Home    Subscribe    Contact    Login

The Folklore Behind 5 Popular Nursery Rhymes

by helenonthesofa (follow)
Check out my Weekend Notes articles here: www.weekendnotes.com/profile/160877
Parenting (148)      Fun (29)      Nursery Rhymes (2)      Folklore (1)      History (1)     
Nursery rhymes are a common feature in our home, but every now and again when I'm singing the rhymes with my kids, I can't help but think of some of the hidden history or meaning in some of these innocent sounding rhymes. In case you've ever wondered about the story behind the rhymes, here's a few to ponder over based on what folk lore has suggested over time.

Photo: Debspoons, Freedigitalphotos.net


1. Ring-a-ring o' roses This playful tune is suggested to relate back to the era of the plague, with 'ring of rosies' relating to the rash that came with the plague. The sneezing in the rhyme and the 'all fall down' bit at the end, that kids seem to love doing, was literally relating to the symptoms of the plague and then the affected people dying. A happy tune, hiding much darker meanings.

2. Mary Mary Quite Contrary This rhyme about a contrary Mary growing different things in her garden, is linked to Bloody Mary of England, with silver bells and cockle shells referring to methods of torture. Another interpretation will have you believe that this rhyme refers to Mary Queen of Scots instead, with the rhyme referencing her reign.

3. Humpty Dumpty Whilst many people believe this tale to be about an egg shaped being who finds a messy yolky end, it's been linked to a cannon that was named 'Humpty' that fell off its mount during the 1648 Siege of Colchester. After the fall, there was no fixing the poor cannon, and similar to the nursery rhyme, no one could put poor Humpty back together again.

4. Jack and Jill The characters in this rhyming tale are alleged to be based on King Louis XVI as Jack who got beheaded and his Queen, Marie Antoinette who 'tumbled' after him. Although, King Louis, unlike Jack, couldn't very easily get back up again and mend his poor head.

5. Three Blind Mice This was always such an odd nursery rhyme in my mind, with a particularly violent farmers wife. Folklore suggests that the farmers wife referred to Bloody Mary again, and her reign where she killed three very prominent men, two bishops and an archbishop (amongst many others).

Whether you believe the urban myths, nursery rhymes likely did gain their inspiration from the things happening in the world around them at the time, and it's definitely an interesting away for events to have been captured.

Do you know any other hidden meanings in nursery rhymes?


#Nursery Rhymes
#Folklore
#Fun
#Parenting
#History
I like this Article - 4
[ print friendly ]
Share: email  facebook  twitter
More Articles by helenonthesofa
This is a colourful little piano for kids aged 9 months to 3 years, and will start your little one o...
241 views
If you have children then you'll know that once a year you'll likely be organsing a party of some de...
338 views
When you have a child, people will give you lots (and lots) of advice
4 answers
If you're looking for a great first shoe for your little one, it's worth heading over to to check o...
671 views
Moving your infant from cot to bed can be a real headache, with some infants showing real resitance ...
74 views
I recently thought it would be a good plan to share some parenting to show that parenting is not al...
91 views
view all articles by helenonthesofa
Articles by helenonthesofa on Other Hubs
My Google Plus Profile
ID: 13589
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
One way of cutting the cost of having a baby is to get some of your baby items second hand
7063 views
If you're looking for cheap baby goods for your baby, here are some excellent stores you can go to t...
8747 views
Letís be honest; everything you could ever need to know can be found on the internet
1549 views
Let me begin by pressing rewind and explain how our bed time battles began
671 views
When the clocks change, or in summer months, it can be difficult if your baby wakes extra early ...
2958 views
Have you ever found yourself up in the middle of the night with a sick child? They might have a ragi...
6673 views
**Should You Choose Bank Or Private Financing For Your First Home??** Private lending supplie...
0 answers
I love crystals and have a few in my collection, so when junior got a Crystal Growing Kit for Christ...
1359 views
From installing new wall sockets to installing a doorbell, electricity plays a major role in you...
96 views
Not sure what an unplugged childhood is? Perhaps think back to your own childhood, free of iPads, s...
616 views
Categories
Parenting (148)
Play (86)
Tips (45)
Eating (31)
Travel (27)
Safety (21)
Sleep (11)
 
Copyright 2012-2017 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version