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Top 5 Worst Kids Songs

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Most kids songs are cute--but some are just wrong.


Momlogic's Momstrosity: In the world of well-worn kids' songs, there's the good, the bad, and the annoying. Those melodies and lyrics are so hardwired into our psyche, we don't even know the meaning of what we're singing.

We say -- stop the madness! Here are five songs that should be stricken from the most popular kids' song lists:

1) Rock-a-Bye Baby
Why this song is considered a lullaby is anyone's guess. What it is, is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Who was the manufacturer of that cradle? It obviously should be recalled before more unsuspecting babies plummet to the ground. Lulling your child to sleep with a tale of a shoddily constructed bed is like telling them the Big Bad Wolf will be waiting for them in their dreams. Not advised.

2) I Love You, You Love Me (Sung by Barney to the tune of This Old Man)
Not a traditional song, but on its way to becoming a kid standard. This sickeningly sweet song is like eating cotton candy dipped in maple syrup and arsenic. What's up with the line, "We're a happy family?" Because last time we checked our family tree, it didn't include an extinct purple PBS dinosaur. Then it just gets sad. "Won't you say you love me too?" One lesson we should teach our kids right out of the gate: Don't ask people if they love you. It makes you look pathetic. The only time you should be asking is when you're drunk at a bar nearing last call.

3) Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed
What clown thought a children's song about a bunch of monkeys jumping up and down on a bed was a good idea? Sure, the mom comes in with her cautionary advice from the doctor in the refrain: "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"  But that doesn't stop the other monkeys -- or your kid -- from suffering the very same concussion after whacking their heads on to the corner of the nightstand. Hey, at least it's better than the much less popular song, "Five Little Monkeys Light the Bed on Fire."

4) Ring Around The Rosy
The meaning of this song is anything but rosy. Sure it has that fun finale "we all fall down," but unfortunately -- since the lyrics are in reference to the Black Plague of 1665 -- everyone's falling because they're dropping dead. Here's a breakdown of a few lyrics:

Ring around the rosy
First symptom of the plague was red, rosy cheeks-- think about that the next time you brush on your L'Oreal mauve blush.

Pocket full of Posies
In a futile attempt to ward off the "black death," people would carry posie petals in their pockets--about the equivalent of a glass of Airborne -- totally useless.

Ashes, ashes we all fall down
A children's song that references a standard burial sermon? Hey kids, let's go to a funeral!

5) There's a Hole in the Bucket
First major problem of this traditional folk song is, it has no end -- kind of like housework. It incorporates something known as an infinite-loop motif -- which in layman's terms means singing it will make you go loopy. What's more, it's sung in an irritating, monotonous rhythm by two country bumpkins named Henry and Liza. The pair -- perhaps a dysfunctional married couple -- are trapped in a living hell over a broken bucket. After 17-plus refrains of this never-ending tune you'll feel like kicking the bucket yourself.

Henry: There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Liza: Well fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, well fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.
Henry: With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza, with what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
Liza: With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with straw...

Sweet Lord! Liza and Henry -- get off your asses and go buy a new bucket -- you can get one at any 99-cent store.


next: Baby Born Twice
44 comments so far | Post a comment now
Suzanne June 6, 2008, 11:34 AM

I hate you
You hate me
Lets all go and shoot Barney
And a Shot rang out and Barney hit the floor
No more purple dinosaur

Jennifer  June 6, 2008, 12:20 PM

Don’t you think we are over analyzing just a little,we all grew with ring around the rosie and rock a bye baby and didn’t suffer any long term damage. Lets not get too politically correct thats half of whats wrong with this world.

Grammy June 6, 2008, 1:14 PM

Get a grip! Kids don’t look for meaning in the lyrics. They sing along to the music and words cause it is FUN. You do remember fun don’t you?

Charli June 6, 2008, 1:16 PM

I thought that this entry was wrong on many points but kinda funny. I know I normally write about all the negativity. but I thought it was funny!

Tiffany June 6, 2008, 1:47 PM

Oh please. Pretty sure this was meant to be funny. Maybe you people are the ones who need to get a grip! So yes, I remember FUN…sounds like you people don’t!

stinkybrat41 June 6, 2008, 9:01 PM

lighten up peeps, this is funny in a silly sorta way and is accurate, references & all oh yeah and barney makes me sick too but my lil’ one loved the stupid song so… you just handle it.

red mum July 2, 2008, 2:22 PM

Growing up in Ireland in the 1970s I learned ring a ring a rosy a little differently, the last line I learned was ‘atishu atishu we all fall down’ referring to catching and falling prey to the plague! I was also taught in school that the ring a ring a rosie referred to a rash from the first symptoms of the plague not rosy cheeks.

