A publisher which writes and creates music for primary schools across the UK has apologised after an excerpt from one of its songs, shared on Twitter, was criticised for being sexist.
The lyrics of Out of the Ark Music’s “My Mum” were shared to Twitter by a woman who claimed her niece was asked to sing the song for Mother’s Day at a Church of England primary school.
A photograph shows lyrics such as, “My mum’s ever so clever, she may not have a degree, but she can help with my homework, and that’s what matters to me” and “She does the cleaning and shopping and makes a wonderful tea!”
Some social media users have deemed the song sexist and as peddling outdated gender stereotypes.
“I’m not sure which is worse, little girls singing this song or little boys hearing it,” one person said.
“Why wait when you can teach your child misogyny and damaging gender stereotypes TODAY,” another wrote.
A third person wrote: “Sorry I seem to have been transported back several decades…”
“I want my niece to get this song to sing, because I reckon, she’ll point out that her mum has an undergraduate degree, two masters and a PhD.”
In a statement on Wednesday 24 March, Out of the Ark Music said the song was published “many years ago” and is no longer shared with schools for suggested use.
“We recognise that the lyrics in the songs are outdated and don’t reflect the invaluable and different roles mothers and fathers play within society and within families,” it said, adding that it is “truly sorry”.
“They also do not represent our current values and ethos as a company. For a number of years now we have not promoted these songs, taken them out of our new digital platform and have proactively communicated with schools to suggest free alternatives.
“As a business we work hard to instil wholesome values in every song we write, but we recognise that times change, and as result we regularly audit our songs to ensure these values are upheld. Unfortunately, we can’t remove printed product that was sold and is still in circulation.”