smokey" with lyrics about killing a teacher.

Peach Tree Ridge High School junior Beth Anne Cox claims the lyrics -- "On top of Old Smokey, all covered in blood, I shot my poor teacher with a .44 slug" -- were not directed at her teacher, the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post reported Tuesday.

She said she whispered the song to a fellow student during her German class Friday because it had been "stuck" in her head all day, the newspaper said.

"So I was just humming the tune to myself," she said. "This kid in front of me asked me about the song. So I told him the words. I didn't say them loudly. I was just talking underneath my voice. But I was not blatantly saying it or singing it."

On Monday, she was suspended from school for threatening a teacher.

The girl's mother told the newspaper the German teacher has "vendetta" for her daughter and said she was considering legal action against the school.
upi.com


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Acme
Date: 09 May 06 - 07:07 PM

"On top of Spaghetti," no doubt. Where the teacher trips on the meatball or some such thing?

SRS


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 May 06 - 07:31 PM

Paranoia - and a teacher that doesn't remember that old parody. There were many parodies of the song.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Rockhen
Date: 09 May 06 - 07:33 PM

The version I know is kid's one

On top of Old Smokey
All covered in cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed
It rolled off the table
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
Whizzed out of the door
It raced down the garden
And into a bush
And then my poor meatball
Was nothing but mush...

Pretty tame compared to the other one, I guess!


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Subject: ADDE: Chiquita Banana parody
From: Acme
Date: 09 May 06 - 08:24 PM

It's the Chiquita Banana song that would get kids in trouble today.

I'm a Chiquita Banana
And I'm here to say
If you want to kill your teacher
Here's an excellent way

Just peel a banana
And drop it on the floor
And watch your dumb old teacher
Go skidding out the door!


Whew. Heady stuff. We lived dangerous lives when we were children. Amazing how people have completely lost anything that resembles a sense of humor.

SRS


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 10 May 06 - 12:01 AM

For the almost two years I've been collecting versions of these "teacher taunts".

Here's one example from a thread on schoolyard games on: http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php

"die teacher die !!

On top of the schoolhouse
All covered with blood
I shot my poor teacher
With a .44 slug

I went to her funeral,
I went to her grave.
Some people threw flowers,
I threw a grenade.

It blew up the city.
It blew up the town.
It blew my poor teacher
Right out of the ground.

Now it seems my poor teacher,
Was not quite dead.
So I took a machete,
And I chopped off her head."
posted by Cassi at April 17, 2004 [quoted with permission of that
blog's members

"Cassi" is the screen name for a girl who posted several times to Octoblog's thread on Schoolyard games. Her examples are interesting to say the least, and her comments are often quite witty. In one of her posts, Cassi described herself as a 6th grader.

There are also a number of Mudcat threads that have examples of these kinds of rhymes. One such thread is Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, I Bit the Teacher's Toe!


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 10 May 06 - 08:41 AM

Oops, get the ax!! There's a fly on baby's mustache.....

Someone needs to give that teacher a lesson in folklore/the folk process--and the court could probably use a lesson, as well.   Tw


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:28 AM

The version "On top of Spaghetti" was written by Tom Glazer.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:58 AM

Just as it's not a smart thing to joke about bombs when at an airport, students should keep in mind that blowing off steam by joking about shooting a teacher is not smart in today's environment.
The intent of the student is not really a viable factor our world of today which includes actual deadly school shootings.

And it's fine to rail against restrictions on freedom based on today's PC campaigns, there have actually been lives lost in schools.

This is one of those times when our values are beset by internal contradictions. If the song had been whispered between two boys clad in black coats, and followed a day later by a shooting, would you be worried about PC rules or would you be complaining that warning signs had been ignored? It gets complicated, eh?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 May 06 - 10:09 AM

No, it is not that complicated.

I don't think any of us are complaining about restrictions of
freedom - when you are a student under the age of 18 the school has rights to impose rules and regulations.

What is at issue is this: There is a huge difference between a reprimand and a suspension. Now, it may be that we do not know all the facts in this story - the girl might have a history of other problems that weren't reported, but taken at face value it does appear to be overeaction to suspend a 16 year old for singing a song that has been around since at least when I was a kid.