We also had another rhyme, the original of which is definitely one of the worst rhymes ever.

It was incredibly racist and mad to think we thought nothing of it in the 1970s. It is now changed, thankfully:

‘iney meaney miney mo, catch the n**g*r by the toe, when they scream let them go, iney meany miney mo.’

Kids now say ‘catch the piggy’.

jen September 29, 2008, 3:39 PM

Ok we are getting closer and closer to the real meanings of the Ring around the Rosey…. To the original writer of this please please do your research first!!! I have done extensive research and articles on the Bubonic plague as well as footage using this song in reference to it for conferences. The ring around the rosie is referred to the rash that the plague casues. The rash is a dark red spot(sometimes black depending on area of body infected) with and even darker ring around it. The pocket full of posies was almost correct. During the time of the Plague the number of deaths were so high that the smell was terrible. People actually believed that the smell was part of the cause of the Black Death and not the actual decaying bodies. So they thought if they smelled good the plague would not get them, thus the reason for sticking posies in their pockets. And the Ashes to Ashes was referring to once again the number of bodies and deaths that they had to be cremated to get rid of the bodies rather than to bury, not to mention this was the most effectient way to get rid of the plague since they didn’t know at the time how it was passed from one person to the next. Also the version mentioned with the tissue is correct because sneezing was thought to be one of the final stages of the plague’s symptoms

Emma October 15, 2008, 8:06 PM

Many kids songs have meanings behind them. Though some are dark, others are light and cute. Of all the songs I learned growing up the ones with other meanings are more than that. They are stories passed down generations, so as to not forget what happened and or teach warnings. It could be to remember people lost in a tragedy, or to warn youth of evil in your fellow man. Therefore I find them to be alright depending on age group, kids should know some songs for they can be good lessons learned.

jing November 21, 2008, 4:15 AM

I definitely remember rock-a-bye baby causing me nightmares when I was little. I think it had something to do with my favorite toy falling out the window and breaking its head…

Red November 22, 2008, 11:42 AM

Any and all of you commenting on “Ring Around the Rosie” are complete fools; the first reference of any kind to this poem is in 1881. Do you think it was around for 500 years before anyone wrote it down? Or that it would be another 100 years before anyone figured out what these kids had been chanting since the 1300’s (or 1600’s)?

For a more complete analysis, go to this website:

Never underestimate the gullibilty of the common person.

meli February 8, 2009, 8:16 AM

Don’t forget “Oh my darling Clementine”. In this one she trips while crossing the stream with her hands full and drowns because her dad doesn’t know how to swim. Talk about depressing. “You are lost and gone forever. Dreadfully sorry, Clementine.”

Adrian March 7, 2009, 1:09 AM

yeah kids dont know what they mean, but its wierd they became a kids song, they should make kids songs that sing about how stupid religion is, kinda something like : religious people are stupid, religious people are dum, lets go round them all up and then we’ll kill some.

Tyrone March 17, 2009, 7:53 PM

Honorary mentions, Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill.

jake August 26, 2009, 10:52 PM

jen - if you’ve done “extensive research” on the topic of the plague, why is it that you don’t know that this song has nothing to do with the plague?

I don’t understand why people keep believing this preposterous hypothesis.

... October 8, 2009, 7:58 PM

Come on arnt we a little too sensitive? seriously? this is stupid theyre just songs i highly doubt any children have had any perminent damage from them. you need to calm down i heard much worse stuff when i was a kid.

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bwsf February 1, 2010, 8:08 PM

I disagree about 5 Little Monkeys, I think that song successfully hammers home BOTH what will happen if you jump on the bed, AND what will happen if you don’t listen to what mom/doc tells you.

ticklemom February 1, 2010, 8:09 PM

This was hysterical! Thanks for posting it! Always felt this way but it’s fun to see it written out.

Ane February 1, 2010, 8:32 PM

I was laughing so hard after I read this post, why? Because my kid loves Barney and that stupid I Love You song was on.. :D I don’t know why Barney is such a hit with kids, I personally hate him cause his voice is so annoying, but then, if he can keep my son busy for 30-45 minutes, then I love him too.. :D LOL

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