Toy maker changes Baa Baa Black Sheep lyrics in "political correctness gone mad"

A toy maker has been accused of “political correctness gone mad” after changing the lyrics to Baa Baa Black Sheep.

The word “black” has vanished from the nursery rhyme as played on the Little Star Activity Table from VTech.

Instead the toy sings “Baa baa sheep sheep” at the push of a button.

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said the switch was “nonsense”.

He added: “It should not be a colour we have to cover up and ­disguise. Too often people are well intentioned, but they are putting political correctness ahead of common sense.

“It’s political correctness gone mad, and it’s got to stop.”

Courier Steve McCarthy, 31, who bought the £29.99 toy from Argos in Sunderland for his baby daughter, said: “It played a different version of the rhyme, which surprised me.

“Why has a good old-fashioned nursery rhyme been changed? I think it’s really bad – why are they trying to ban the
word black?”

The nursery rhyme is nearly 300 years old and is believed to have originated as a protest against a hike in wool taxes.

Several schools have been criticised in recent years after attempts to remove the reference to “black” from the rhyme. Bemused parents heard their children sing “Baa baa little sheep” instead of the traditional “Baa baa black sheep” at fee-paying Park Hill School in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, in 2012.

In 2006, nursery pupils in Oxfordshire were taught to sing “Baa baa rainbow sheep”. In 2000, education chiefs at Birmingham City Council scrapped plans to stop teaching the rhyme in schools because it was “racially offensive”.

V-Tech was contacted for comment.

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