Australian teacher drops 'gay' from kookaburra folk song

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Friday, September 3, 2010

A school in Melbourne, Australia has experienced a backlash from the public for changing the last line of Marion Sinclair's iconic Australian folk song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree from "Laugh, kookaburra, laugh, kookaburra, gay your life must be" to "fun your life must be".

Gary Martin, principal of Le Page Primary School in Melbourne, claims that he changed the lyrics as he thought that "the kids will roll around the floor in fits of laughter" upon hearing the original lyrics. Martin wanted to reduce classroom disruption by omitting the word "gay", here used to mean "happy", as it was also commonly used as a playground insult. "For example, if a boy is not particularly good at sport, they will refer to that child as gay," he continued.

Martin told the Nine Network, "I wasn't trying to incite or insult gay people, [..] it was just a decision at the time that I thought would minimise a disruptive atmosphere with grades one and two".


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