Explaining to the student why the song was inappropriate for the reasons Susan gave may have been the logical solution, but suspending a student and claiming she made threats on a teacher seem to be a little over the top - based on the information contained in the story. Again, we do not know all the facts.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 May 06 - 10:35 AM

Well, one thing that you would want to know is, what is the school policy when a threat is perceived. Are they on a zero-tolerance policy? (If you are a school teacher, wouldn't you kinda hope so???)

The fact that a song has been around forever doesn't mean there wasn't more than a joke intended.

The Three Stooges' Moe, for example, says in one scene "Somebody oughtta knock your block off." (or something similar.) There's a brief pause and then he grins and continues, "I think I will!" And then he delievers a hit, and we all laugh becuase it's slapstick.

But if I were having a homicidal PMS psychotic episode, I could say that smae line with a big grin and then do it for real, to a child for example. Or a big strong man with anger problems could say it to his tiny child bride.... the lines get a little blurrier don't they?

I'm not saying the school is right-- I'm saying that our society is fraught with confusions at the moment, and I don't think most people quite realize that itr have any idea how it got that way.

At bottom I think the question is, can we make policies that assume the hearer of a remark can read the mind of the person speaking, and accurately? I don't think so-- to be policies at all, policies have to be a bit more black and white.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 May 06 - 10:39 AM

No, we can't really assume anything. The lines aren't really blurry - the examples you gave were pretty specific. We do not have all the facts in this story, other than what was posted in the story.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Acme
Date: 10 May 06 - 11:12 AM

PC is a pain in the ass. It allows people to get too hot and bothered about too many things and they become less and less tolerant. IMHO.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:01 PM

the examples you gave were pretty specific

That is my point exactly. The examples I gave are specific only because you were given more facts than are apparent by hearing what is said. Schools don't usually have the luxury of knowing what is meant behind what is said, and people have died often enough that things have gotten pretty strict. It's a shame-- but it shouldn't be a surprise; a course in "folklore" isn't going to prevent school shootings.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:28 PM

And overreacting to trivia isn't going to stop school shootings. In fact I'd hazard a guess that it makes that kind of thing more likely.

Conceivably there might have been other grounds we don't know about that could have justified this suspension - perhaps the girl was disrupting the class, or setting out to be insolent to the teacher. But "suspended from school for threatening a teacher" - that's daft.

............
Here's a version from :

On top of the schoolhouse
All covered in sand
I shot my poor teacher
With a green rubber band.

I shot here with glory
I shot her with pride
I could hardly have missed her
She's forty feet wide.

I went to her funeral
I went to her grave
Some people threw flowers
I threw hand grenades.


Maybe Garrison Keillor had better think about applying for political asylum in some less sensitive country.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:34 PM

And overreacting to trivia isn't going to stop school shootings. In fact I'd hazard a guess that it makes that kind of thing more likely.

Conceivably there might have been other grounds we don't know about that could have justified this suspension - perhaps the girl was disrupting the class, or setting out to be insolent to the teacher. But "suspended from school for threatening a teacher" - that's daft.

............
Here's a version from A Prairie Home Companion Folk Song Book.    Maybe Garrison Keillor had better think about applying for political asylum in some less sensitive country:

On top of the schoolhouse
All covered in sand
I shot my poor teacher
With a green rubber band.

I shot here with glory
I shot her with pride
I could hardly have missed her
She's forty feet wide.

I went to her funeral
I went to her grave
Some people threw flowers
I threw hand grenades


Maybe Garrison Keillor had better think about applying for political asylum in some less sensitive country.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 May 06 - 07:54 PM

Susan, my point was that we do not know all the facts in THIS case. Based on what was reported in that story, it does sound like over-reaction. There is no mention of any threat directly to the teacher.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 May 06 - 08:47 PM

Here's a TV clip about it with the girl, her mother a school spokesperson. All seems pretty daft.

