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The True Meaning of Nursery Rhymes
Transcript of The True Meaning of Nursery Rhymes
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses, and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
Humpty Dumpty was a cannon that protected a fort.The fort, in question, was on a tower on St Mary's at the Wall Church. The cannon was at the top, blowing approaching armies to smithereens. But, alas, the huge cannon fell when the tower was struck. It fell into a marsh, and the base broke. While trying to recover it, the army had to surrender, due to great loss of numbers. Ring around the rosie
"Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posie, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!" Nice childhood song,huh?Nope.It's talking about the...BUBONIC PLAGUE!(Or, for those who don't know, the BLACK DEATH!!! Or black disease.)Example: Hi! My name is Bob DeGroot, and I'm doing my PPL on nursery rhymes and their true meanings!
Nurseries are for little kids to stay in, right? So, you might think that nursery rhymes are innocent enough, right? WRONG. There are many rhymes that have a secret meaning.In my P.P.L., you will learn some of these meanings. The reason it talks about flowers in pockets is because it was believed the black death was carried to other people by bad smells. The flowers also helped to mask the smell of death. People also tried to avoid catching it by wearing bird masks, like so. Little old woman who lived in a shoe. "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.."
Wait, that doesn't sound very nice, now does it? Well that's what the true meaning is. Here. This rhyme is actually about King George II, in England, and politics. King George is the "old woman" and "the children" are the Parliament. King George was trying to control his government. The "broth" and "no bread" was talking about trying to manage money, and putting the children to bed refers to getting the Parliament to be at work every day. The origin O.K.. So we know that a lot of nursery rhymes have a supposed double meaning. But what about their origin? Well, most well known nursery rhymes started showing up around the late 18th century. The 1900 s, was when they finally made printed copies.
There were a few reasons why nursery rhymes had hidden meanings. It was basically a way to find a loophole to talk about things that couldn't really be mentioned in front of certain people. There were hidden political messages in some of them, or sometimes they were written to make fun of kings or queens or rulers of a country. Some were written to teach a moral to children. And some just don't have any second meanings, the words and rhythms just went well together.
There are many SUPPOSED meanings. I chose the ones I THOUGHT were intresting. (There are also many versions; I chose the most widly known versions. Jack & Jill went up a hill. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down...
Well, the ashes were referring to
the cremation of the plague's victims! Ring around the Rosie is talking about the
RASH that people got from having the Plague! Jack & Jill went up hill,
to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down & broke his crown,
& Jill came tumbling after! Jack & Jill is about a couple of beheadinges.
First was King Louis XVI A.K.A. Jack. (broke his crown)
Then came Queen Marie Antoinette,
(Who came tumbling after) during the French Revolution Baa, Baa, Black Sheep Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for my master, one for my dame,
One for the little boy who lives down the lane This nursery rhyme is about wool, but it's also complaining about taxes! Shepherds who sold their wool were forced to give 1/3 of their wool to the king ("my master") for a tax, and then another 1/3 to the local nobility ("my dame"), leaving only 1/3 left to make a living on ("the little boy")! Rock-a-Bye Baby Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all. This rhyme talks about how Native American mothers were first found to lull their babies to sleep in cradles that were tied to tree branches. when the wind blew, the cradles were gently rocked. However, if a strong gust of wind blew, it could break the branch, and cause the baby to fall, possibly killing it! TRIVIA! http://matchthememory.com/kedronsnurseryrhymes Conclusion These sweet little innocent nursery rhymes that we all know have so much more below the surface - there is more to them than meets the eye, just like an iceberg!
Thanks for listening to my PPL!
-Bob DeGroot Bibliography http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_nursery_rhymes_become_nursery_rhymes_if_the_words_are_frightening
“Treasury of Mother Goose Rhymes”