back to article Oz school in homosexual kookaburra rumpus

An Oz primary school head is taking a bit of stick after insisting that kiddies should not follow the exact letter of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. Garry Martin of Melbourne's Lepage Primary decided it would probably be better if nippers substituted the word "fun" for "gay" in the famous ditty, penned in 1934 by Marion …


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  1. Chad H.

    I'm suprised the right wing conspiracy nuts....

    I'm suprised that the right wing conspiracy nuts (Ala Fox News) Haven't declared this an act by the promoters of the "Homosexual Agenda" to take the word fun away... (Sniff, Sob, I just want my country back).

    But I guess that kinda assumes they can read...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats good

    Quite right too. We don't want Skippy and his chums being exposed to this filth.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well yes

    That's just spinelessly poor teaching.

  4. Bill Gould

    Step off...

    I think Crusader Hillis needs to chill a bit. Why use a word if it can be misconstrued as some form of slur? The teacher didn't change it because 'Oh gays are backwards and wrong and are all going to hell.' It was due to the typical response of kids everywhere to laugh at some words until they grow up... maybe they still laugh then. Ha! Dick jokes.

    Anyway, calm down rump-ranger. Nobody's trying to keep you down. Well maybe Mister Master, but that's what you pay him for.

  5. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    supposed to be a teacher

    Well teacher, teach them differently - teach them the word has an older meaning. Don't teach them it's somehow 'wrong' to use it.

    Some of us grew up watching the Flintstones and they had a 'gay old time'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't know about down under, but didn't the Brittish schools ban

      teaching anything positive towards being gay?

      Its hard to say that there is nothing wrong with the word when you are not allows to say there is nothing wrong with the people behind it.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Section 28

        Yes, section 28 banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools until it was repealled.

        Unfortunately it meant more bullying and no gay people got decent/useable sex education (not that the straight kids do anyway)

        Basically it was just to "protect" kids from what many people wrongly viewed as an illness

  6. Bucky 2

    Enlightenment and Persuasion

    The little kids were giggling because they had ALREADY received the message that the word "gay" was naughty.

    While I agree that it was unfortunate that the school teacher unwittingly reinforced that notion by singing "fun" instead, her apology rings genuine, so I'm completely willing to cut her some slack.

    If you want naughty, then ask yourself the question: If the kookaburra is gay, then it stands to reason that he's "a- boffin'." So El Reg might be consulting kookaburras when they publish their articles on astronomical strings of pearls.

  7. Richard Scratcher

    "Merry, merry King of the Bush..."


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      glad I hopped on the internet tonight

      Had forgotten the lyrics. My girlfriend was looking at me funny for laughing and then still looking at me funny after explaining this. It's worth it.

  8. Sureo

    Which meaning?

    " of those meanings is unacceptable...". Fun?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    "Homosexualists" - WTF are they when they're at home(o) then?

    The word your groping for (ooh-err) is Homosexual, and there's nothing wrong with it, or the word.

    FFS stop making up words and learn English.

    1. idiot

      There are some problems with your post.

      oh do piss off!

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: There are some problems with your post.

        Easy now chaps.

    2. John Goodwin 4

      Look before you leap

      The word(s) you're groping for is "you are" and therefore I find your last sentence "well gay" ;-)

    3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge


      Sounds like you've got Kangaroos in your top paddock.

      Maybe some Homeopathetic medicine would sort you out :)

    4. Anonymous Coward

      You're new here, right?

      You'll soon get a handle on things 'El Reg' stylee... ;-)

    5. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      It's not offensive you daft queen


      To take offense to that you must really be one hell of a queen.

      It's not offensive at all, although gay sounds better.

      Homosexual seems more sterile and unfriendly, and it's proved that questionnaires get different responses for each word.

      Troll, because i like his hair, it's fabulous!

  10. FreeTard
    Thumb Down


    What's next? not saying "bitch" when describing a female canine?


    Politically correct arseholes.

    1. Lionel Baden

      pretty much

      I get wierd looks when i call a female canine a bitch.

      funnily enough i also get funny looks when i call a bitch a femal canine :/

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    um... gays?

    as an Aussie I thought we called 'em Pooftas and celebrated their inclusion with an awesome parade through Sydney every year

    according to my daughter "gay" means lame these days so the song has a problem with way

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Changing words <> Fair use

    So I hope Larrikin Music get their copyright lawyers in gear and go after this teacher for million$.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I actually agree

    I actually agree with the teacher's actions.

    What he said would happen would be exactly what happened. There would be more giggling than singing.

    The real culprits here are the f***ing idiots that hijacked the word in the first place.

    May they rot in hell for their abuse of a perfectly good word.