When I googled this story I found another one, which seem relevant to me in giving some indication about how this particular community ticks It's a story from SUWANEE about another local school board issue that is current - Georgia school board to make decision on Harry Potter books - "The Gwinnett County Board of Education is expected to make a decision this week on whether Harry Potter books should remain on public school shelves."

This follows a complaint from a parent (at a different school) that "she objects to what she calls the books 'evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this.' "


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: frogprince
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:09 PM

About on a par with an incident a couple of years ago when a kid in early grade school was suspended or expelled for an inch long charm bracelet doohickey shaped like a gun.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 May 06 - 09:16 PM

Yep, it's sad that this sort of nonsense keeps alive in that part of the USA - they'll be trying to replace teaching of evolution with 'Creationism' int eh schools next!

What? Oh....

Kinda reminds me of the recurring epidemics of public pubic hair pulling that used to sweep thru Medieval Nunneries - no idea why!

:-)


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: LilyFestre
Date: 11 May 06 - 07:30 AM

Given the amount of violence that goes on within the schools of this country, I fully support the Zero Tolerance Policy. No Alcohol. No Drugs. No Weapons.


Michelle


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST,the real me
Date: 11 May 06 - 10:10 AM

No Gruesome Parodies of Sad Old Love Songs.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 May 06 - 10:38 AM

Ron, my point was that if the student said or sang what was described, we do not need to know all the facts in this case and that it would fit within a zero-tolerance policy. Within such a policy, it does NOT sound like over-reaction to suspend the student. A policy is a policy is a policy. The point of a policy is to be bound by the policy-- to apply it as written and as agreed by the policy-makers who had the legal right to make and apply the policy.

If you are saying that a zero-tolerance policy is not to your liking, I would refer you to teachers in your school district for further discussion of your school's policies and perhaps an opportunity to hear how school officials actually deal with threats in today's school environment.

Our society has taken things past the point when boys would be boys and girls would be girls. This is true not only in "tough" neighborhoods but in bucolic rural America, and pretty much everywhere in between. Schools have far more to deal with today than most people know.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Paul Burke
Date: 11 May 06 - 10:52 AM

Build a bonfire out of schoolbooks,
Put the teachers on the top
Put the prefects in the middle,
And we'll burn the bloody lot!

Zero tolerance of what? Zero tolerance of intolerance perhaps?


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 May 06 - 11:09 AM

Sorry Susan, as a parent of two school-age children I have talked with teachers in my school district and they deal with threats differently than they would a case like this. A policy is a policy is a policy is not an answer. Each situation is dealt with on a case by case basis. Everything is not black and white, even in this day and age.

Zero Tolerance usually translates to Zero Intelligence and many people are fighting the lack of due process in cases like this. The punishment often has more negative effects than the "crime". Suspending a kid because they had a coughdrop in their possession? A student suspended because during a discussion on Columbine he asked the question of his classmates if they would bring a gun to school? How about a school that does random drug searches on students cars and suspends a student because they find a scraper blade (used for removing glue from a window) that was left in a car? Suspending a student who had a small knife in his lunch - used to cut an apple? The most tragic story I heard was of a student in Tennessee who committed suicide after being suspended for his senior year after a knife, belonging to a friend, was found in this students car.

Sure, people can say "a policy is a policy is a policy" and site Columbine as an example of what could be prevented. Zero tolerance policies will not stop violence. This is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to a tragic situation. The result is that more people are being hurt and the people that truly need help are ignored.

Again, it is very important to stress that we do not know all the facts, but based on the information given there appears to be a case for over reaction.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 May 06 - 12:12 PM

Ron, I am glad that you are in close touch with schools.

I agree that a policy does not prevent shootings and I agree that most who need help are not brought to light by policies. However, if a policy is in place, it has to be followed. "Due process" also means following the existing policies.

As I have written in regards to other school shooting issues, the way to help and the way to make good policy is to hold up something positive, more than to fight what is negative. (I've done that in parent programs.) Since you can make the most impact on policies at your own school-- if this is really an important issue for you, especially as a parent, what is the positive thing to hold up in your school district in this situation?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 May 06 - 01:28 PM

Common sense


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 May 06 - 02:54 PM

And what is your proposal for making your schools safer for your children, in dealing with people who show a lack of a propensity for common sense?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:00 PM

Teaching people to use common sense. Teaching teachers and students to listen. Work on compassion.

