SCHOOL RHYMES AND PARODIES
Divided into four subsections – School and Teachers; School Meals; School Boasts, Yells, and Chants; and Parodies of Hymns, Songs, and Rhymes – this section opens up the usually hidden world of children’s attitudes to schools in general, which they express in a usually humorous and ironic way. As Nigel Kelsey comments: “Scurrilous rhymes about school and teachers are probably as old as formal education itself, though few have been noted.” He adds that “rhymes and songs about school, teachers, and school meals are so universal that it is worthwhile devoting a separate section to them”. He remembers the influence of comics and magazines in his own childhood which presented stereotypes of school life, some of which were still very much in evidence during his fieldwork in the 1980s. The section ends with forty-seven examples of parodies, most of which are of well established carols, songs, and nursery rhymes rather than of contemporary material, apart from an occasional television commercial jingle.