    1. BritPad

      I actually also literally agree

      ...........and a perfectly good bottom (heh heh)

  14. b166er


    The word YOU'RE looking for're, bell-end.

    Which came first, the naming of the man Crusader, or the sexual persuasion?

  15. Steve Roper


    that song has just been established in court to still be in copyright 70+ years after it was written, as Men At Work have expensively found out, I trust this school has paid its $500,000 or whatever licence fee for the right to publicly perform this song? After all, we wouldn't want the original songwriter's great-great-grandkids to starve now would we?

  16. LaeMing Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Learning to grow up a bit

    is sorta what school is about. Plenty of words have a second ROFG-inducing meaning. It is the nature of human behaviour: we are sexualy oriented and highly social beings and like to talk a lot and talk about sex rather a lot.

    It is a bit like when kids discover that dictionaries have 'rude' words in them:

    "Miss, this dictionary has rude words." (said expecting some shocked reaction)

    "Does it tell you what they mean and how to use them correctly?"

    "Um... yes?"

    "Well, that is what dictionaries are for."

    I have more than once heard a kid use an obscenity in the playground and had to send them to the classroom to look up why their usage is ludicrously wrong! (Formal education - taking the fun out of childhood for millenia) :-P

  17. ngcomputing

    The Modern Inquisition

    The teacher made the right decision. In this over politically correct world any controversial word usually results in criticism or being fired. However, the problem with word censoring is that once it begins then it eventually leads to the censorship of speech and ideas. Orwell was wrong when he theorized that some day a single government entity would watch over the people. In this "modern" age people have collectively become "little brothers" who shout "Put them to the question!" whenever anything doesn't compliment their own ideology.

  18. Magani

    What a load of dingos' kidneys

    Political correctness is once again on the rampage in the Greater Antipodes.

    This is the same mindset that has caused the Fairy Penguins to be renamed as Little Penguins to avoid upsetting <insert vocal minority here>.

    What next? Are we to rewrite everything written since Chaucer to avoid potentially pi$$ing off world+dog due to changed word usage over time? Whatever happened to the concept of context? Come to think about it, how about giving teachers back the ability to give little Johnny/Freddie/Abdul a quick one around the ears if they insist on guffawing at the word 'gay' in class.

    Thank you.

    <end rant>

    My penguin is a Fairy Penguin and it's not Little.

    1. Daren Nestor

      That makes sense

      God knows you couldn't rewrire Chaucer. If you take out the dirty bits there isn't much left!

  19. Winkypop Silver badge

    Rule Number one

    No pooftahs !

  20. RW

    Has no one heard of homonyms?

    Or, to be slightly more precise but rather wordier, words that carry more than one distinct meaning?

    Bear = furry animal that shits in the woods

    Bear = to carry something

    Gay = cheerful, having a good time

    Gay = queer as a bottle of pink ink, also used as an insult

    School kids have to know these things if we want them to grow up with a decent command of the language.

    As for homosexualist, that's just El Reg indulging in some harmless word play. It also cocks a snoot at those who use that very same word in a serious way.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge


      Yes. Crusader Hills is a homonym.

  21. John Savard Silver badge


    We can't just cause the association of other unfortunate meanings of the word "gay" to just disappear forever, so that the word can be freely used in serene confidence in its original meaning.

    So I don't see what the problem is, except, of course, the change from "gay" to "fun" should have taken place when the materials with the lyrics were printed, so that the presence of anything to giggle about would be discreetly, but thoroughly, veiled from the eyes of our children. They can learn about the original words when they're adults, and have access to sealed historical records like the mosaics of Pompeii.

  22. Fremma

    Only two meanings?

    From where I sit - not 2000km from the events in question - the word "gay" in the school yard means neither "fun" or "homosexual"; it means "useless" (or some close variation thereof).

    This has lead to all sorts of amusement as we watch the homosexual lobby valiantly trying to reclaim the word for themselves - and school kids falling over laughing every time they try.

  23. Ian 14

    Taken backwards?

    "... and that's really putting us backwards."

    Oh you wish that you were so lucky. I wouldn't take you backwards if you...

    I'll just get my coat.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Gay? GAY!!!!!!!

    The only man I will ever love is Jesus.

    It's Him I get down on my knees for.

    It's him I subjugate myself on all fours too, and say, "Come into me Jesus".

    If they taught everyone how to really love and be loved by Jesus, then non of this gay business would be happening.

  25. Anonymous John

    It makes sense to me.

    I was born long before "gay" became a word for male homosexuality, but if I want a word for the original meaning, I use a synonym. Its new meaning is so pervasive that few people nowadays think first of the old one, even if they know it.