The issue of violence is the schools is not new. Check history books, it has been going on for decades. Do you honestly think the schools are more violent today than they were when you were a student? Yes, we can see instances of copycat killings and the media intensity has highlighted issues, but the times have not changed that much. Slapping band-aid terms like "zero tolerance" and creating unmanageable programs has not proven anything.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:19 PM

Do you honestly think the schools are more violent today than they were when you were a student?

In terms of number of incidents, no. In terms of fire power and numbers of victims, absolutely. In terms of ages of perpetrators and victims, yes-- getting younger and younger. In terms of a culture bombarded by violent, visceral imagery and sound-- yes, much more so than in the past.

My context for this is my own experience and my husband's-- we didn't grow up at all the same or in the same cultural setting. Nor did we experience the same kinds of schools for our kids' early, middle, and later years in the public education system. And we both experienced some of the private-school and homeschooling approaches as well. So we have a bit of a cross-section, between us.

Slapping band-aid terms like "zero tolerance" and creating unmanageable programs has not proven anything.

Maybe-- but campaigns against things instead of campaigns FOR things don't help much, either. And-- I would bet that "zero-tolerance" policies are the ONLY approach being tried by schools. Of course, "zero-tolerance" is a handy and easily-attacked concept that is simpler to attack than to support with other strategies. (A buzzword.)

My own time working within the system (as an agent for change on the visionary superintendent's staff) included a program focusing on the positive values ALL parents have, underneath whatever face they seem to be wearing. This one, the best of the several programs I designed, brought together the parents the schools usually cannot reach. We did do some good on the compassion and listening skills front with both families and educators, I am pleased to say. (AND we had a zero-tolerance policy in our district, as well.) Other programs and workshops taught better listening skills and options in communications within the system, among the people working there and between the professionals and the parents. In that area, I heard the hearts of many a teacher, principal, social worker, and administrator.

I don't recall ever hearing a lack of common sense. :~) Heard more about what it's like to be a caring educator (buried in paperwork BTW) in communities that don't trust or believe the professionals. People who are stuck by default being teachers, parents, counselors, and baby sitters-- a workload the rest of our society is reluctant to tackle these days.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:25 PM

Susan, I guess we will just have to disagree about the effectiveness of zero-tolerance.

If suspending a girl for singing a parody has prevented a Columbine incident, then life is much better. If that girl develops other problems because of this incident, I hope we will learn from it as well.

I'm not a fan of being PC. I do think that some teachers and administrators need to use a little more common sense and perhaps teach it as well.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Acme
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:27 PM

You know what? Violence is actually LESS at issue for these school administrators than the fear school districts have of being sued. So the zero-tolerance (zero-intelligence) policies are slapped in place because they can stand on the rule easier than they can explain the exception if they (heaven forbid) give students a break. And isn't that sad.

SRS


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Kaleea
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:51 PM

I'm glad I'm not teaching school anymore.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 May 06 - 08:10 PM

I think it's mislabelling to call this kind of thing "PC" - it's a different game being played here.

"Zero tolerance" though it's an ugly term in itself, can make sense in certain situations, such as dealing with environmental damage by getting it cleaned up without delay. But when people try to use it as a way of dealing with behaviour in general, so that in place of an attempt to reach a just and appropriate solution there's an automatic mechanical application of a rule, regardless of circumstances - that just isn't the way to do it. Basically it's a Taliban way of thinking.

As I commented earlier, conceivably in the circumstances (which we don't really know, true enough) suspending this pupil might have been an appropriate thing to do, on the grounds of discipline and disruption and that kind of thing. But tying it into issues of threats to teachers and violence in schools - that's a nonsense. It sounds very much as if they may have rewritten the rule book so that disruption and insolence can't be reasons for punishment, and then they cast about for some way to get round that, by misapplying other restrictions that exist for quite other very serious reasons.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 May 06 - 12:09 AM

No Gnuesome Parodies of Sad Old Love Songs, either, please.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 06 - 01:29 PM

Another problem with folk song parodies is that I wonder what kids are parodying today? "On Top of Spaghetti," even if it DID have an author at one point, had many iterations arise from children and/or their singing parents. What are they parodying today? Songs from TV, from video games, from their cell phone ring tones? They're still thinking and they're still poking fun at things. But the context has shifted wildly from when we were kids and were actually still singing folk songs.

