Principal Garry Martin of Le Page Primary School in Melbourne said he instructed students to substitute the line "Fun your life must be" for the original "Gay your life must be" when singing "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." ...
Martin said he was playing a recording of the song for the students about a month ago when the line "gay your life must be" produced a flurry of giggles throughout the classroom.
Some of the students use the word "gay" as a schoolyard taunt, he said, but don’t understand its true meaning.
I can actually think of a couple of other works I learned as a boy that used the word "gay," in the old sense of "happy" or "joyful." There was Mother Goose rhyme "Monday's Child":
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,Perhaps slightly less well-known is the folk song "Villikins and His Dinah," a remarkably grim song to teach a 10-year-old in elementary-school music class when you read the lyrics, including this now unintentionally hilarious couplet:
Is fair and wise and good and gay
Go dress yourself Dinah in gorgeous arrayBut of course, I was a boy in the Dark Ages of the 1970s, when you could use the word "gay" without giggles. But what's even funnier, and sickening upon reflection, in the Australian story is the reaction -- the principle. See if you can follow me. Apparently, even though the word "gay" was being used in the song in the sense of "happy" and was being misunderstood by the kids as a schoolyard taunt meaning "ridiculous and stupid" ("that's so GAY"), changing the word is still a hate crime against The LGBT Community. I am not kidding.
For I've got you yon husband both gallant and gay
His decision erupted into a controversy, he said, after one of the students told his parents about Martin’s change to the song. Word then spread from the parents to friends to the local newspaper, which ran a story - and Martin found himself being bombarded with angry e-mails.This is, simply, gay-activist totalitarianism. Obviously, it is not totalitarianism in the "ship them off to the gulag" sense. But it is totalitarianism in the sense of "totalizing" -- that is, it shows there is literally nothing outside the gay agenda and no aspect of life it doesn't claim the right to adjudicate, even on the flimsiest (and here false) pretexts. Contra "Crusader" (what an unintentionally apropos name) Hillis, the one of those meanings of "gay" that was being declared unacceptable is "ridiculous and stupid." So it doesn't put your "gay" cause backwards. This. Isn't. About. You. And yet you, and apparently not a few Australian parents, still hear "homosexual" at every drop of the word "gay."
"Some think I’m the devil incarnate," he said.
Crusader Hillis, CEO of the gay and lesbian advocacy group The Also Foundation, didn’t go that far - but he did call the lyrical swap an overreaction.
"It sends a signal to people that just because a word has two meanings, that one of those meanings is unacceptable and that’s really putting us backwards," Hillis said. "Even if it’s done for good intentions because ’gay’ is being used in schoolyards as a slur, I think they need to use the word as a conversation rather than banning it."
And another thing ...
Here is a quote from Principal Martin about why he decided to simply change the words rather than explain meanings.
"It wasn’t misplaced political correctness, it wasn’t homophobia, there was nothing really calculated in doing it. I could’ve stopped the whole class and gone into a very caring, supportive explanation of gay being quite a reasonable choice in lifestyle that some people make, but I was only talking with 7- and 8-year-olds and I think that sort of thing is better explained more fully with parents."Plainly from this quote, the principal is an objectively pro-gay educator ("a very caring, supportive explanation") but someone who thinks that maybe, just maybe, introduction of the concept "gay" is something parents should do (or not do ... whatever) rather than teachers.* And still he gets roasted for this view and by the end of the story, he's agreed to do what he said he didn't want to do and what the gay-activist said he should. When the gay-activists, we don't want to indoctrinate and sexualize the children, they are lying. They want to shape their minds and their sense of the "normal" (and thus everything else about them) as early as possible, and use the public schools to that end, parents be damned.
* How times have changed. When I was about 11, when the science/health unit got around to diet and vitamins, I asked about a vitamin ad at the time that had a female spokesman say, “being woman, we need twice the iron as men,” and I wanted to know why that was. I remember a couple of girls giggled and the teacher scolded the class for immaturity, and I protested that I was asking what seemed like a serious and legitimate question, and she replied, "I know YOU are being serious ... but you need to ask your parents about that" (the ad coyly referred to menstruation with "we lose some of it" though that meant nothing to me at 11).