Nursery rhymes with dark origins
Childrens Nursery Rhymes: The Dark History & Origins of Kids Nursery Rhymes by Albert JackFrom the Author of the Internationally Bestselling Red Herrings & White Elephants, Pop Goes the Weasel, What Caesar did for My Salad, Shaggy Dogs, They Laughed at Galileo: The historical significance of childrens rhymes is often lost on most adults, let alone the children who learn them by heart almost as soon as they learn to say anything at all. For all of us, the first things we are taught, after learning how to talk, are nursery rhymes. Hence by the time we are adults, we will know the words to hundreds of them without ever being aware of their meaning or real importance.And they are important, in my view, because many of them tell the true tale of some of historys darkest or most tragic events. Knowing the origins of a rhyme will help to preserve that piece of history, or the layers of history that accrue around a centuries-old rhyme. It also provides a fascinating insight into how news of historical events was transmitted around the land long before the days of instant communication by telephone, radio, television or the internet.For example, would you expect Humpty Dumpty to be the name of one of King Charles Is cannons located on top of a church tower at the Siege of Colchester in 1648 during the English Civil War?Operated by One-Eyed Thompson, a Royalist gunner, it successfully kept Cromwells forces at bay until the Parliamentarians managed to blow it off the tower, allowing them to take over the town. An important battle was lost (or won, depending on your viewpoint) and a turning point in history then marked by a rhyme, soon repeated in every village and every hamlet as news of Cromwells victory spread throughout the land. Or would you imagine for a moment that the three blind mice could be the Oxford Martyrs Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, all burned at the stake for their faith, by the Farmers Wife, Mary I? Or what about my personal favourite - the story of the steward to the Dean of Glastonbury, Thomas Horner, who was sent to see Henry VIII with a bowl full of property deeds disguised as a pie in an attempt to bribe the king? On the way to London, Horner, it is said, reached into the pie and a stole a plum piece of real estate for himself at Mells Manor.So sit back and enjoy our morbid history, as told, for generations, to our children.
The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes
Growing up, you were probably bombarded with all sorts of nursery rhymes about a girl being harassed by a spider while trying to eat curds and whey, or some anthropomorphic egg who can't keep his balance. For whatever reason, we were taught these nursery rhymes and we recited them happily, oblivious to the fact that a lot of these cutesy poems have darker meanings than we could have ever imagined. And before you blurt out, "Oh, so you mean like how 'Ring Around the Rosie' is about the Black Plague," stop right there and don't blurt that out because it's just an urban legend. We're here to shed some darkness on the happy sing-songs of your childhood. Would you believe it if we told you that "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" was not actually about a black sheep that could talk and offer up its wool to a master, a dame, and a little boy who lives down the lane?
Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley tend to dominate the craft. Yes, that fictional grande dame of kiddie poems has got a bit of a dark streak, as evidenced by the unexpectedly sinister theories surrounding the origins of these 11 well-known nursery rhymes. In , news. So I took him by his left leg. And threw him down the stairs.
Dark backstories often lurk behind our favorite childhood songs and fairy tales. This shouldn't be so surprising. Early collections of fairy tales such as the famous Brothers Grimm compendium set down gruesome tales full of violence and violation, quite unlike our Disney-fied modern perceptions of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Going further back is trickier. Were these frightening fables based on real events?
Who would have thought that many of our most beloved nursery rhymes sprung from dark origins? But just like many fairy tales, a lot of the most popular nursery rhymes of our childhood have truly disturbing or controversial roots. Thanks to Disney though, these dark fairly tales were given more optimistic tones and more importantly, happier endings. The same is true for nursery rhymes. Just like Disney, the authors of these nursery rhymes chose words and melodies that were catchy and pleasant enough to mask their true meaning. Said cannon was used for violent means, specifically to invade the city of Colchester during the English Civil War.
Plagues, prostitution, burning at the stake—none of these are topics you would talk to a toddler about. However, so many of the nursery rhymes we all grew up singing have such dark origins that you'd be shocked to find you were taught these in school, and kids are still being taught these rhymes. There are several theories behind the origin of this rhyme, but the one that really stands out is the one about human sacrifice. It was believed that a bridge would collapse unless a human sacrifice was buried at the foundations. If you think about it, a game was played while singing this song, where two kids form an arch, and others run underneath till the end of the song.
This will not post anything on Facebook or anywhere else. If you thought that nursery rhymes you learnt in school were all that innocent, you're in for a shock. Or a surprise, depending on how dark your imagination is. Here are 10 nursery rhymes that have some twisted or sinister origins you might have not known of. Baa, baa, black sheep, Have you any wool? Yes, sir, yes, sir, Three bags full; One for the master, And one for the dame, And one for the little boy Who lives down the lane. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't a poem about racism.