SRS


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 12 May 06 - 04:08 PM

As to the question what children are poking fun at now, one answer is the big purple dinasaur, Barnie.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Barney_Humor

Here's an excerpt from that Wikipedia article:

I Hate You" is the best known of the written anti-Barney songs, commonly sung by children in elementary school who have recently grown out of the show[5]. It is a parody of the show's closing song "I Love You", which is itself played to the tune of "This Old Man". There are numerous variations, many of which start with the lyrics "I hate you, you hate me, let's get together and kill Barney" and then change into something different.

Examples:

I hate you, you hate me,
Let's get together and kill Barney.
With a one punch, two punch, three punch, four
No more purple dinosaur!

I hate you, you hate me
Let's get together and kill Barney.
With a piece of glass and shove it up his ass
I've never seen a dinosaur run so fast


I hate you, you hate me
Let's go out and kill Barney
With a shotgun blast Barney's on the floor
No more Purple Dinosaur

-snip-


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 12 May 06 - 04:40 PM

Another very popular parody is Tweeleelee {Rockin Robin}. At least this rhyme appears to have been known to African American children in scattered United States cities since the mid 1970s. Bobby Day recorded "Rockin Robin" in the 1960s, and Michael Jackson recorded the song in the early to mid 1970s. I believe that Michael Jackson's version is the one which spawned the risque children's handclap rhyme. I have collected examples from the 1980s childhood memories of African American women. And Tweeleelee is extremely well known among the groups of African American children I've met with since 1996 to date.

Here's one version of that rhyme:

Tweedleelee
Treetop
Tweedleelee
My Prop
Tweedleelee
Popsicle, popsicle
Your butt stinks.

He rocks in the tree top
all day long
huffin and ah puffin
and ah singin his song.
All the little birds on Jay Bird street
Loves to hear the bird go
TWEET TWEET TWEET

Rockin Robin
Tweet Tweetdalee
Rockin Robin
Tweet Tweetdalee

Mama's in the kitchen
cookin rice.
Daddy's outside
shootin dice.
Brother's in jail
raisin bail.
Sister's on the corner
Sellin fruit cock tail.

I went downtown
to get ah stick of butter.
I saw James Brown
layin in the gutter.
I saw an piece of glass
Stickin in his butt
I never saw a Black man
run so fast.

Source: after-school program, elementary school aged girls and boys; Pittsburgh, PA 1999; collected by Azizi Powell

On the words "fruit cock tail" the girls do a hip switching motion while touching one hip after the other.

Note the similarity of the last two lines from the James Brown verse and the last two lines from the second example of the Barney parody that I quoted in my last post. I'd say that's a floating verse.

Btw, I've been told by some adults and a few children that "butt" is a substitute for the word "ass" in the lines "he had a piece of glass stuck up his butt". That makes sense since "ass" rhymes with "butt". And it shows how children may censor their "playground" rhymes around adults, including adult collectors of children's rhymes.

I assume that James Brown in this rhyme is the once highly popular R&B singer. This provides more documentation of the "old school" date of this rhyme, since not that many 8 & 9 year olds know who James Brown is nowadays. Yet, that name has not been updated.

As to what James Brown has to do with any of this, your guess is as good as mine.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 06 - 07:47 PM

oh, duh, I almost forgot--

remember this one?

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school
   we have tortured all the teachers we have broken every rule
    we are marching to the office now to kill the principal
    the school is burning down!
Glory glory halelujah teacher hit me with a ruler
well, I bopped her on the bean with a rotten tangerine
    the school is burning down!


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Acme
Date: 12 May 06 - 07:58 PM

Absolutely! The adulterated Battle Hymn of the Republic (I think my version was slightly different, but still the same general message).

