I shall apologise up front for the shocking political incorrectness of this entry. However, I think it makes for an amusing tale and these always deserve to be told.
Anyway, I was a kid at the time – perhaps 7 or 8. We were on a two-family holiday – me, my parents, my brother and sisters, an aunt and uncle and their kids. I believe it had been a less than nice day and we’d spent it indoors sheltering from the wind and rain. This gave my cousins ample time to teach me the rhyme that was causing outrage at their school. It didn’t take me long to learn it by heart even though I didn’t really understand it.
Later, we were all gathered round the table having dinner. The grown ups were asking what we had all been up to and they got wind of the fact that I had learned a new rhyme. A funny rhyme. Needless to say they were keen to hear it. So, with childlike innocence, I recited it with some enthusiasm:
Down in Alabama, where the darkies shovel coal,
A darkie shoved a shovel up another darkies’ hole,
They sent for the doctor but the doctor couldn’t come,
So he died of constipation with a shovel up his bum!
I could tell from the looks of sheer horror on my mum and aunties’ faces that my recital had not been well received…