Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Skip a Rope

The attitudes and behaviors in the home influence and shape the beliefs and outlooks of the young who are raised in the home.  This is a hard yet irrefutable truth that many would prefer to deny.

Consider this.  The child exposed to violence in the household, the child who hears defamatory speech has no choice but to be influenced by these.  Either he will adopt the thinking and behaviors exhibited by his parents, or he will rebel against them and choose another path.  Either way, the home influence is powerful.

Historical flashback.  The late 1960s contained many strands of ugly threads in the fabric of our society.  It was the era of Viet Nam.  It was a period of intense struggle for racial equality, equality to be desired, but ugliness in the resistance to it was evident all too frequently.

While the causes and the skirmishes may manifest along somewhat different lines, in many ways the society of today is little different.  The fabric we are weaving is yet far from perfect.
 
November, 1967.  A young country singer, Henson Cargill, released a recording entitled "Skip a Rope."  It hit number one on the country charts where it stayed for eight weeks.  It also clocked number twenty-five on the pop charts.  The song was eventually covered by a plethora of artists including such powerhouse singers as Bobby Bare and George Jones.

In spite of its popularity and tremendous sales, the lyrics were controversial; controversial because they spoke truth and many there were who did not want to hear the truth, nor did they want it spoken.  (Does this sound familiar?)

You may readily find Cargill's rendition on YouTube.  I have chosen to reproduce the lyrics here so you might ponder them.

Skip a Rope
by Joe South, as sung by Henson Cargill


Oh, listen to the children while they play,
Now ain't it kinda funny what the children say,
Skip a rope.

Daddy hates mommy, mommy hates dad,
Last night you shoulda heard the fight they had,
Gave little sister another bad dream,
She woke us all up with a terrible scream.
Skip a rope, skip a rope

Cheat on your taxes, don't be a fool,
Now what was that they said about a Golden Rule?
Never mind the rules, just play to win,
And hate your neighbor for the shade of his skin.
Skip a rope, skip a rope.

Stab 'em in the back, that's the name of the game,
And mommy and daddy are who's to blame.
Skip a rope, skip a rope,

Just listen to your children while they play,
It's really not very funny, what the children say,
Skip a rope, skip a rope.

7 comments:

Secondary Roads said...

Some of the things that children say are still not very funny.

Grace said...

Much to ponder, I have no succinct comment, only that there is a now segment of the population that realizes actions speak louder than words. My parent weren't aware and along with everything else I learned, I learned to form my own opinions.

Slightly off topic tho - a line from a Buffalo Springfield song "Singing songs and carrying signs, Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

vanilla said...

Chuck, historically children's play songs and chants have often had ugly undertones. Now where did that come from?

Grace, very much on topic. That song was released in the same calendar year as the one I cited. Verbal protest and sign-carrying very much transitioned into physical action in that era.

Lin said...

Think about nursery rhymes and fairytales...they are very scary and mean. It's no wonder what comes out of the kids isn't always good.

vanilla said...

Lin, just so, as Kipling might have said.

Vee said...

Wow! I don't remember this song. One of the jump rope chants I did with my friends was:

Pauli (name of girl jumping the rope here) and Wesley (choice of boy here)
Sitting in a tree,
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
First comes love,
Then comes marriage
Then comes Pauli
With a baby carriage.

I guess this rhyme reflects the fact that back then the majority of girls got married and had families.

vanilla said...

Vee, along those lines, and meaner, was this:

Fudge, fudge
Call the judge.
Mama had a new-born baby.
Wrap it up in tissue paper
throw it down the elevator.

How many stories did it fall?
One, two, . . .