The last line, in my version was "You should have heard her scream!" There are a couple of other different lines, but they haven't come to the front of my memory yet. Give them time and the song will become an earworm.

The Barney song must be a dozen years old or more now. Is it still on the air?

SRS


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:40 PM

Correction:

That makes sense since "ass" rhymes with "glass".

But I'm sure you figured that out.

:0}

Also, this piece of glass stuck up one's ass is also found int the numerous versions of "Miss Suzie* had a steamboat" rhymes.
I'm wondering what other children's rhymes contain this floating meme {if that's the right term}.

* or Miss Lucy, or Miss Molly etc etc etc

The Miss Susie had a steamboat rhyme usually starts like this:
Miss Lucy had a steam boat,
The steam boat had a bell.
Miss Lucy went to heaven,
The steam boat went to
Hell-o operator,
Give me number nine,
If I get disconnected,
I'll kick your
Behind the 'fridgerator
There sat a piece of glass,
Miss Lucy sat upon it
And cut her big fat
As-k me no more questions,
Tell you me more lies....


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:43 PM

When the popular group mind is stimulated past a certain level of interest, the meme (as expressed in rhymes and songs) often lasts generations past the original real world event.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:59 PM

Say what?!?

;0}

inside joke

{inside Mudcat that is}

If you don't get the joke it's no big deal, cause it's not really all that funny.

My sense of humor leaves alot to be desired in the best of times, and life for me been no laughing matter, especially lately.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 May 06 - 11:49 PM

I 'd Offer to to translate what I said, but now that I read what I wrote, I'm not sure that I understand what I think I meant when I thorhta wrote it...


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 13 May 06 - 12:25 AM

"Offer"?!?

Oh, it is an inside joke!!!

But does Joe know the punch line?


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 12:56 AM

I'm ducking already, in case he does...


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 01:00 AM

Quack!




(Gotcha!)


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 13 May 06 - 01:49 AM

That was a good one. You fooled me that time.

****

But less someone say we caused this thread to drift from its stated subject, here's another example of a children's parody rhyme with violent lyrics:

DASHING THROUGH THE SONG
{to the tune-"Jingle Bells"}

Dashing through the snow
on a pair of broken skies
Over the hills we go.
Crashing through the trees.
bam, bam, bam
The snow is turning red.
I think I might be dead.
Oh-no im in the hospital
with needles in my head.

O, jingle bells, jingle bells
Santa Claus is dead
because Rudolph took a twenty two
And shot him in the head.
O, Barbie girl, Barbie girl
tried to save his life
But Ken from Mexico
stabbed her with a knife.

Source: Alexandra, {White female, age 13 years, Canada, 2005}


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:09 AM

That spelling is 'skis' not 'skies'...

Mr Pedantic.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Azizi
Date: 13 May 06 - 03:07 AM

Thank you, for catching that error.

It is indeed

Dashing through the snow
on a pair of broken skies

-snip-


I copied this rhyme as Alexandra wrote it.

But since I'm an adult and she's a kid, I'll take the blame for the typo.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 May 06 - 08:31 PM

Hi Susan,

I might agree with you if there were a history of violence on the part of the young lady who sang the song. I believe it was unfortunate over-reaction because the elements of the behavior were not considered. Remember "Sticks and stones may break my bones?.."

I disagree that we don't need to know all the facts in this case. A zero-tolerance policy is suspect in that it is arbitrary by not taking into consideration its contradictory aspects.

The problem here is that the human element is cast aside in favor of a rigid arbitrary policy which may not even solve the problem. If the song was done in jest it was certainly inappropriate but if the young woman is punished through expulsion, she might be justifiably bitter about the experience. After all, it was just a song and not a gun. It in fact was not an actual threat.

The legal right in maintaining a rigid policy that does not allow for a discussion and a dismissal of the feelings of the violator particularly when she is a young person seems counter-productive to me. This authoritarian view of the law is one that can have a double-edged sword. We know what was instituted in the name of "law" that impacted on our history going back to women's suffrage and slavery.


The school officials are mirroring the hysteria of the times. the notion of girls being girls and boys being boys is somewhat suspect anyhow. These stereotypes have not helped to ease the injustice to which they were applied.

