"What is more important than protecting children from corrupt texts?"
September 11, 2018 10:47 AM   Subscribe

 
Hedgerows are far more likely to be rustling than rusting.
posted by The otter lady at 10:53 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


I really want to send her the lyrics of "Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts" now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:54 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Joe Raposo’s 1971 copyright of the lyrics (along with those for other immortal works such as “Has Anybody Seen my Dog”) is of uncertain significance given that the filing does not record which version he regarded as authoritative.


OK, this is nerdery I can appreciate.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:02 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


More beans, please.
The version I grew up with had 'then you really oughta show it...'
posted by MtDewd at 11:04 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Our house version includes a "if you're happy and you know it, do all three" (clap hands, stomp feet, shout hooray!), that would be difficult to adapt for this suggestion. It's a convenient verse too, because by the time we get there, our two-year old is such a whirlwind of excited toddler energy that she can't help but use every part of her body to show us how happy she is.

By the law of toddler emotions, this naturally turns into an equally frenzied and uncontrollable crying spell about half the time.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:12 AM on September 11 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: this naturally turns into an equally frenzied and uncontrollable crying spell about half the time.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:18 AM on September 11 [34 favorites]


Hedgerows are far more likely to be rustling than rusting.

Maybe? The fact that rust can also refer to a colour (reddish brown - which would make me think of fall) or a type of fungus that affects plants (which implies a decay or slow rot in the hedgerow), the choice of word here is important, in terms of what the author was trying to convey to the reader. Given that the poem is about death and remembrance, which image makes the most sense? I mean, death of the author and all, but I think we should make sure we don't change their words.

That being said, this is a delightful piece about overthinking things, which we like here at MeFi.
posted by nubs at 11:24 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


What if you're happy but uncertain of it? What will your face do then?
posted by GuyZero at 11:25 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Don't even get me STARTED on "If you give a mouse a cookie." Slippery-slope codswallop about the evils of the welfare state.
posted by duffell at 11:26 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]


Hedgerows are far more likely to be rustling than rusting.

No rustles or rusticles--A hedgerow bustles and/or contains a bustle. C'mon, that's canonical, 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
posted by Chrischris at 11:37 AM on September 11 [20 favorites]


Okay, but also consider: In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings. Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving.

Ooh, it makes me wonder.
posted by Naberius at 11:42 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


This is fun, but critical analysis of children's songs/literature/media -is- important. The invisible lessons in things like Barney The Dinosaur or Thomas the Tank Engine is just as valid, important and NOT BEAN PLATY as it is to analyze teen/YA/'adult' literature.

If You're Happy is not a song sung in my house. Why? Because both of Typechip's parents have various degrees of mental illness, treated by therapy and medication and because demanding that children be happy Just Because erases childhood anxiety/depression which are -very- real.

Because ordering people to smile/be happy/etc is oppressive.
Because sometimes you can be happy and still have a natural frown/downturned expression
Because people on the autism spectrum sometimes do not have emotive facial expressions but their emotions are still valid.
Because we invalidate a lot of children's emotions - especially sadness - and way too many kids are told "Why are you sad, you're a kid, be happy"
Because we invalidate a lot of men's emotions, and male children's emotions on top of the general invalidating of children's emotions.


Yes, haha, it's a fun silly goofy song that gets kids moving and clapping and doing things. Great. Find one that doesn't imply that happiness has to be shown in loud, clapping, huge visible smile ways.

It's not bean plating, it's refusing to encourage songs/shows/activities that contribute to emotional erasure.
posted by FritoKAL at 11:56 AM on September 11 [21 favorites]


(The rusting harvest hedgerow is from "Fare Well" by Walter de la Mare.)
posted by cyanistes at 11:56 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I had trouble working through the verbiage - I'm tired - so I'm not sure if the more sensible variant was talked about which has:

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands...
If you're sleepy and you know it, give a yawn...
If you’re sad and you know it, wipe your eyes...
If you’re mad and you know it, stomp your feet...
If you're excited and you know it, jump up and down...
If you're scared and you know it, hide your face...

In any event, I was raised on the born-again version, which says:

If you're saved and you know it shout "Amen!" ("Amen!")
posted by clawsoon at 11:57 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I intend to get my niece singing only the educational version of "Baby Shark"here
posted by The otter lady at 11:58 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]



No rustles or rusticles--A hedgerow bustles and/or contains a bustle. C'mon, that's canonical, 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.


