Rhymes against Humanity

I can’t be the only one, surely?

My brain feels like it’s melting and about drip out of my ear, like some kind of novelty candle.


Nursery sodding rhymes.

Really! Nursery rhymes!

If I have to ‘row, row, row’ my bloody boat down another stream, I think I’m likely deliberately crash it into the river bank and set the wreck alight!

I just don’t get it.

Why are they all so archaic?

Why are they all so dull?

Perhaps they were designed by a shadowy part of the government as a subtle form of psychologic torture to keep parents brain-dead during the early years? On reflection, this would be overkill – sleep deprivation is fulfilling that function quite nicely.

Don’t get me wrong, they work. I understand that nursery rhymes are like catnip for kids. Sam’s entire demeanour changes when he hears about the aforementioned watercraft and its oar-based method of propulsion. He can be fully on a one-way trip to the Dark side, I mean full Sith, and the mere mention of that boat will bring him back to a smiley state (for which I’m grateful). Yet, the thing is, I hate them! Nursery rhymes are driving me up the wall!

I used to be a thrusting young professional. Actually, I was never a thrusting young professional. To thrust in a professional capacity is a particularly niche occupation, but you get the idea. I used to be a man about town (also lies, I used to sit in pubs reading the paper mentally debating where I’d get a take-away from that evening). Anyway, whatever I was, it was infinitely more exciting than some of the rhymes I’m currently singing on a seemingly endless loop.

There’s ‘Old MacDonald’, who, as the rhyme tells us, is in agriculture. Good for him. Why I’m spending whole chunks of my day listing in inventory of his livestock and the sounds they make is beyond me. Sam seems to enjoy the experience, perhaps he’s pleased that these animals, half of which he’s never seen, are present and in good voice?

Another classic is ‘If you’re happy and you know it. clap your hands!” Sam can’t (currently) clap his hands, it’s a milestone we’re still yet to hit. I’m sure when we get to that particular promised land the song will gain a whole new meaning, but right now it feels like we’re going through the motions somewhat.

I mustn’t leave out ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, who seems to have some kind of obsessive compulsive desire to walk his men up and down any molehill in sight. I can understand ‘Up’ being useful vocab for a child, as is ‘Down’. But ‘Halfway Up’ is probably going to be little used by any kid who isn’t obsessed with umbrellas.

They’re just so dull. I can’t be the only one feeling this, surely?

I also can’t be the only one who’s ‘adapted’ the lyrics somewhat. Nothing major, but enough to keep me from losing the plot.

Here’s a few examples:

“Old MacDonald had a farm, that supplied his burger business.

 And on that farm he had some cows, ‘cause it’s a cattle farm.

 With a moo, moo here. A moo, moo there.

Here a moo, there a moo.

Everywhere a moo, moo.

Old MacDonald had a farm and an abattoir.”

Another favourite is:

“Row, row, row your boat, over to the villa.

Don’t forget to put the prosecco straight into the chiller!”

A refusal to go to sleep, well past 9pm, after I’d cooked an elaborate meal for my partner’s birthday led to:

“If you’re happy and you know it scream and cry,”

If you’re happy and you know it scream and cry,”

If you’re happy and you know it and you really want ruin a meal that daddy sweated over for hours…*

If you’re happy and you know it scream and cry.”


I’m aware this doesn’t ‘scan’ correctly, but I feel that deficiency adds to the poignancy of the piece somewhat.

Perhaps you think badly of me, rewriting these classics. As far as I’m concerned, Sam just likes the sounds of the words I’m saying and doing it keeps my brain (mildly) active. Anything’s better than watching Judge Rinder on a loop surely?

If you have your own unique nursery rhymes, let me know! In the meantime I’ve got to go. I need to tell the tale of Incy Wincy Spider – a lesson in futility if I ever heard one.

Still sinking.

The Out of Depth Dad.

Published by The Out of Depth Dad

A new dad, completely out of his depth. Who knew that parenthood was so tricky?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: