Skip to main content

The Singing Ringing Tree

The Singing Ringing Tree, made in an East German studio in 1957, has had a weird effect on my psyche for the rest of my life. I still feel it's important all children have the crap scared out of them regularly in a surreal and incomprehensible way, and the East (PS er. more Eastern?) Europeans do it best. Also they had no silly moral qualms about stapling doves to a swing.

The Fast Show spoofed it (this might not mean much if you don't remember the original, though the above clip will help). Go here.


Peter said…
"The Singing Ringing Tree ... had a weird effect on my psyche for the rest of my life"

Me too! I saw it as a little kid in the '60s and it set off feelings and anxieties I'd never experienced before. Like adolescence or even adulthood starting too early. Given the impact it often seems to have had, I wonder if those exposed to the SRT at a tender age show subsequent commonalities in the way they develop as people?
Love it. Not sure why kids love to have the sh*t scared out of them. At my house, the favorite scary titles are The Gruffalo (by Julia Donaldson), Snarlyhissopus (by Alan MacDonald) and Qallupilluit (by Robert Munsch).
Paul P. Mealing said…
Hi Stephen,

I missed this when you posted it. All kids have nightmares, so being scared obviously has evolutionary value. I think it makes us wiser even at a very young age.

Stories are so close to dreams and serve the same purpose in my view.

Last year you challenged the virtue of the novel - well, I think you've answered your own question, at least to some extent.

Regards, Paul.
Nick said…
I thought you might be interested to know that a new generation of kids in Cambridge are going to suffer lasting psychological damage courtesy of The Singing Ringing Tree

Popular posts from this blog


(Published in Faith and Philosophy 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011. Stephen Law. Pages 129-151) EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS Stephen Law Abstract The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of indepen

What is Humanism?

What is Humanism? “Humanism” is a word that has had and continues to have a number of meanings. The focus here is on kind of atheistic world-view espoused by those who organize and campaign under that banner in the UK and abroad. We should acknowledge that there remain other uses of term. In one of the loosest senses of the expression, a “Humanist” is someone whose world-view gives special importance to human concerns, values and dignity. If that is what a Humanist is, then of course most of us qualify as Humanists, including many religious theists. But the fact remains that, around the world, those who organize under the label “Humanism” tend to sign up to a narrower, atheistic view. What does Humanism, understood in this narrower way, involve? The boundaries of the concept remain somewhat vague and ambiguous. However, most of those who organize under the banner of Humanism would accept the following minimal seven-point characterization of their world-view.

Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism refuted

Here's my central criticism of Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). It's novel and was published in Analysis last year. Here's the gist. Plantinga argues that if naturalism and evolution are true, then semantic epiphenomenalism is very probably true - that's to say, the content of our beliefs does not causally impinge on our behaviour. And if semantic properties such as having such-and-such content or being true cannot causally impinge on behaviour, then they cannot be selected for by unguided evolution. Plantinga's argument requires, crucially, that there be no conceptual links between belief content and behaviour of a sort that it's actually very plausible to suppose exist (note that to suppose there are such conceptual links is not necessarily to suppose that content can be exhaustively captured in terms of behaviour or functional role, etc. in the way logical behaviourists or functionalists suppose). It turns o