Friday, 14 March 2014

5 Nursery Rhymes That Are Not What They Seem

What a random post, but hey-it's pretty interesting! I'm sure most of you know one or two nursery rhymes that were based on weird events, but here's a few more to get you thinking. I'd just like to mention also, I haven't gone and stolen these facts from other articles. I have a crazy memory and I remember reading about it aages ago, seeing stuff about it on tv, and so on and so forth.

In at Number 5..Georgie Porgie 

"Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
kissed the girls and made them cry, 
when the boys came out to play, 
Georgie Porgie ran away. "

You're all familiar with this right? Well this isn't just about a cheeky little guy stealing innocent kisses from gals in the yard. Most people say this is based on George Villers, who once upon a time had a fling with King Charles I. The fling started after George left a lady broken hearted; "kissed the girls and made them cry." Then I suppose, people weren't happy with the relationship and George didn't really stay around to fight for Charles, hence the line he "ran away." Crazy stuff! 

4. Mary Mary Quite Contrary 

"Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells,
and pretty maids all in a row."

I find this one really sad. It doesn't seem obvious at first really, but when it clicks, it's one of those feels moments! This is about Mary I, daughter of King Henry. I like history, so this makes a lot of sense to me, but the "garden" they refer to in this rhyme, is actually a "graveyard." You see, when Mary took over the throne, she wanted to make England catholic again by basically getting rid of any protestant she could. The silver bells and cockleshells are a reference to the torture devices used at the time, and the pretty maids..well you can kind of guess. Mary's worked her way into a lot of nursery rhymes, 'cause she was just one crazy lady. 

3. Pop Goes The Weasel 

"The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,
POP! Goes the weasel!"

I seriously used to love this one. I remember running around the tree pretending to be the weasel, and singing it at the top of my lungs, hehe. This one has a lot to do with cockney rhyming slang, and for those of us who don't understand it, we can't hear that the rhyme is basically about poverty. "Pop" is like a slang word for pawn and a "weasel" is slang for a winter coat. The rhyme is about having to sell possessions to make a living, and struggling to make ends meet. It's quite an uplifting tune though, you have to give it that! 


2. Jack Be Nimble 


"Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick."

There's not a whole lot known about this one, and there's many possible theories, so I'm just gonna tell you what I think it means. In around the 19th century, jumping over candlesticks was a form of fortune telling. If you could jump over the flame without extinguishing it, it was said to be good luck. Kinda cool if you ask me.


1. Jack And Jill. 

"Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pale of water,
Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
and Jill came tumbling after."

This one could just seem like people are clutching at straws, but it makes so much sense. This seems to be really like the story of King Louis, who was beheaded, with Mary Antoinette who came "tumbling" down straight after. It could just be a very strong coincidence but it's food for thought! 

Thanks for reading guys! If I've ruined your childhood I do apologise, but hopefully you've learned one or two interesting facts today! 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I love your blog great work ;) come have a look at mine, if you decide to follow me, leave me a comment and I’ll follow you back :) XxXx