“Swinging on a Star” by Bing Crosby

And by the way, if you hate to go to school:
You may grow up to be a mule


In all fairness to Bing, he didn’t write this song – Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke did. But since he’s the one that sings it, he gets the prize here.

Because for all the “Swinging on a Star” is a cheerful, upbeat sort of a song with a worthwhile message (albeit expressed in somewhat tortured metaphors and the occasional rhyme that reaches too far), I find myself somewhat distressed by the two lines I’ve singled out above.

Because what is supposed to be a warning sounds a little too much like a curse just here. And hey, who wants to be a mule, a pig, a fish or a monkey anyway? (Okay, maybe a space monkey, but not the others.) This is a terrible thing to sing to children, but that’s just what Bing does.


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