Brownies dragged into a woke row as 'God' is removed from camp song
Now the Brownies are dragged into a woke row as ‘God’ is removed from the lyrics of a camp song to ensure Girlguiding movement is ‘inclusive of all religions’
- The changes have been made as some could have ‘references hurtful to people’
- In one case, a group has updated some lyrics to remove all references to religion
- The Girl Guides have stated songs have been updated to include all religions
Songs sung by generations of Girl Guides are being dropped or having their lyrics altered in the latest example of wokery.
The changes are detailed in a blog on the movement’s official website, saying that while songs were a ‘big part’ of its tradition some could have ‘references that have been hurtful to people’.
In these cases, the blog suggested, ‘there might need to be adaptations so everyone can join in’ and it gave examples of making them ‘inclusive for everyone’.
In one instance, a Brownie group has updated the lyrics to the end-of-meeting and camp song Brownie Bells to remove all references to religion.
This has upset some Christian groups, who argue that the original ethos of the Guiding organisation – of which Brownies is a part – was to encourage a belief in God.
The original version of Brownie Bells stated: ‘Oh Lord our God, Thy children call, Grant us thy peace, And bless us all. Good Night G.O.O.D.N.I.G.H.T.’
Songs sung by generations of Girl Guides are being dropped or having their lyrics altered in the latest example of wokery (Stock Image)
But in the updated version, they say: ‘Time for the end, our meeting’s past, Brownies is great, time flies so fast, goodnight. I’m a Brownie, you’re a Brownie, Brownies all around the world. Goodnight Brownies everywhere.’
The Girlguiding movement defended the update, saying it made the traditional song ‘inclusive of all religions’.
But Ciarán Kelly of The Christian Institute, said: ‘The Girl Guides and Scouts should remember that their founders, Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes, were motivated by their faith.
‘Erasing their past and our traditions do not promote greater inclusion, or diversity, quite the opposite. The many Christian members of the Girl Guides will certainly question how welcome they really are. I hope they reconsider this decision.’
One leader, named on the now-removed blog as Emma, revealed she had stopped singing some songs with her unit ‘because of their colonial and racist histories’.
Among the jettisoned songs is a Canadian folk song, Land Of The Silver Birch, and the popular nursery rhyme Five Little Monkeys.
Emma said in the online article: ‘We’ve stopped singing any songs that have a questionable history. Songs like Land Of The Silver Birch, written to imitate Native American culture but not respectful of their song culture, and Five Little Monkeys, which has a history in minstrel songs [and] which were sung wearing blackface.’
In one instance, a Brownie group has updated the lyrics to the end-of-meeting and camp song Brownie Bells to remove all references to religion (Stock Image)
The latter was banned last month from children’s events in Scotland over fears that because it probably originated in the late 19th Century US, it may have originally included the n-word instead of ‘monkeys’.
But there are other reports that it is actually based on a plantation folk song called Shortenin’ Bread.
In the past few years, there have been debates in Canada over Land Of The Silver Birch, with some saying the lyrics of the campfire song is offensive to Native American heritage. But other indigenous experts point out its writer had dual heritage and say suggestions of racist overtones are ‘overblown’.
Last night, Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: ‘No British institution, however revered, is safe from the “woke” thought police. It was only a matter of time before they came for the Girl Guides.
‘Funnily enough, this may turn out to be quite helpful to those of us trying to defend free speech. Censoring the lyrics of the Girl Guides’ songs is a step too far, like sanitising the works of Roald Dahl.’
A Girlguiding spokeswoman said: ‘We are proud to be an inclusive organisation. Our ambition for diversity and inclusion is for Girlguiding to be a place where everyone is welcome and is free to be themselves – whoever they are and wherever they’re from.
‘It’s important we consider elements of our heritage that may not illustrate our values and ethos of today, and how they may be excluding girls or volunteers from taking part fully or feeling truly welcome.’
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