Shoots and Ladders: based on false pretenses

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM By: hylianux

This may be absolutely no shock to anyone... But apparently the entire premise behind the song shoots and ladders is false.

Shoots and Ladders is about how we were taught to be evil, with all the dark hidden meanings behind nursery rhymes we'd all sung to and laughed at as children...

Apparently, none of these rhymes have any dark hidden meaning whatsoever.

The rhymes referenced in the song, with their associated evil, are:
Ring around the Rosie - bubonic plague
London Bridge Is Falling Down - a bridge collapsing and a "fair lady" dying
This old man - Sexual abuse
one-two, buckle my shoe - ... should have used freddy krueger's chant, this piece seems meaningless here...
baa baa, black sheep - racism/slave trade

ALL of these are dubious.

Ring around the Rosie is NOT about the black plague. I was shocked to hear this too. The rhyme wasn't even in print until 1881, over 5 centuries after the black plague. how could a rhyme be so popular for 5 centuries and never be written down? more on this rhyme here >> http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/rosie.asp

London Bridge Is Falling Down-
If you look at only that verse of the song, it DOES seem pretty dark, doesn't it? That's because you're looking at only one verse out of context from the rest of the song. Sounds like what an inept parent does to a Korn song when their kid goes ape shit. now read some of the other lyrics: >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Bridge_Is_Falling_Down#Lyrics

London Bridge is broken down,
Build it up with wood and clay,
Wood and clay will wash away,
Build it up with bricks and mortar,...

The list goes on, but they all end in "my fair lady". that's due to it being a british song. you can't picture an older british gentleman saying "my fair lady" at the end of every sentence? here, this is a reminder of how british men sound to the US >> http://s3.amazonaws.com/theoatmeal-img/comics/spines_speech/1800.png

Ultimately, it's just a nursery rhyme about a shitty bridge, and 2 people arguing about how to fix it. nothing dark to gain here.

This old man-
There are no claims at all as to any sexual abuse by this song. Also, this version of the song is the second version... the first version of the song was more geared around being a high-rollin pimp who could get the ladies off simply by pointing at them and saying "boom!" That's right, "this old man" is none other than "Jack Jintle"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Old_Man#Origins_and_history

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe-
I honestly have no idea why Korn included this song... just sorta fit the mood i guess. there's no meaning to ascertain from this other than it's an old version of a popular music idea. it's just about a guy who's gone to call on a girl, nobody's around, and apparently they've had a roll in the hay. morbid and macabre, i know. Modern pop artists who sing about this same shit in much more graphic and vulgar detail better watch the fuck out: one, two, buckle my shoe motherfuckers!

Baa Baa, Black Sheep-
While you could derive a racist meaning from this rhyme, it's the same situation as the Song of the South >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_of_the_South
There actually aren't any specific claims toward this being derived from slave trades... though many still want to assume that it is... even to the point of completely changing the lyrics entirely for some cases of preschools. It's racist if you choose to view it that way, but there's absolutely no intention of it being racist anywhere.


If the entire song of Shoots and Ladders was completely based on false premises... then what do we have to go on? how can the song still fit? how about how human beings like to take things we enjoyed as children, then when we get older turn them into really dark things for no reason, only to make us feel guilty for having such a good time singing them? this song is a perfect parallel to social media. welcome to ignorance. now you feel like a killer because you listen to metal and play violent video games, even though you yourself have never done anything evil in your life, nor ever gathered any evil tendencies to do so from what you've seen, played, and sung.

'tis a bit of a stretch, but you threw me a curve ball here, Korn... If I was gonna swing, I at least wanted to hit the damn point!

  1. hylianux avatar

    On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM, hylianux said:

    oh please, don't think i'm trying to attack the song... it's just i stumbled across all the truth behind these things and was shocked... and then i looked back at the song like "what do you have to say for yourself?"...

    all it did was bang its head :D

  2. Faust avatar

    On Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM, Faust said:

    Sorry for leaving two comments that are essentially the same thing. I thought that the first one did not get posted so's I wrote another version, then when I posted it, the first one miraculously appeared. Whoopsy.

  3. Faust avatar

    On Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM, Faust said:

    The lyrics are based on what JD thought the meanings to the rhymes are. It was not as easy to reaserch things as easy as we can now back then when the lyrics were written.
    I personnaly thought that Ring Around the Rosies was about the plague until I saw your research and investigated it for myself, and I'm sure that JD thought so too, because I have heard him say it in interviews and what not. So, whether or not JD's lyrics are accurate to what the rhyme's "Meanings" are, the song still means what it means because that's what JD wanted it to mean. QED.

  4. Faust avatar

    On Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM, Faust said:

    I'm pretty sure that JD thought at the time that he thought that the lyrics had an especially dark connitation. Perhaps he did not know the "meaning" these nursery rhymes like you do. Remember that there wasn't really an internet where one could just go reserch things as easily as we can now. I personally thought that Ring Around the Rosies was about the plague until you pointed out that it may not be. And I'm pretty sure that JD did, too, because I have seen and heard him say it in a few interviews. So, whether or not the Rhymes "mean" what you think they do, that does not matter because JD wrote the lyrics and he felt they had dark meanings. QED.

  5. eva avatar

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM, eva said:

    I think people should just get what they get out of a song. If they think it means something, then that's what they think. Jon even said in a 1995 interview that the reason he doesn't include lyrics in the CD booklet is because he wants the listener to find their own meaning. That's too much research for one song anyways.

  6. jayjay avatar

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 4:06 PM, jayjay said:

    Oh yeh,blabla black-sheep has nothing to do with being black,or white? its the odd one out,like the kid that they never paid attention to..

  7. MindFreakOnALeashBlakelyRachelle avatar

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM, MindFreakOnALeashBlakelyRachelle said:

    eh well, i still love it. and the meaning is obvious anyways.

  8. jayjay avatar

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM, jayjay said:

    Wow some ones done there home work? seem to be all very english,i remember my mum telling me some thing on the lines of what your saying?some of them are some thing to do with mind controll,there like triggers wich set some people off to this very day(serch on you tube for megawatt1066.& you will see what i mean.) good stuff by the way.=)

  9. Anomaly avatar

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Anomaly said:

    Meh - I don't think they knew at the time. Although it doesn't make the intentions less sinister.

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