‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ Deemed Racist

“Baa Baa Black Sheep” has been deemed racist, and will no longer be sung at some child care centers in Australia. The classic nursery rhyme was penned in the early 1700s, and has been a preschool staple around the world. Some child care centers in Melbourne changed the phrases in “Baa Baa Black Sheep” because administrators feel it is both racist and sexist.

In an effort to reflect a “multicultural community,” the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” nursery rhyme the staff at south-eastern Melbourne suburbs child care centers told the Herald Sun the lyric was being changed because of concerns over the racial connotations of the term “black.” Kindergarten teachers at the early childhood education centers reportedly told the newspaper that the line, “one for the little boy who lives down the lane” may also be changed to avoid any sexist connotations.

One local parent expressed confusion over the whole “Baa Baa Black Sheep” controversy when speaking to the Herald Sun, “I am a person who has black skin. Can we please stop with the political correctness, it’s becoming a joke. The song is called ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep.’ No need to change it!”

Nursery rhymes were often written to reflect the current events of the time. “Ring Around the Rosey” was reportedly related to the Black Plague. The meaning of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is reportedly related to a heavy tax placed upon wool during the 1730s.

Malvern East’s Central Park Child Care center reportedly wants to infuse the idea of diversity into the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” nursery rhyme by noting that sheep could “take any form or color” that the children wish. Children will still be able to use the phrase “black sheep” if they wish, but they will not have to after the staff introduces a “variety of sheep” into the nursery rhyme lyrics options.


“Baa Baa Black Sheep” lyrics.

“Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane
baa, baa, white sheep,
have you any wool?
yes sir, yes sir,
three needles full.
one to mend a jumper,
one to mend a frock,
and one for the little girl,
with holes in her sock.
Baa, baa, white sheep,
have you any wool?
yes sir, yes sir,
three needles full.
Baa, baa, grey sheep,
have you any wool?
yes sir yes sir,
three bags full.
one for the kitten,
one for the cats,
and one for the guinea pigs,
to knit some wooly hats.”

What do you think about the politically correct version of “Baa Baa Black Sheep?”