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It’s just not right May 14, 2009

Filed under: glum,itsy-bitsy — yulingxpress @ 11:01 pm

I’m one singsongy mommy.

Diapertime, bathtime, bedtime, playtime, anytime.

And it bugs me to no end that I can’t find a decent Chinese song to sing to the missy.

Why do we glorify a song that tells children it is strange to have no eyes? Why do we other-ize? (Think San Zhi Hao Hu.)

What’s so strange about giving a dollar instead of the fifty cents’ fare? There is such a thing known as change. Or tips. (Think San Lun Che.)

And must we tell a child that being without a mother makes one stray like grass? Where is the sensitivity? (Think Ma Ma Hao.)

I feel ashamed of our Chinese songs. I really do.

Missy Raeann will not be stepping foot into any playschools that sing these discriminatory songs. And I’m prepared to give these schools a piece of my mind too.


28 Responses to “It’s just not right”

  1. lotise Says:

    Funny how when thinking through the lyrics, they are really terrible.

    Xiao Bai Chuan isn’t that bad?

  2. pp Says:

    Hi, chanced by from lil miss snooze’s blog. Raeann’s a very cute girl!

    btw, there’s one chinese song I always sing to my girl. It’s called Xiao Mi Feng (little bee). It teaches about not being lazy and be hardworking like the bees so that when the winter comes, one will have enough honey! hope this helps!

  3. stella Says:

    mama hao is okay right?

    and wo you yi zhi xiao mao li…

    anyway all the english fairy tales also got subliminal/gruesome messages. The prince saves the damsel in distress. The bad woman gets thrown in the oven. The wolf eats grandma. It’s everywhere. Better stick to Dora.

  4. bemusedtotz Says:

    Yea agree.. though I just happily sang these without really thinking too deeply about the meaning. :p

    Then again, English nursery rhymes might not fare any better really – rock a bye baby, three blind mice, jack & jill, sing a song of sixpence etc.. all quite violent/nonsensical no?? So, might not be exclusive to Chinese actually.

  5. lilsnooze Says:

    Yeah, like what bemusedtots say…English nursery songs aint great either! What “the wife runs after them with a carving knife (3 blind mice)”! And the cartoons from our years are so violent (think roadrunner and the likes).

    So erm, intro Missy to Mickeymouse clubhouse! I like watching it too. Haha.

  6. yulingxpress Says:

    lotise:: Xiao Bai Chuan has a very sad tune, no? And erm, I only know the first line, haha!

    pp:: Thanks for dropping by! Yah, Xiao Mi Feng is good! Yeah, thanks for reminding me the existence of this song!

    stella:: I don’t like Ma Ma Hao. :/ Totally agree with you on fairy tales!! I’ve not been reading to her these tales, planning to do so only when she’s old enough to understand why they were written as such (background of the authors and periods they were written in etc). There are a couple of good contemporary books for children though – totally wholesome! And beautiful illustrations! :)

    bemused:: Yup, agree! But I thought at least for English nursery rhymes, there were a lot of alternatives, like twinkle twinkle, doe rae me (sound of music rocks!), i’m a little teapot (how cute!) etc. There are more educational, whimsical options as compared to the Chinese ones. I’m really irked by the filial piety notions (I don’t subscribe to this, more about it when we meet!), and worse, the labeling on people and things that do not fit into the ‘norm’. ARGH!

    lilsnooze:: This fussy mommy is not planning to introduce tv to the missy until a much later stage, haha. But certainly comforting to know we now have more wholesome tv! I’ve a deprived childhood – I’ve never watched roadrunner before! :p
    Yes, these violent rhymes are out of my repertoire! And there are very good alternatives!

  7. lilsnooze Says:

    Not only wholesome, but more educational. Think what we had last time were just funny slapsticks hahaha kind. ;) I hate to admit it but tv gets nat to sit still for a while and we can get stuff done. Eeeps.

  8. mrs quek Says:

    Hey, not true…there are many good Mandarin songs….How about “wo niu yu huang li niao”? It talks about perseverance and patience. And rhymes such as “pai pai zuo, chi guo guo”? :)

  9. stella Says:

    i also don’t like hi five and high-school musical series. I don’t know if i’m being sexist but it’s strange seeing teenage boys dancing around being overly enthusiastic and over-enunciating every word.

    i like the good ole Sesame street and Electric Company. And Square One. =P

    lilsnooze> Roadrunner is quite funny. i also like tom and jerry. totally violent but it shuts me up. haha.

  10. aquarianlady Says:

    Cant be of any help in Chinese rhymes but I am sure Raeann will remember her mommy’s sweet voice more than anythin else… Try making up some tunes for her by u self.. it will be fun!

    ( jus ti let u know, I have used ur theme for my blog too.. i know thats not a crime, but just hoping that its doesnt irk u on me :) )

    take care…Happy singing!

  11. Lili Says:

    Hah, dear I think you are bias against the language. There are many chinese rhymes that are not too bad like 《小熊过桥》. Will pass you some when we meet =)

  12. yulingxpress Says:

    lilsnooze:: I so understand! Let’s see how long I can last – this no-tv thingy. :/

    mrs quek:: pai pai zuo does not appeal to me either. Why must we sit in a row to eat?! Hahaha, see how picky I am! Can’t remember the lyrics to the huang li niao song! :p

    Stella:: Same here, I can’t see the appeal of these groups. Sigh.

    aquarianlady:: Yes, I make up songs, but can’t seem to do it well for Chinese songs. I can’t make them rhyme, heh! :p Re the theme – many of my friends use it too! Pretty eh? :)

    Lili:: Nono, I love the Chinese language! Me take higher chinese, chinese lit and chinese studies eh. Love the language, but I can’t say the same for culture I guess. Is the xiao xiong guo qiao one new? I think the new ones are fine. It’s the ones we grow up with that really get to me!