Susan, there has to be another way for a minor infraction other than a heavy-handed authoriarian solution to the problem. It's not as if she was bringing dope into class or threatening violence physically or with a weapon. Let the punishment fit the crime.

My view anyway. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to express it and open a dialogue on this issue.

Frank Hamilton




If you are saying that a zero-tolerance policy is not to your liking, I would refer you to teachers in your school district for further discussion of your school's policies and perhaps an opportunity to hear how school officials actually deal with threats in today's school environment.

Our society has taken things past the point when boys would be boys and girls would be girls. This is true not only in "tough" neighborhoods but in bucolic rural America, and pretty much everywhere in between. Schools have far more to deal with today than most people know.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 06 - 09:36 PM

God knows what they would think to the antics of My Friend Billy today. No doubt the little lad would be arrested for sexual harassment.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 06 - 09:52 PM

The school district was RIGHT!

Something is seriously WRONG with the current 11 to 16 y.o. generation.

Perhaps, was "Road Runner" cartoons - however, the 12-22 y.o. on a high school campus in southern California is twisted and out of focus. On my single campus in 18 months there have been seven (7) direct battery incidents and the child is held blameless, assaults (threats) are in the hundreds.

With California's skewed perspective - the child is right - and without a collaborating witness the educator is wrong.

It is easy to laugh at a parody from fifty years ago....TODAY...NO!!!in the last ten weeks it is trauma and anxiety when my personal classroom has yeilded one direct death threat "we will get ya...you gonna see the big Mr. D." and another student with a weapon is discovered through a simple classroom "referral."

Southern California schools have students with both parents in jails. The web of gang affilitions is TIGHT. Pay-Backs are a Bitch. Laugh now...Cry later. If you die "on the job" your family gets an extra 10K from the state union.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 May 06 - 12:21 AM

Frank,

Actually, I don't like zero-tolerance approaches either, but I sure can see why schools feel driven to them.

I work in the opposite environment-- church-- so I guess I now work in an environment where the professionals and paraprofessionals are assumed to be ready to tolerate everything. Now THAT is a weird expectation to live with and work within!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 May 06 - 09:56 AM

"Our society has taken things past the point when boys would be boys and girls would be girls. "

I respectfully disageree. The only thing that has happened in society is that we have more dangerous toys and an inflated sense of paranoia.

There is a perception that bringing guns to school is a phenomenon that cropped up in the last several years. Check your history books, it is not new.   Gangs are not new. Violence is not new.   What has changed is that we live in a 24/7 news blitz with several networks that have a mandate to feed us news constantly.   Where once a story would have been a short piece on the 6 o'clock news, now we are treated to live coverage of police chases, school lockdowns, and more details than ever before.

I agree that many teachers are scared. Many people today are also afraid to fly or work in a high-rise building. I'm afraid we've lost perspective and reason. Instead of tackling the big issues, such as how students get access to such weapons in the first place, we create smokescreens with policies that do little good.   Zero Tolerance does not work, there is more evidence against it than there is for it.


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 15 May 06 - 10:40 AM

"...I bopped her on the bean
    With a rotten tangerine--
       And he teeth came marching out!!!!......"
That's the way I learned "Glory, Glory Hallelujah;
                           Teacher hit me with a ruler..."--
I mean, while we're (sortof) on the subject of folkore & The Folk Process...............Tw


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST,yeahright
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:21 PM

no harm comes from this parody... and there aren't neccessarily mental issues involved when somebody sings it. i'm 20, and when i was 10 years old, in fifth grade.. everyone sang that song... not one of us ever shot our teachers..   so this is bogus.. you're probably all teachers anyway...


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Subject: RE: On Top of Old Smokey - parody problem
From: GUEST,cameron
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM

on top of the school house all covered with sand
i shot my poor teacher with a green rubber band
i went to her funeral i went to her grave
some people threw flowers i threw a grenade
i noticed my teacher wasnt quite dead
so i took my bazooka and blew off her head
something i didnt think of that seems like a hex
was that stupid substitute that will soon be next!!! :)


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