Children Up Chimneys

Sat on a bench in the centre of York and a few feet away from me is a child singing, playing the guitar and blowing on a harmonica (not all at the same time). Next to him is an adult – maybe his father, maybe not. He is also playing the guitar and harmonising with the boy.

You could say that it is a cute scene, and the people who have stopped to listen and clap would probably agree. But I think it’s a short step from sending a child up a chimney to clean it.

Think about it – do you imagine that every penny, that the people listening are throwing into a hat, goes to the young kid? Maybe fifty percent? Perhaps the price of a lollipop? I reckon not even that. It’s child exploitation in its most cynical form.

But heck, what do I know. If I was half as good as this young man at singing and playing the guitar, I’d be there on the next corner crooning my heart out – even if I was only seven. Which I’m not.

Hmm – I wonder if I can record him from here?

Yes, I can – but I can’t add audio-media to a post unless I upgrade my WordPress plan; you learn something new every day. Guess I won’t be able to exploit this child after all.

C’mon son – come down from that chimney!

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18 thoughts on “Children Up Chimneys

  1. Practise also makes perfect, he sounds like he’s doing what he loves, and learning to have an audience. Is he getting all the money? Maybe and maybe not. But what he’s doing isn’t incomparable with chimney sweeps. They were forced to work, they had to cope with a horrible work environment, their lives were put in danger, they were probably working long hours and only ate or slept the rest of the time. The lad has it much easier.

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  2. Sounds like a cute scene. I saw something similar in Laguna Beach (California) several months ago. A girl, who also looked to be about seven, sang her heart out while her father played guitar beside her. It was cute and impressive.

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