I Changed The Lyrics Without Your Permission

Written about 1913, this simple hymn by Clarence Herbert Woolston is a sweet, familiar, but outdated little ditty best and most poignantly done by a children’s choir. Unfortunately it reflects the racial labels and overtones of the times in which it was written. Since it was so popular for so long many felt it best, rather than just tossing the whole of it, to change the lyrics somewhat. Personally, I don’t believe in sanitizing history in general, and in that respect am a purist, but having worked with all kinds of children over the years, especially those who were severely handicapped, I’d hate to see the overt message lost to them just for the sake of Political Correctness. That would really be like tossing out the proverbial baby with the bath water.

So I changed the lyrics without your permission:

Alternative Text

Lyrics Change







About The Twentieth Man

Age 70
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3 Responses to I Changed The Lyrics Without Your Permission

  1. Richard McDonald says:

    I would like to be told in what way the song Jesus loves the little children gives a racist overtone

  2. Categorization by color. Racism is a belief system. The colors mentioned in the song lyrics are a reference to children of distinct skin colors. (Red and Yellow, Black and White)

    Racists hold the belief that the whole of humanity (Homo Sapiens) is neatly divided into broadly defined yet irreducible subcategories based, primarily on skin color, but also hair color and texture and other superficial physical characteristics. Furthermore, they rank them accordingly and essentially believe one of these so-called races superior to the others, usually, but not always, their own.

    The obvious intent of the song is to express Jesus’ love for all the children of the world but today there are those who would remove it from their personal repertoire or expunge it from their church hymnals. The argument for this is based on the descriptive terms of red, yellow, black and white.

    Human language is an attempt to communicate or describe, but often – too often – fails to explain what you see directly before you. But put plainly,

    There is really no such thing as a red child.
    There is really no such thing as a yellow child.
    There is really no such thing as a black child.
    There is really no such thing as a white child.

    None of these things are found in nature. All human skin reflects various shades of brown. Genetically endowed, the allotment of melanin pigment determines the color (darkness) of your skin, hair and eyes.

    There is no human rainbow. Human skin coloration reflects only a narrow band of the full visible light spectrum – shades of brown, and there are no distinct lines of demarcation differentiating one group of people from another. Racism is a belief system. The existence of disparate human races is an erroneous human concept.

    Logic is the high calculus of grammar, and linguistic errors, fundamental errors in descriptive writing, are also errors of thought.

    The song was intended to be loving and all-inclusive yet subtly reflects the racist thinking of the period (early twentieth century) nonetheless.

  3. Rodney Lovett says:

    The different colors are there for all to see. They cannot be denied. The song is all inclusive of all colors and gives glory to Jesus for loving all. It is a beautiful song. To spin otherwise is to promote racism. We are different…and it is only in Jesus that we are brought together. We were created… made originally to be in His image…all of us. We fell. We attempted to rise at the tower on our own…and God saw our sinful futility in that. But in His provision…in Christ, we can all once again be made in His image. This is God’s intent and purpose…that in Christ Jesus we have complete unity. Genesis 1, John 17, Romans 8, Ephesians 2. The Bible’s message throughout the 1600 years of its writing is one. In Christ, you are my brother, my sister…no matter what color I am or you are. Let’s lay down our arms…and rejoice in that truth…in Christ Jesus…to His glory!

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