Is that what the sign on the wall says? Don't be alarmed now, but the piper is calling you to join him.
posted by nubs at 11:58 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


(As a result of the more sensible version, my daughter is very happy to stomp her feet when she's mad. "I'm mad! I stomp feet!" And that, ironically, often serves to cheer her up.)
posted by clawsoon at 11:59 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


This is some S+ overanalysis. Damn. The implication that this author spends twenty whole years completely missing the point that there is a pleasurable break in the subject in every verse, from "perform this action" back to "your face" is simply beautiful.
posted by egypturnash at 12:00 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Hedgerows are far more likely to be rustling than rusting.

Exactly, and that's why Housman knew (or so he tells us) that 'rusting' had to be the correct reading:
I knew in a moment that Mr de la Mare had not written rustling, and in another moment I had found the true word. But if the book of poems had perished and the verse survived only in the review, who would have believed me rather than the compositor? The bulk of the reading public would have been perfectly content with rustling, nay they would sincerely have preferred it to the epithet which the poet chose. If I had been so ill-advised as to publish my emendation, I should have been told that rustling was exquisitely apt and poetical, because hedgerows do rustle, especially in autumn, when the leaves are dry, and when straws and ears from the passing harvest-wain (to which 'harvest' is so plain an allusion that only a pedant like me could miss it) are hanging caught in the twigs; and I should have been recommended to quit my dusty (or musty) books and make a belated acquaintance with the sights and sounds of the English countryside. And the only possible answer would have been ugh!
Lectio difficilior and all that.
posted by verstegan at 12:04 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


> What if you're happy but uncertain of it? What will your face do then?
Your hands will show it.
posted by farlukar at 12:21 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]



Don't even get me STARTED on "If you give a mouse a cookie."


If you give a mouse a cookie, clap your hands!
If you give a mouse a cookie, clap your hands!
If you give cookies to mouses
Then the cats will bless your houses
If you give a mouse a cookie, clap your hands!

(That one is kind of mice-negative. You could be mouse positive and have the middle lines run, "If you give cookies to mouses/ then the mice will bless your houses")
posted by Frowner at 1:16 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Rusting/rustling point well-made, taken, and conceeded. Otter lady; five yard penalty, first down.
posted by The otter lady at 1:30 PM on September 11


The overwhelming literalness of The Grand Old Duke Of York is something I've been wondering about.
posted by memebake at 2:11 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Also, I once gave an actual mouse an actual cookie - or at least a pretty good chunk of a Chips Ahoy.
posted by Frowner at 3:01 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I can remember being very little and contemplating with great satisfaction the symmetry of The Grand Old Duke, because it resolved to a logical zero and stomped pleasantly.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:14 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


God I hated this coercive bullshit song as a child. What if I'm not fucking happy? Why should I sing along with all these people, a number of whom actively spend their time making me unhappy, about how fucking happy I am?
posted by howfar at 3:47 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Enjoyed this immensely.

Enjoyed reading through it a second time!
posted by fredludd at 4:31 PM on September 11


God I hated this coercive bullshit song as a child. What if I'm not fucking happy? Why should I sing along with all these people, a number of whom actively spend their time making me unhappy, about how fucking happy I am?

Fortunately I was raised on the version that went "If you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it..." So as a no doubt annoyingly logical child I just refused to do the actions when I wasn't feeling it, or sometimes just because.
"But Mum, it says IF YOU REALLY WANT TO."
posted by lollusc at 4:44 PM on September 11


Not sure if it's better or worse, but this masterpiece of kid-targeted marketing is on regular rotation in our house, so the version I have stuck in my head has lines like
If you're happy and you know it, shout "John Deere"!
If you're happy and you know it, plant some seeds!
If you're happy and you know it, bale the hay!

Although this FPP makes me realize that while I was wary about letting Big Tractor turn my son into a marketing tool, I totally neglected the deeper and more subtle damage it is surely doing to his psyche by teaching him that the only way to express happiness is through mechanized farm equipment.
posted by bjrubble at 5:00 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I see a lot of folks arguing for less pigeon-holing versions of the song, but I kinda like all the happy horseshit I was raised on. Santa Clause and Jesus Christ slowly taught me how to be critical of comforting fictions while still appreciating their charm and utility. Being made to recite nursery rhymes and prayers with weird words and ideas that I only understood later was super helpful.
posted by es_de_bah at 6:45 PM on September 11


I really feel sorry for this writer’s kid and their college chances.

When my first kid entered preschool, we went back to the original Ancient Greek text. The Greeks had a word in the song that’s untranslatable into English for “want/should.” As the omniscient narrator, it was the chorus that really knew how happy the singer was and signified such by stomping their feet (but never clapping their hands which was considered vulgar ). The effect when performed live was that the singer’s happiness was felt to be more valid/deserved than the usual amount of happiness, and should be rewarded with admission to the highest learning academy in the land.

Curiously for the Greeks, this usually meant Brown.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:43 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


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