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Inappropriate Announcement song?

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  • Inappropriate Announcement song?

    I'm curious to see others' take on this. Our pack has traditionally used a song that the cubs sing whenever they hear the word "announcements". I don't care for the words in the song, but the kids love it and it is a tradition. Can I get some opinions from you guys? Some in our pack want to continue the tradition, others want to get rid of it.

    Here are the words:

    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    What a terrible way to die, a terrible way to die,
    a terrible way to die, a terrible way to die.
    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    We sold our cow, moo................
    We sold our cow, moo................
    We have no use for your bull now!
    Have you ever seen a windbag, a windbag, a windbag,
    Have you ever seen a windbag, well there's one right now.
    Go this way and that way and this way and that way.
    Have you ever seen a windbag, well there's one right now.
    Make announcements short and sweet, short and sweet,
    short and sweet, make announcements short and sweet,
    You're so boring!

  • #2
    Cherished traditions are terribly difficult to grow away from. But Pack traditions only take a year or two to make or break - if the Committee and Leaders are dedicated to the change.

    I'd do what I could to offer some new suggestions -- this one is a bit over the top for me >> potentially minimizing the value of the announcements, and the poor person who gets serenaded. I'm guessing your boys don't need to sing this song when they're in school and announcements are made (or else, your Unit is doing a larger disservice than people realize!)

    How about a new tradition of a new announcement song each month -- there are plenty to go around and they are learned almost instantaneously.

    Is this tradition "purposeful"? - If not, what's the argument for keeping it? Sometimes it comes down to choosing "Purpose" or "Fun" -- I suggest you choose Purpose, and make it fun or plan your fun elsewhere.



    • #3
      LOL! Our troop sings almost the same song! (The only major difference is in the 3rd line: "A terrible way to be talked to death, a terrible way to die."

      Our scouts love this tradition, young and old alike. It's become a game - at the end of the meeting we have various "news flashes" of upcoming activities and if some poor Assistant SM uses the word "announcement", then the whole troop spontaneously bursts into song. Some adults love to hear themselves talk, and this tradition serves to remind everyone to keep the speeches "short and sweet".


      • #4
        That's one version of "Announcements" I haven't heard and like so many scouting/camp songs has numerous versions. Personally I hate serveral of the versions of "Bananas". What we've done in the past is print the song words on Poster board as a way of "phasing out" undesired lines. As the younger boys learn the songs they learn them without the "inappropriate" or otherwise objectionable lines. In our case, with Bananas it wasn't that there were inappropriate parts, its just that out of the 12 or so boys, 3 knew it and each sang it a different way. Your Pack's version of Announcement is milder than some I've seen. Change is possible, just do it gently




        • #5
          Wow, I guess I've never heard the rest of the song.

          Our version must be the "short & sweet" one:

          Announcements, announcements, announcements,
          A terrible death to die, a terrible death to die,
          A terrible death to be talked to death,
          A terrible death to die
          Announcements, announcements, announcements.

          And that's where our song stops. The rest of the song does seem a little harsh toward the speaker, even if done in jest.

          There was a tendency in the past for the song to be shouted as loudly as possible, and for the tempo to drag like a dirge, which made it long and too loud for some of the younger boys. We now have some of the adults subtly "lead" the song from the back of the room to keep the tempo moving and to prevent it from becoming a contest to see who can be loudest.

          But the boys love singing it, and the most of the adults find it pretty amusing.

          Maybe suggest using the "short & sweet" (hey, just like the song says, right?) version?


          • #6
            Encouraging a boy to sing that song is hazing

            That should really move this discussion along.

            I have never really understood these songs. They usually go on so much longer than the announcements themselves. Talk about a complete waste of time. The discourteousness of using such terms as 'your bull' and 'windbag' has no legitimate place in scouting, especially for boys of cub scout age.


            • #7
              At the very least, the sentiments expressed could be viewed as "unscoutlike" and disrespectful to adults when sung by the scouts. I first learned the song at Cub Roundtable, circa 1984, but never took it back to the Pack. I thought it was just a RT thing, to be kept among adults. If the word "Announcements" triggers the song, then avoid using that word.


              • #8
                Announcements, announcements, announcements,

                Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.
                Ha, Ha fooled you I'm a submarine

                Announcements, announcements, announcements,

                Mary had a little lamb,
                little lamb
                little lamb
                her doctor was surprised

                Announcements, announcements, announcements,


                • #9
                  Actually I kinda like the tradition, a way letting the boys and adults know what is said next is important information and is to be listened to. If song loud enough and in a raucous manner, it may just tire out the youth enough to be quiet during the announcement long enough to get the information out.

                  That then is a reason to have a song announcing the announcememts, having these words may detract from the purpose of singing, the kids giggling they just called an adult boring or a windbag. With adjusted lines, I think its a good idea


                  • #10
                    Mary had a little lamb
                    I'm sure you've heard before
                    But did you know she passed her plate
                    and had a little more?

                    Mary had a little lamb
                    But it met the fate for which it was bred
                    The only time the lamb now goes to school
                    Is between two slices of bread

                    Mary had a little lamb
                    She locked it in a closet
                    And every time she opened the door
                    She found another deposit


                    • #11
                      Summer camp two years ago used virtually the identical song. The camp director made announcments during lunch and dinner each day. It became a game of him finding different words to use besides the word announcement. It was a lot of fun for him and boy and adult campers alike. It is all in fun, I don't see a problem with it.


                      • #12
                        Mary had a litte lamb,
                        She fed it Castor oil,
                        Every time it jumped the fence,
                        It fertilized the soil.

                        Mary had a little lamb,
                        The doctors were surprised.
                        But when Old McDonald had a farm,
                        The doctors nearly died.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the comments and ideas. If anyone else has alternate words or songs, I'd love to hear them.

                          No, the boys do not do the announcement song anywhere else but at Pack meetings. I agree this is pretty rude for any age, but especially for us to be encouraging our cubs to do it.

                          I don't know when the tradition was started in our Pack, but it's been going for more than 7 years. I think the purpose was to keep the boys interested in the meeting, since announcements in general are kind of boring for kids. It also helps them get some "wiggles" out as they do some hand motions and clapping during the song, too.

                          I'll recommend to our Pack that we come up with a nicer version, or an altogether different song. I know several parents will feel better about that.


                          • #14
                            Although we sang the short version at camp when I was a kid and it was pretty harmless, I'm not too excited about some of the lyrics in this longer version. I think it crosses the line between harmless fun and rudeness and goodness knows kids have enough exposure to rudeness and put downs as it is without needing to learn it at cub scouts too.

                            If you want some songs to "get the wiggles out" there are lots and lots of these out there that don't wander into the realm of questionable taste or poor manners. Boom Chicka Boom is a good example of one that cubs inevitably love to sing. Among other places to find good songs: Check out and click on the "Songs" link, and sign up for your council's next University of Scouting/Pow Wow .



                            • #15
                              By the way when you get adults who complain that "this is a pack tradition" you should ask them whose tradition it is, exactly? You mention that the song has been around at least 7 years in this boy is a cub scout for that long so it must be the adults who are perpetuating this tradition for their own reasons. But cubs is for and about boys, not adults.

                              Chances are good that the boys really won't mind giving this up as long as some other fun (and appropriate) song is substituted. In fact they'll probably hardly notice unless the adults make a big deal over it.