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12 Childhood Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Realize Were Racist

Feet In Circle

‘Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe’

Children often utilize this rhyme to determine who’s “it,” especially during a game of Hide ‘n’ Seek. However, the lyrics to this song were not originally about a tiger. The real lyrics, according to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, are as follows:

Eenie, meenie, miney moe
Catch an [N-word] by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
Eenie, meenie, miney moe.

‘Five Little Monkeys’

This nursery rhyme has been taught to many children to help them learn how to count. However, the original words used in the song have far less benign implications. Instead of “Monkeys,” “Five Little Monkeys” (also known as “Ten Little Monkeys” originally used the “n word” or “darkies” as a reference to Black people. But in that context, does the current edit make this nursery rhyme any less derogatory?

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6 thoughts on “12 Childhood Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Realize Were Racist

  1. I could remeber working for Califonia Department of Forestry in 1985 at Ryan Air field Hemet Ca. Me being the only black guy on the Helitack team was rough. I had to sit there and hear their prejudice jokes. One white member would read jokes out loud in front of the whole team. "BasketBall, Watermelon, Cadillac cars, we aint as dumb as you think we…..is". or "Daniel Boone was a man, he was a big man, but the bear was bigger so he ran like a nigger up a tree". I told him, dont you ever let me catch you in Riverside Ca.

  2. Then and now give them credit for changing the tune those are the dark ages.

  3. John Fleming says:

    Hahaha.. Who does that… Had to be a deep rooted odd fixation in the mind of the song writer'..

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