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Folklore and Childlore

Updated on April 28, 2010

Children Play a Larger Role in Preserving Culture Than Most People Think!

Most people do not realize how powerful the games, stories, songs, dances and speech of children is within the larger scope of preserving culture.

Because many people disregard the words, childplay of young ones - it often goes unnoticed that children, in fact, play a HUGE role in cultural matters.

When we ignore the 'games' that children play, we miss hearing about the issues that little people are overhearing and are concerned about from the adult world. Kids may or may not lie - but kids' games, songs and stories do not lie. Some of the things that kids sing, dance, storytell about are issues that children do not really understand, but this doesn't stop children from repeating, sometimes from their own perspective of course, the things that are issues in our society.

If some 'games' and 'rhymes' seem nonsensical or like forms of riddles, they often are just that! Nonsensical riddles...due to the fact that children aged 5-14 may not have the emotional, mental and intellectual maturity to sort out the information they may be hearing on a daily basis - in the home, on the radio or through television, from other peers, from older siblings, etc.

If we listen closely, look at the games, the art, body language, music, chants, and speech that our children are using, we can sometimes uncover coding from ages past within our kids' games and songs...and start to unravel the riddles about things that people fear, love, avoid, and seek from era to era.

If anything, children in any age - of all ages/stages of development - are impressionable. Not only that, but creative, resourceful and just plain SMARTER than they are ever given credit for. And they are very social creatures - which means that they must 'share' information with each other, whether this is in a covert manner, hidden from adults - or with each other in a way that feeds a sense of 'togetherness' with other children, other like-individuals.

Ingeniously, children may 'hide information' but will always pass it along in whichever transformed form they have given the information...thus - our history, generational information is OUT THERE still - even when we think it is 'lost' - if only we can unravel what the children are doing, what the children have been saying!

Codified by Adults

Some historical and cultural details have been codified by adults and the codes placed into the songs that have been sung to babies and small children for many, many generations.

There could be many reasons for this coding but one reason which may outshine the rest in reasons of importance is that lullabies, rhymes and songs for small children may have been a way for the illiterate to attempt to 'store' information when they had no way to write it down.

Mothers and fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends - large and entire communities of illiterates, could still hold and remember information through song, poetry, ballads, games, etc., and could communicate at least in a marginal way through these mediums - even in communities where they were 'hushed,' for political reasons.

Things like significant historical events, times of fear, times of great strife in a geographical region have all been uncovered in childrens' nursery rhymes, small childrens' games, lullaby lyrics, childhood game chants and riddles.

Long past the times when the events were a burden to the particular generation who codified them into song, speech, games and occasionally literature, our present-day children are still singing, playing with, saying, and acting out the codes.

(more to come June 17 - waiting on 'permissions' to use certain content from a personal friend)

Spock is a LOTR Fan (this is BAD but very funny)

Spock (in colour) Sings Bilbo Baggins Song (also BA

Adults Out Of The Loop

The reason I've placed two videos of Leonard Nimoy on the hub is to show just HOW BAD adults are at knowing what kids like...and how some adults are just plain bad at telling a ballad. Most children could easily out-perform Mr. Nimoy if you asked them to come up with a little ditty about Bilbo Baggins - impromptu - despite Mr. Nimoy's professional acting experience. It may not be so much that Nimoy is 'bad' at this - but he sure doesn't know what children want, in my opinion. Or - if this video is aimed at an older audience, then Nimoy hasn't treated a certain marvelously done piece of literature (Lord of the Rings) in the manner it deserves.

If these videos are, in any way, intended for a young audience..... *two thumbs down*

With Childlore, children are the creators, perpetuators of story, song, dance, play and anything related to language, words, music and activity...CHILDREN ARE THE AUTHORITIES IN THIS FIELD!

If adults are disconnected with children and do not observe, listen, and ask questions of children - and ask children to guide them through what children are doing, then adults are "OUT OF THE LOOP" with childsplay!

I think Spock spent too much time with Tribbles and on other planets to be able to project a song about a story that children DO LOVE (Lord of the Rings) and about a character (Bilbo Baggins) that most children find interesting.

Perhaps the videos are meant for an audience of Tribbles?


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    • mythbuster profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Thanks spockfan - I think most people are finding the videos funny while turning the sound down a bit

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great videos - bad song but the videos are funny

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      10 years ago from United States

      I know that if my parents had paid more attention to the games my siblings and I played with our friends, they would have learned thoughts we didn't tell them in words until adulthood...

      Knowing this, I decided a long time ago to pay attention to my children's "nonsens" - within reason, of course. :-)

      I hope your article reaches a wide audience. It's a topic dear to my heart.

    • Ivorwen profile image


      10 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Well, my kids liked those video's... I'm going to be hearing that song for a while!

      I found your article very insightful. My children are always singing something that they have just made up. It gets very noisy, and I send them outside... I see that I should be listening to them, as it show what they are thinking about.


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