Oddly Enough - Legless Cucaracha takes a lyrical twist

Tes Editorial

Plans for drug education for seven-year-olds sent the UK Press into a frenzy last week. So imagine if officials had made primary pupils sing about a dope-smoking cockroach.

The problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina began after a CD was given out to schools providing songs that helped to illuminate various cultures around the world. For Mexico this was "La Cucaracha", a song about a cockroach that cannot walk straight which became popular in the Mexican civil war.

The printed lyrics were of a "suitable version", presumably the one that goes: "The cockroach, the cockroach Can't walk any more Because it doesn't have, because it's lacking Its two back feet."

But the song on the CD was the alternative, equally traditional version in which the final line is "Marijuana to smoke".

The education ministry has demanded the publishers withdraw the CD, thus robbing PSHE teachers of a chance to explain the US slang term "roach", derived from the cockroach in the song.

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