  26. John Tserkezis

    Good luck with that.

    "I wasn't trying to insult gay people."

    You should have thought of that back when you joined the Politically Correct bandwagon, in your attempt to not insult gay people.

    With your current actions, you've insulted gays anyway, and it's in the media so EVERYONE knows about it, and you end up looking like a right tool.

    They did the same thing with the Australian National Anthem. Tools.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What would he make of this?

    Walkin' Along

    The Diamonds

    Walkin' along my merry way

    Singin' a song I will be gay

    I found a love and love is here to stay

  28. Charles Smith

    Just tradition...

    Many of the old english folk tunes have double entendres too. We had a near riot in music class when singing such a tune - we'd as teens had reached that age where where we could appreciate the finer art of the words. It was someting about "pulling the Rue and sowing seeds..", though I can't remember the fine detail.

  29. Craig 28


    Probably a reference to the word being used in the Thin Blue Line. Grow a sense of humour, in either case it wasn't meant seriously it was mocking people who find homosexuality an uncomfortable subject.

    The teacher meant well, just because they tell the kids it has an older meaning it doesn't mean they'll stop snickering. There are some terms kids laugh at and adults find this immature, however there are equally as many terms adults laugh at when used wrongly. How many adults would laugh if a woman said "I spent the weekend trimming my bush" meaning the bush in her garden? It's just a matter of perspective.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm with the teacher

    These days, to the younger members of society, gay means "lame", "crap" and similar. They also know it means homosexual and even that it used to mean happy but language evolves and the current evolution of "gay" is lame and crappy.

    I think the homosexualists as involved here have a problem because, in general, the vast majority of people have no problem at all with someone else being homosexual, or with homosexuality itself*

    This means there is a sudden black hole in victim status and a reduction in need for LGBT spokespeople and anti-homophobia crusaders. So they need to scrape the barrel looking for victimisation, rather than moving on and being happy that homophobia today is nothing compared to what it was even 20 years ago.

    *Sure some right-wing, nutjob or religiously stupid groups have a problem with homosexuality but even most of them now take the view of "hate the sin but love** the sinner".

    **Not like that, stop sniggering at the back there.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Take your head out of your arse, you ignorant moron

      Scraping the barrel looking for victimisation? Do you even remotely know what is to be really victimised? It's not fun and you certainly wouldn't look for it.

      And about most of religious groups taking the view of "hate the sin but love the sinner" you are simply deluded. In countries where they can they still imprison/murder gay people. In countries like the UK it's psychological bullying, never explicit, but which can lead people to insanity over time.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      That's the stupidest thing i've ever heard Lee

      "This means there is a sudden black hole in victim status and a reduction in need for LGBT spokespeople and anti-homophobia crusaders"

      Where did you get that?

      It's still illegal in some countries.

      People in Iraq are killed just because they were born gay and even in the UK we still face homophobic laws

      If some of us act as victims, it's because we still ARE

  31. Lottie

    I thought

    it was "ghey" these days.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    just goes to show

    what lengths people will go to be offended by absolutely anything.

    some school teacher swaps a 3 letter word out for a different 3 letter word meaning essentially the same thing during an 8 year old's sing song and suddenly EVERYBODY in the country has an opinion.

    And the most fascinating thing about this story is that everything about it is so completely irrelevant to literally everything that's ever happened on earth before, that it exists in a sort of philosophical and intellectual black hole from which common sense and reasoning cannot escape. And people are just itching to fall in. People are moon-walking over the event horizon and they love it, LOVE IT. They LOVE being emotionally bankrupt. They can't WAIT to submit to banality's hollow embrace. Take me into the empty place, where neurons know not any sweet electrical sensation, and we are all essentially CURSED.

  33. Richard Porter


    Or "The glamour of the gay night life has lured you / to the places where the wine and liquor flow"

    (Hank Thompson "Wild Side of Life")

  34. Atonnis

    You're here, you're queer - we don't care...

    For crying out loud. So many of us are so TIRED of the constant need so many people seem to have to be offended. People jump on the slightest word or turn of phrase and will get all het up over the wording rather than the meaning.

    Many of us have actually stepped beyond what we now perceive to be the archaic two-meanings of the word 'gay'. We use it to mean all sorts of things, from 'crap' to 'excessively airy' to 'acting like a tit' to 'is sexually attracted to members of the same sex', and beyond. Each of the inflections and tone we use at the time make the meaning, something that never shows up in the text written afterwards in the complaint.

    I really don't care about your sexuality. In fact, I don't want to know, it doesn't interest me, I don't care. I don't have any feelings about it in any direction, because it just - does not matter - Get on with your life and stop telling me about how insecure you are.

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