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Thread: The Gay Kookaburra

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    Volcanic Erupter SoylentGreen's Avatar
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    The Gay Kookaburra

    Teacher censors 'gay' from kids' song - World - NZ Herald News

    A school in Victoria has created controversy by banning the word gay from the classic Aussie song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree.

    Students at Cheltenham's Lepage Primary have instead been told to sing the line, Fun your life must be.
    Principal Garry Martin said he taught the lyrics to grade one pupils using an old tape of the famous song.

    "It uses gay and I just suggested to kids, `Nowadays that can mean different things, so let's just sing a fun old time',"
    Mr Martin said some children used the word "gay" to bully others without knowing the meaning of the expression.
    However, Crusader Hillis, from gay and lesbian advocacy group the Also Foundation, said the banning words because they had multiple meanings was wrong.

    "I don't think that's a very good message for kids to have, particularly when they've been working really hard to bring in respect and diversity into schools," he said.

    "They're drawing attention to it and being a bit stupid."

    Kookaburra was penned more than 75 years ago by teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition
    The first verse of the Kookaburra song is:

    Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
    Merry merry king of the bush is he.
    Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
    Gay your life must be!
    It is definitely true that the word gay has a different meaning from 75 years ago. Also true is that kids do use the word in it's modern sense now a days and do use it to bully other kids.

    So how should we treat the word gay now? In it's modern meaning or as it once had meaning as happy? What are we to teach the kids today?

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    Volcanic Erupter RickSp's Avatar
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    Forget about the Kookaburra being gay. The silly song is under copyright. Yeah, the teacher is being stupid but I hope the lawyers don't show up and demand she pay royalties for using the damn song.

    Men At Work Guilty Of Ripping Off "Land Down Under" Melody

    A Kookaburra Causes Trouble 'Down Under'
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    Troll Slayer NoJingoLingo's Avatar
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    Words and their meanings change over the course of time. Like, neo-liberal, for instance.
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    Son of X51 Compugasm's Avatar
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    Doesn't the Flintstones theme song have the word 'gay' in it too?

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    Hot Lava ChimneySweep's Avatar
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    The teacher should grow up and keep the lyrics as they were intended. If the kids comment on the "gay" he could explain that when written they meant happy and now sometimes have an additional connotation of being homosexual and that this was not the meaning of the song at the time. Changing the wording dishonours the composer and implies there is something wrong or shameful about being gay. Kids now use different meanings for lots of words, including words like "bad" and "radical". Is the teacher going to change all of them as they occur?

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    blasphemer grandpa's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: ChimneySweep View Post
    The teacher should grow up and keep the lyrics as
    they were intended.
    If the kids comment on the "gay" he could explain
    that when written they meant happy and now sometimes have
    an additional connotation of being homosexual and that this was
    not the meaning of the song at the time.
    The Flintstone's had a "gay old time," didn't they? If memory serves, much of that show involved Fred queening out.

    Anyway, there's no reason this tune should be revised, or even snuffed without mercy. Anyone can learn that "gay" -- like countless other words -- has at least two different meanings. I wouldn't consider it controversial. Meanings could be misunderstood, but that's why understanding should be increased.

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    At this point, it's not inconsiderate to stop using 'gay' in its original meaning. It is archaic and outmoded and possesses wholly different meaning these days.
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    Son of X51 Compugasm's Avatar
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    He's the "king of the bush", totally escapes the radar, classic.

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    Quote Quote by: ChimneySweep View Post
    The teacher should grow up and keep the lyrics as they were intended. If the kids comment on the "gay" he could explain that when written they meant happy and now sometimes have an additional connotation of being homosexual and that this was not the meaning of the song at the time. Changing the wording dishonours the composer and implies there is something wrong or shameful about being gay. Kids now use different meanings for lots of words, including words like "bad" and "radical". Is the teacher going to change all of them as they occur?
    I think you missed something: they're grade 1 students. GRADE 1 STUDENTS!!!

    I don't know about how its like in America, but as an Australian, I don't particularly want or expect that to be taught in Grade 1.

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Why? The idea that sex is to be kept hidden from young kids is absurd and puritanical.
    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir, I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation."


    -- Stephen Crane

  11. #11
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    Why? The idea that sex is to be kept hidden from young kids is absurd and puritanical.
    Since when was sex the subject of my post or this topic?

    But to answer what I believe you mean (that homosexuality should not be hidden from young kids)...

    We typically don't want young kids as young as grade 1 to know too much about homosexuality, as we normally believe that it is uncommon. My personal belief on homosexuality is that it is not good and young kids should definitely avoid it, but apart from that, it is just a personal belief. But, the truth is, in our society, most homosexuals are normally subjected to much scrutiny, right? Well, that's one reason why most parents wouldn't want their child to be gay.

    The truth is, there is no logical reason for us to hate homosexuality, but that doesn't effectively write off people who just dislike it.

    P.s. I think I'm just rambling now...

  12. #12
    Hot Lava ChimneySweep's Avatar
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    Blahblah:I don't know about how its like in America, but as an Australian, I don't particularly want or expect that to be taught in Grade 1.
    I'm not American either, but I am aware of what first-year students know and trust me, they're more aware of the meanings of terms like this than you appear to think.Even the OP states that the word is well-known if not the meaning, so to just ignore that, is to condone its use as an insult:
    Mr Martin said some children used the word "gay" to bully others without knowing the meaning of the expression
    .

    There are ways of dealing with things like this that are age-appropriate. The teacher could just explain the word has different meanings and in this case the word means "happy". Kids have always giggled over words that have "other" meanings like "tit" and "bum" for example. If spoken to honestly, they get over with it.

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