  13. pp Says:


    because of this post, I took out Trisha’s nursery rhyme CD and chinese song CD. =p ermm, actually quite a number of songs that sound right. for instance, I’m a little teapot, old macdonald had a farm, twinkle twinkle little star, do-re-mi. For chinese, maybe you can try 当我们同在一起,小星星,客人来?

  14. yulingxpress Says:

    Oh pp, thank you so much!! I’m singing all the English ones you mentioned, and yes, the Chinese ones are good too! And I know the lyrics!! Hooray! Thanks again!

  15. corsage Says:

    Coincidentally I recently bought an el-cheapo $3.50 Chinese CD for kids. Roboman and I aren’t familiar with Chinese Kids songs anyway so we thought to have a listen. In the car, we were SO amused how everything was about working hard, studying hard, having a good family, respecting the teacher etc. Loads of values in the songs. And of course, the CD had 2 out of the 3 songs you mentioned. Surprisingly it didn’t have San Zhi Lao Hu. Actually i thought it was San Zhi Lau Su. But anyway….I’m probably wrong =P heeee

  16. yulingxpress Says:

    Yes yes, loads of propaganda in there! The studying hard bit is tiresome for me too. I still like cutesy action-filled songs like ‘i’m a little teapot’.

    Oh another song that I can’t stand – Ni Wa Wa!!! ARGH!

  17. corsage Says:

    hahaha, oh yes my CD has Ni WA WA too! The thing is, we couldn’t figure out what it meant. I was wondering what is MI WA WA, then later when I realised it was NI instead of MI, we were both sitting in the car scratching our heads about what NI meant =P Anyway a friend later told me it meant clay. Yeah I did think the whole studying hard thing was quite eye-rolling =P

  18. momo Says:

    babe, you need to do what I did. I bought the CDs from the music shop full of children’s songs, then I selected the non-depressing ones and learnt them. There are quite a few good ones that your readers have already pointed out. Heh.

    English ones can be quite depressing too! Think humpty dumpty, rock a bye baby, three blind mice, london bridge, my bonnie, etc etc. Before I bought the CD, i could only sing you are my sunshine because I felt wrong when I sang the others. Heh.

  19. Amanda Says:

    I always sing ‘wei, wei bu yao pa, ni shi hao wa wa’ (wei, wei don’t be scared, you are a good baby) to Elliot. But problem is, I only know those 2 lines!

  20. Lyn kang Says:

    Corsage: I always thot it was nu wa wa, as in girl, not clay…( I can’t do the two dots above the ‘u’ thing).I think the song is eerie.

    For amanda:it continues ‘zi ji die dao zi ji pa’ — my fav line.

    A nice song that made it into my kids cd is ‘mei hua’ popularized by deng li jun. Must be Taiwanese producer. :) maybe I’ll just sing her 93.3 pop songs that I like. Jay Chou’s qi1 li3 xiang1 maybe. Haha.

  21. yulingxpress Says:

    corsage:: I hate that they jam-pack the songs with all kinds of values, some of which I don’t even agree with. Absolutely hate the Ni Wa Wa song!

    momo:: Yeah, think I’ll stick to the few ‘safe’ ones that everyone has so kindly contributed!

    Amanda:: That’s a good one too! Thanks!

    Lyndis:: Hate that song!! Ha, not sure what Mei Hua sounds like! Can sing for me next time we meet? :p
    Oh no, I dislike Jay Chou too. Give me David Tao anytime! Haha.

  22. min Says:

    hahaha…aunt Min has a whole lot of chinese songs to sing to Missy! From taking choo choo train, to little frogs and little squrriels…Time of Aunty min to visit missy!!!

  23. yulingxpress Says:

    Yes, meet up, aunty min!! i still can’t remember the lyrics to that thumbman song! so terrible!

  24. Peiyi Says:

    Hello Yuling, have not congratulated you on your bundle of joy! =) Decided to come by to see how you have been through your blog and glad that you’re enjoying motherhood! What about ni-wa-wa and there is this song that starts off with “tai yang gong gong yi jing chu lai liao”.. funny I remember just the first line, probably cus my dad used to use that to wake me up… but it is about waking up early so that you have plenty of time ahead! =)

  25. yulingxpress Says:

    Hey Peiyi, so nice to hear from you again! Are you still under secondment?

    I hate ni wa wa. :/ Hate the tune, and the meaningless lyrics. Or I’m just too shallow to understand the deeper meaning behind it. Ha.

    Hee, I should go learn the song you are talking about! For myself if not for Raeann! :p

  26. Clarie Says:

    Hey, I am learning some very good stuffs from your blog and especially this post and the comments! Will come in real useful when we have kids..=P

  27. yulingxpress Says:

    Hi Clarie! Ha, this post is indeed info-loaded for me too! So appreciate everyone’s comments.

  28. A token of the authority blog…

    I’ve learned some new things about this subject….

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